In one of the city’s oldest African-American communities is the Harvey B. Gantt Center. The Gantt Center is the perfect cure for a rainy day in Charlotte. The center celebrates Africans and African-Americans and their contributions to American culture. You will see educational exhibits and view beautiful works of art at the John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American art. The Gantt Center is a great place to visit with the entire family.
The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts and Culture is located on South Tryon Street at the Levine Center for the Arts. The center is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 am to 5:00 pm. On Sundays, they are open from 1:00 pm to 5:00 pm and closed on Mondays. Admission to the Gantt Center is $9.00 for adults, $7.00 for ages 6-17, and kids ages 5 and under are free.
The Gantt Center opened in 2009. In addition to the exhibits, they are home to many special events throughout the year. The calendar can be viewed online so you can plan ahead for the events you would like to attend. These events include classes, demonstrations, and films. The Center will host an upcoming lecture on September 22nd. The lecture will feature Anna Deavere Smith. Smith is an actress, playwright, and a professor at The Tisch School of the Arts at New York University.
The 46,500 square foot Harvey B. Gantt Center is named after the city’s first African-American mayor and the first African-American student at Clemson University. The Gantt Center resides in an award-winning designed building. The inspiration was from the Myers Street School. The exterior stair pattern is a modern interpretation of Jacob’s Ladder. There are also patterns on the building that resemble the design of woven fabric from West Africa.
A must-see when visiting the Gantt Center is the John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American art. Artists in the collection include Romare Bearden, Henry Ossawa Tanner, Elizabeth Catlett, and Jonathan Green. This is a permanent exhibit which can be viewed year-round. The collection is home to 58 works of art with 20 artists represented. The art can also be viewed online.
In addition to all there is to see at the Gantt Center, they offer workshops and events for kids and adults. Two of the center’s interactive workshops include the Family First workshop and the Jr. Studio workshop. Family First is ideal for kids ages 5-10 years old. Family First encourages families to learn, create, sing, and dance. The Jr. Studio is for older kids, ages 8-12 years old. This art-intensive workshop not only teaches art technique but gives families the opportunity to discuss art currently on display.
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