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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.
Located on the AME Zion Church premises is The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African American Arts and Culture, founded to promote and preserve black culture, history and art. This landmark consists of an outdoor amphitheater, an indoor theater and two galleries (Montgomery and Stained Glass). Events such as the Teen Drama Camp and Jazz Evenings are held here regularly, as are weddings, private gatherings and business meetings. Also check out the interactive programs for children.
Known as “Frew's Folly” for the extravagance of the owner who built it, this plantation house is a beautiful example of the rich gentleman's life of the early 19th Century. Occupied by several rich families and their slaves in succession, the house has many a tale to reveal. Tours of the area promote this heritage and educate folks about the lifestyles of their probable ancestors. Stroll through the beautiful gardens amid the trees, barns and outbuildings, and look at the old wash-house that was once full of suds and chatting women. A myriad of events like tea-parties, fund-raisers and candle-light tours take place here as well.
The 11th president of the United States, James K. Polk, is honored here. Avail of the guided tour, complete with a costumed interpreter and walk through the president's family home in the country, while collecting nuggets of information on his life and achievements. Camps, festivals and celebrations are also organized here. This is a worthwhile trip indeed for those doing research, or those with a keen interest in politics and public lives. Check the website for some good reading before you visit.