The Billy Graham Library pays tribute to late American Christian evangelist Billy Graham. The place opened in the year 2007 and spreads across 40,000-square-foot (3,700 meter square). The library features a number of artifacts from different facets of Graham's life, from his small beginnings on a farm to his career as a prominent minister, the place covers everything. Many find the library to be a site of inspiration, regardless of religious connotations.
Much like SoHo, NoDa (North Davidson Street) is a bustling area in the city of Charlotte. There is lots to see and do in this famous arts district, for both visitors and locals. Restaurants, theatres, bars, shops and galleries abound here. Visit during the annual Gallery Crawl to check out the area's fascinating art scene. An amalgamation of culture and cuisine, this district is cloaked in an air of enjoyment, making it a must-visit. Check the website for what's happening at various venues in the area.
The heart of this museum lies in an exploration of the people who have changed and shaped the social landscape of the South since the end of the Civil War. The exhibit addresses controversial issues like race relations and immigration, providing a forum for discussion and contemplation. The facility is newly renovated and many of the pieces contain modern multimedia displays and virtual tours that make the learning experience fun for all ages. Be sure to explore the 'Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers' exhibit, one of the permanent collections that focuses on the changing face of Charlotte and the Piedmont region of North Carolina.
The Public Library of Charlotte & Mecklenburg County and the Children's Theatre of Charlotte have come together to create this awesome complex that houses the McColl Family Theatre, the Spangler Library, the Wachovia Playhouse, a Scene and Paint Shop, several studios, rehearsal rooms and a costume shop. A veritable entertainment center, this is the hub of family amusement activities in the area. A comprehensive collection of books and videos fills the library, while a number of educational programs for kids takes place at regular intervals.
From 1836 to around 1861 this Federal-style building served as the first branch of the United States Mint. During the Depression it was saved from demolition through a community effort and became North Carolina's first art museum. Now it is one of the major collections of American, European, African, and Asian artwork, along with ceramics, photography, maps and contemporary art. There are daily tours, lectures, art classes, and festivals that invite the public to come and enjoy the exhibitions. With such an extensive collection of over 72,000 items and a building rich in history, this museum is a must-see for any art lover! Also be sure to check out the Mint Museum Uptown, located in nearby Uptown.
The Light Factory is one of only four establishments in the country to be solely dedicated to photography and film-making. Founded in 1972, this institution has since been a platform for contemporary artists with creative leanings to light-based media. Visit thought-provoking photography exhibitions, attend documentary screenings and indie film events, and take a class in digital video art to experience the magic of capturing images and the power of visuals.
First Presbyterian was built in the early 19th century and has been a major tourist attraction as well as a fully functioning church since its dedication. The architecture is reminiscent of European Gothic cathedrals and many efforts have been made to maintain this style even as recent renovations and expansions have allowed it to cater to the needs of its growing congregation. The impressive spire and detailed stonework make this church a must-see for art and architecture lovers. Multiple services are held throughout the week including two full services on Sunday, one of which is televised on a local Charlotte station, WSOC-TV Channel 9. Open on Sunday from 9am, 11am and 5pm and Wednesday from noon.
Romare Bearden Park is a community facility great for some recreation and relaxation. Named after the renowned Charlotte resident and artist, this 5.4-acre (2.19-hectare) park is located a short distance from the Mint Museum. It is replete with gardens, courtyards, children's playgrounds and picnic spots. The manicured lawns feature waterfalls and over 10,000 varieties of flora that are inspired by Bearden's work. The gazebo is used to host an array of cultural programs like workshops, exhibitions, the RomareFest, Party in the Park and Music Box Lunch Series.
The Charlotte Symphony Orchestra performs regularly at the Belk Theater, the largest auditorium at the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center. The theater is constructed so that there are no seats more than 135 feet away from the stage, providing an intimate setting even with over 2,000 people in the audience. In addition, a fiber-optic network with thousands of multi-colored pinpoints of light is placed throughout the audience chamber for spectacular light displays. Call or visit the Blumenthal Center's website for information on upcoming events and tickets.
The Foundation for the Carolinas is a hub of philanthropy. This foundation brings many different people from the community together and encourages all to do good and to pay it forward. The Luski-Gorelick Center for Philanthropy is home to an art gallery on the first floor that features works from local artists. Admission to the gallery is free.
Spirit Square, the arts and culture hub is home to Knight Gallery. The gallery often witnesses art and sculpture exhibits by local artists. The venue is also well known for hosting events like comedy sketches, improvisations and poetry slams.