COURAGE Opens at Johnson C. Smith University
November 1, 2012 The nationally acclaimed exhibit, COURAGE: The Carolina Story that Changed America, officially opened to the public today at Johnson C. Smith University's James B. Duke Memorial Library. The exhibit is on a long-term loan from Levine Museum of the New South, who first created and presented the exhibit in 2004.
The interactive display chronicles the stories of the citizens of Clarendon County, S.C., who fought for civil rights and equality in education in their community. The glorious and hideous moments of the Civil Rights Movement are highlighted in the exhibition through the De Laine family and other residents of Clarendon County, S.C. “This exhibit has a meaningful connection with Johnson C. Smith University, given Reverend J.A. De Laine’s son, B.B. De Laine, and daughter, Ophelia De Laine Gona, both graduated from the university,” said Dr. Ronald L. Carter, president of Johnson C. Smith University. "During the Civil Rights Movement, university alumni played an imperative role as activists for change," said Carter. “The exhibit functions as a memorial and inspiration to the legacy of the university."
COURAGE was first presented in Charlotte by the museum to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the landmark Brown v. Board of Education Supreme Court decision and has also toured other cities across the country, including Altlanta, New York, Baltimore and Los Angeles. Among the numerous photos and artifacts, COURAGE features photographs by James Gibson, whose collection was recently donated to the university. "The board and staff of Levine Museum of the New South are delighted that the COURAGE exhibit has found a Charlotte home at Johnson C. Smith University," said Emily Zimmern, president of Levine Museum of the New South. "It is our great hope that the exhibition will be a source of inspiration and a catalyst for activism for years to come."
The COURAGE experience is open to the public and students during regular library hours and admission is free. Group tours may be scheduled by calling the library at 704-371-6740.
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Levine Museum of the New South Receives Transformative Grant from The Kresge Foundation
August 20, 2012 Levine Museum of the New South has been awarded a grant of $890,000 from the nationally renowned Kresge Foundation as part of its Facility Investments and Building Reserves grant program.
Highly competitive and now in its final year, the Facility Investment and Building Reserves program's goal is to help communities use arts and culture as a tool to create healthy, vibrant communities. Applicants were required to examine their comprehensive capitalization plans and annual costs associated with operating and maintaining the physical infrastructure. In October 2011, the foundation announced the 2012 grants would be the last for this particular program.
As a result, Kresge received 372 applications from 44 states requesting over $263 million. Levine Museum was one of nine organizations awarded a grant.
With Kresge’s support Levine Museum will be able to make long-overdue and much needed building repairs and improvements, including replacement of a compromised roof and re-cladding of the building exterior, as well as fully fund plant reserves. Without Kresge’s grant, these initiatives would have taken an estimated ten years to complete and also would have been vulnerable to any negative shift in the economy. Not only will these imitative be addressed in a more accelerated timeframe, but museum staff and board members will now be able to focus fundraising efforts on programming and exhibits and growing the endowment.
"We were particularly impressed with Levine's focus on history as a catalyst for civic engagement and dialogue and in its efforts in redefining the role museums can play in the civic life of their communities," shared Alice Carle, Program Director of Kresge. "Levine also presented a comprehensive capitalization plan designed to support and strengthen its ability to deliver on this mission and we are proud to help support that plan."
"Receiving the news of this remarkable grant will go down as a very special milestone in the history of Levine Museum," stated museum president Emily Zimmern. "Because Levine Museum owns its building, we face steeper challenges in shaping a sustainable business model than institutions who operate in city-owned facilities. Our fixed costs are significantly higher and include all capital repairs and replacement costs, as well as building operations. We are incredibly grateful to Kresge for helping us achieve a sounder capital structure.”
In addition, the Kresge grant will have an impact beyond the awarded $890,000. It will be matched dollar for dollar by the Leon Levine Foundation 10-year, $3 million challenge grant announced in April 2011.
About The Kresge Foundation
The Kresge Foundation, headquartered in a suburb of Detroit, Michigan was established in 1924, with an initial gift of $1.6 million from Sebastian Spering Kresge. Twelve years earlier, he and his business partner, John G. McCrory, opened the first five-and-10-cent store – a revolutionary merchandising idea at the time that years later became known as Kmart. Now, the Kresge Foundation is one of the largest, private foundations in the country with more than $3.1 billion in assets.
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Levine Museum of the New South Offering Free Admission to Active Military and Their Families
May 25, 2012 Levine Museum of the New South is excited to be a part of Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 1,300 museums across America offering free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2012. This is the third consecutive year of Blue Star Museums and of Levine Museum's participation. Other Charlotte participating museums for 2012 include the Bechtlr Museum of Modern Art and The Mint Museum. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
"Through Blue Star Museums, the arts community is extending a special invitation to military families to enjoy over 1,600 museums this summer," said NEA Chairman Rocco Landesman. "This is both an opportunity to thank military families for their service and sacrifice, as well as a chance to create connections between museums and these families that will continue throughout the year. Especially for families with limited time together, those on a limited budget, and ones that have to relocate frequently, Blue Star Museums offers an opportunity to enjoy one another and become more fully integrated into a community."
This year, more than 1,600 (and counting) museums in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and American Samoa are taking part in the initiative. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families.
FOLLOW: Blue Star Museums is on Twitter at @NEAarts, hashtag #bluestarmuse. To learn more about the White House's Joining Forces initiative visit JoiningForces.gov and follow on Twitter @JoiningForces and on Facebook. Follow Blue Star Families on Twitter, @BlueStarFamily, and on Facebook.
ABOUT BLUE STAR MUSEUMS
Blue Star Museums is a collaboration among the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, the Department of Defense, and more than 1,600 museums across America. The program runs from Memorial Day, May 28, 2012 through Labor Day, September 3, 2012. The free admission program is available to active-duty military and their family members (military ID holder and up to five family members). Active duty military include Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, and active duty National Guard and active duty Reserve members. Some special or limited-time museum exhibits may not be included in this free admission program. To see which museums are participating, visit www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.
ABOUT BLUE STAR FAMILIES
Blue Star Families is a national, nonprofit network of military families from all ranks and services, including guard and reserve, with a mission to support, connect and empower military families. In addition to morale and empowerment programs, Blue Star Families raises awareness of the challenges and strengths of military family life and works to make military life more sustainable through programs and partnerships like Operation Honor Cards, MilKidz Club and Blue Star Museums. Membership includes military spouses, children and parents as well as service members, veterans and the civilians who strongly support them. To learn more about Blue Star Families, visit www.bluestarfam.org.
ABOUT THE NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS
The National Endowment for the Arts was established by Congress in 1965 as an independent agency of the federal government. To date, the NEA has awarded more than $4 billion to support artistic excellence, creativity, and innovation for the benefit of individuals and communities. The NEA extends its work through partnerships with state arts agencies, local leaders, other federal agencies, and the philanthropic sector. To join the discussion on how art works, visit the NEA at arts.gov.
This is the latest NEA program to bring quality arts programs to the military, veterans, and their families. Other NEA programs for the military have included Operation Homecoming: Writing the Wartime Experience; Great American Voices Military Base Tour; and Shakespeare in American Communities Military Base Tour.
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Levine Museum Selected for Inaugural National Innovation Lab for Museums
January 18, 2012 Levine Museum of the New South (NC), the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art (MO) and Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (CA) have been selected to participate in Round 1 of the Innovation Lab for Museums - a unique incubation and prototyping program to foster programmatic and organizational innovation. Innovation Lab for Museums is presented through a partnership between the American Association of Museums' Center for the Future of Museums and EmcArts, funded by a generous $500,000 grant from MetLife Foundation.
The Innovation Lab for Museums is a four-phase program over 18 to 24 months and builds on the long-standing success of the Innovation Lab model, designed and managed by EmcArts. The Lab provides museums with facilitated support in researching, prototyping, evaluating and disseminating innovative responses to organizational challenges. As part of the program, each museum is awarded a $40,000 grant to help accelerate the prototyping of its project.
Richard Evans, President of EmcArts, comments on the first Round of the Innovation Lab for Museums:
"EmcArts' national Innovation Labs provide a timely response to the rapid and unprecedented change in the operating environment for the arts. Now, more than ever, adaptive change - not just tweaking business-as-usual - is essential if organizations are to remain relevant and thrive in this new era. Our approach has proven its value to the arts field, fostering the design and testing of significant innovations that otherwise would likely not have reached the public. We are grateful for the strong support of MetLife Foundation, which has recognized the urgency and importance of this work on a national scale."
Elizabeth Merritt, Director of the Center for the Future of Museums (CFM), noted:
"Museums need to innovate in order to successfully navigate the rapidly changing landscape of the 21st Century. The American Association of Museums is pleased to work with EmcArts to adapt their Innovation Lab program for museums in order to encourage experimentation and risk-taking. The lessons the Lab museums learn will benefit the museum field as a whole, and pioneer the successful strategies of the future."
Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation, comments:
"MetLife Foundation is proud to continue its longstanding commitment to ensuring the vitality of the museum field. We are pleased to foster innovation and experimentation in museums through the Innovation Lab program and support projects that will engage community members in the rich landscape of American museums."
For questions or additional information, contact: Liz Dreyer, EmcArts, (212) 362.8541, LDreyer@EmcArts.org; Dewey Blanton, American Association of Museums, (202) 218.7704, DBlanton@aam-us.org; or Peggy Atherlay, MetLife Foundation, (212) 578.1525, email@example.com.
Information about Round 2 of the Innovation Lab for Museums will be announced on EmcArts' website (www.EmcArts.org) in Spring 2012.
Round 1 Levine Museum: Project Description
The Latino New South Project will begin to construct a "learning network" that brings together history museums in the southeastern U.S. Long known for its white and black racial landscape, Charlotte, NC, is now multiethnic and multicultural. Since 1990, the city's Latino population has increased from barely 1% of total population to over 11% in 2010. “Immigrant integration” – full and meaningful inclusion in community life – is a major nationwide challenge that is especially keen in the South. Levine Museum will use its skilled staff, experienced board and active community partners to begin forging links with museums in Atlanta and Birmingham. The aim is for Latino communities to become full partners with museums in the work of community-building.
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Announcing Taste of the New South 2012
January 1, 2012 Levine Museum of the New South has exciting changes planned for 2012 and the signature fundraising event Taste of the New South. For the last 14 years, the Museum has hosted this event in partnership with regional resorts and inns.Each year has attractedg a larger audience and raised more money than the previous year. To continue this growth while also offering guests a new experience, the Museum is adapting the event model to be more reflective of the institution's mission and values and add additional eements of fun and excitement. Moving forward, the Museum will shift the focus from regional inns and resorts to celebrating the cuisine and culture of different parts of the southeastern United States. Each year a different region will be selected, and the Museum will present cuisine, cocktails and cultural aspects that make that region unique.
2012 is an important year for North Carolina. Inspired by the energy and excitement the Democratic National Convention has brought to the Carolinas, Levine Museum will focus on what makes our region culturally unique and will host Taste of the New South: Local Flavor.
The evening will highlight the wonderful cuisine, cocktails and culture of the Carolinas, with the local food movement incorporated throughout. The Honorary Chairs for the event will be North Carolina natives, Sarah and Tim Belk & Kim and Johnny Belk.
The financial support raised from Taste of the New South: Local Flavor will continue to help underwrite the Museum’s ongoing educational and outreach programming for middle school, high school and college students. This also includes professional development for teachers, off-site school experiences, on-site exhibit tours, programs and facilitated dialogue.
If you'd like to support the event by joining the host committee or becoming a corporate sponsor, contact, Jenni Gaisbauer, SVP of Development at 704.333.1887, ext. 232, firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Southeast Civil Rights Museums To Spotlight Immigration
June 6, 2011 Seven history museums in the Southeast are meeting in Charlotte next week to launch the Civil Rights Sites of Conscience Network. Their goal: to shed light on the challenges of immigration today by tapping into the history of the US civil rights movement. Representatives from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (AL), International Civil Rights Center and Museum (NC), Levine Museum of the New South (NC), Louisiana State Museum (LA), National Civil Rights Museum (TN), National Center for Civil and Human Rights (GA), and the Duke Human Rights Center's Pauli Murray Project (NC) aim to create new public programs that will bring the voices of their visitors into local and national debates around contemporary immigration.
"Civil rights museums help us understand how our nation grappled with injustice and intolerance in the past, making them ideal places to discuss how these issues still haunt us," says Elizabeth Silkes, executive director of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience, a worldwide network of historic sites and museums that activate the power of the past to create a more just future and organized the Civil Rights Network. "Through the visionary steps these museums are taking, we will gain lessons from our history that can help us overcome the rifts in our country and our communities today."
This work has special resonance in the Southeast. Immigration has transformed cities with historically black and white American communities. In the past 20 years, the Southeast has emerged as the region with the highest degree of Latino growth. In Charlotte, for instance, one in eight residents is now foreign born, with approximately half being Hispanic. Controversial laws like the one passed in Georgia this May, which requires police to check the immigration status of crime suspects if they believe them to be in the country illegally, reflect the need for constructive conversation about how communities can integrate so that multiethnic cities can thrive. How can the South's history provide a window onto the experiences we face today?
Organized by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience and hosted at Levine Museum of the New South, the launch meeting in Charlotte (taking place June 14-17) will focus on how Civil Rights history and contemporary immigration intersect. Hearing from experts in Southern history and migration, and building from Levine Museum's exceptional public program around the exhibit Changing Places: From Black and White to Technicolor, participating museums will develop a framework for public programs that invite visitors to connect the history of American civil rights to immigration today in an open and positive environment.
The Civil Rights Sites of Conscience Network grew from a larger Immigration Sites of Conscience Network, which was launched in 2009 by the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. The Immigration Network consists of 28 sites in the United States and Europe that remember aspects of immigration and civil rights history and share a common commitment to use their histories to open dialogue on immigration today. (See full list of Network members below.)
This project is made possible in part with support from the U.S. Institute of Museum and Library Service, the Nathan Cummings Foundation and generous unrestricted support from the Oak Foundation, the Open Society Institute, the Sigrid Rausing Trust.
As of May 2011, the Immigration Network includes:
Angel Island State Park & Angel Island Immigration Station Foundation (San Francisco Bay Area, CA)
Arab American National Museum (Dearborn, MI)
Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (Birmingham, AL)
Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum (Austin, TX)
Le Bois du Cazier (Marcinelle, Belgium)
Cambodian American Heritage Museum (Chicago, IL)
Chicago Cultural Alliance (Chicago, IL)
Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo) at The Field Museum (Chicago, IL)
Galata Museo del Mare (Genoa, Italy)
International Civil Rights Center & Museum (Greensboro, NC)
Jane Addams Hull-House Museum (Chicago, IL)
Japanese American National Museum (Los Angeles, CA)
Levine Museum of the New South (Charlotte, NC)
Louisiana State Museum (New Orleans, LA)
Lowell National Historic Park (Lowell, MA)
Lower East Side Tenement Museum (New York, NY)
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historic Site (Atlanta, GA)
Mu.MA (Genoa, Italy)
Museum of Tolerance (Los Angeles, CA)
National Center for Civil and Human Rights (Atlanta, GA)
National Civil Rights Museum (Memphis, TN)
National Hispanic Cultural Center (Albuquerque, NM)
New Mexico History Museum (Santa Fe, NM)
Paso El Norte Immigration History Museum/University of Texas El Paso (El Paso, TX)
The Duke Human Rights Center Pauli Murray Project (Durham, NC)
Rosa Parks Museum (Montgomery, AL)
Save Ellis Island Foundation (New York, NY)
Skirball Center (Los Angeles, CA)
Statue of Liberty National Monument and Ellis Island (New York, NY)
Tsongas Industrial History Center (Lowell, MA)
Wing Luke Asian Museum (Seattle, WA)
About the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience
The International Coalition of Sites of Conscience is a worldwide network of "Sites of Conscience" - historic sites, museums and initiatives dedicated to remembering past struggles for justice and addressing their contemporary legacies. Members like the Lower East Side Tenement Museum in the United States, the Gulag Museum in Russia, and the District Six Museum in South Africa foster public dialogue on social issues to build lasting cultures of human rights. The Coalition provides member sites with direct funding for civic engagement programs, organizes learning exchanges ranging from one-on-one collaborations to international conferences, and conducts strategic advocacy for sites and the Sites of Conscience movement. Currently, the Coalition is led by 17 Accredited Sites of Conscience and includes more than 260 members in 47 countries. www.sitesofconscience.org.
The Immigration Sites of Conscience Network started with 14 historic sites and museums from the United States and Europe, who joined together in August 2008 to use historical perspective and heritage to foster productive dialogue on contemporary immigration. Today, 31 institutions form this ever-expanding network.
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Levine Museum Exceeds Fund Goal, Receives 10-Year Challenge Grant
April 26, 2011 Less than halfway into its 20th anniversary year, Levine Museum of the New South announced today it has exceeded its anniversary fundraising goal and received a 10-year challenge grant from The Leon Levine Foundation to help build the sustainable financial support needed to survive and thrive in any economic environment.
In addition, to commemorate the anniversary, the museum is hosting a free community celebration on Sunday, May 1, when visitors will be invited to tour the newly updated and expanded Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers exhibit.
"Creating innovative exhibits with the community and sparking dialogue on our region's most important issues have been inspiring and rewarding. As we celebrate, we're also looking to the future and want to make certain we're ready for the next two decades with a solid financial foundation," said Emily Zimmern, president of Levine Museum of the New South.
Since fall 2010, the museum has raised more than $635,000, including a $150,000 matching grant from The Leon Levine Foundation. The money raised, nearly double the $350,000 goal established for the museum's 20th anniversary year, will fund programming next fiscal year and begin to build reserves for the future.
To help assure ongoing financial support regardless of economic conditions, The Leon Levine Foundation went a step further with an innovative challenge grant, which begins June 30, 2012 and could total $3 million over a 10-year period, provided the museum raises a baseline level of funding from other sources in the community each year.
- The challenge grant will help the museum meet the capital and operating costs associated with owning its own facility and bolster an endowment to cover future building costs, which frees other support to underwrite the museum's award-winning programming.
- Under the two-tier annual grant, the museum would receive $100,000 a year if it reaches its current level of operational funding.
- In addition, unrestricted funding raised above the current baseline would be matched dollar for dollar, up to $200,000 per year.
- If the museum meets both challenges in a year, $200,000 would be allocated to grow its endowment to withstand future economic downturns, with remaining foundation and community funds allocated to museum operations and reserves.
"All told, the $300,000 per year in challenge gifts - with the potential for up to $3 million over the next 10 years - will help assure a financially healthy museum poised for even greater future success," said Jamie McLawhorn, chairman of the museum's board of directors. "It's no secret that nonprofit organizations have faced financial stress during the difficult economy of the last three years. We are extremely grateful that our generous founding supporters, Leon and Sandra Levine, have stepped up again to challenge us in a very responsible way to build a sustainable organization. Now it's up to us, with the support of the entire community, to meet the challenge."
Sandra Levine, a founding museum board member, added, "Leon and I are delighted to give this very special museum a foundation that will allow it to both continue to help us look back and learn from the past, and look forward to serve and engage our community for many future anniversaries."
Like all nonprofits, Levine Museum of the New South has had to adapt to the financial stresses of the past three years. The museum reduced its staff by a third and cut all but essential expenses. Despite these financial and staffing constraints, the museum has continued to present cutting-edge programs and garner national attention. In 2010 its Changing Places exhibit received the museum's second Excellence in Exhibition Award from the American Association of Museums. The current exhibit on display, COURAGE: The Carolina Story That Changed America, received the same top prize in 2006.
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Levine Museum Receives National Exhibit Award from American Association of Museums
June 6, 2010 Levine Museum of the New South has been awarded an Excellence in Exhibition Award for the exhibit Changing Places: From Black and White to Technicolor. Recognized for "Special Achievement in Community Engagement," the award was announced at the American Association of Museums (AAM) Annual Meeting & MuseumExpo in Los Angeles, and determined by a select panel of judges composed of museums professionals.
Changing Places emerged from a field of 16 entries from across the nation to earn the honor. The entries for the competition came from museums large and small, reflecting the vast array of museum types, including art, history, children's, science, zoos and aquariums. In announcing the award, the judges noted: "Changing Places actively involved the visitors from the moment they entered the space. Their responses are a key component of the exhibition. Highly worth a visit to see!"
In presenting the award, competition judge Daryl Fischer shared: "Changing Places was exemplary in many respects from design to curatorship to evaluation but we particularly wanted to highlight the way the exhibit engaged the larger Charlotte community from start to finish; in fact, the engagement went well beyond the run of the exhibition, and continues today. We believe the Levine has set a new standard in this respect, an inspiring model for other museums to aim for."
The competition judges were guided by the National Association of Museum Exhibitions (NAME) Standards for Museum Exhibition and Indicators of Excellence. Among the criteria imposed upon entrants are: the relevancy of exhibition media, content and design to its theme, subject, collection and audience. This was the 22nd year of the competition.
Accepting the award on behalf of the museum's board, staff, volunteers and community partners, President Emily Zimmern stated: "We believe passionately that shared stories build community, and Changing Places represents the fullest expression of this approach. With a 3,500 sq. ft. exhibition at its heart, the project was envisioned and shaped at every step to serve as a catalyst for community engagement. It focuses on a major challenge for the Charlotte region - how to adjust to the dramatic demographic and cultural change brought about by the arrival of newcomers from across the country and around the world in the past 20 years. By presenting a multipart project co-created and co-delivered with community partners, that shows how history can help illuminate a significant contemporary issue while also raising important questions and sparking broader community conversation, Changing Places offers a new museum model worthy of serious consideration. Community building, innovation, civic literacy - all are called for as we re-envision our future."
"Our world and our audiences demand creativity, scholarship and authenticity in museum exhibits these days," said AAM president Ford W. Bell. "Clearly the winners of this prestigious competition have met - and exceeded - these benchmarks, as evidenced by the reaction of the public and their peers."
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Charlotte Symphony, Levine Museum, and The Mint Museum Partner on Changing Places
October 13, 2009 The Charlotte Symphony, Levine Museum of the New South, and The Mint Museum of Art have forged a special collaboration to present innovative, multi-disciplinary programming as part of the Symphony's On Campus project. Now in its second year, CSO on Campus will serve six local colleges: UNC Charlotte, Central Piedmont Community College, Queens University of Charlotte, Davidson College, Johnson C. Smith University, and Winthrop University. The project encourages collaboration among students and professionals and provides students with hands-on learning in the arts.
This year's On Campus project is rooted in a current exhibit at Levine Museum, Changing Places: From Black and White to Technicolor, which looks at the growing population of "newcomers" to the Charlotte area and their impact on the larger region. Through multi-media orchestral concerts on four campuses and smaller ensemble performances, discussions, and lecture/demonstrations, the On Campus project explores the effects of migration and immigration on artistic expression in general and on music in particular.
The On Campus events take place during the month of November, coinciding with the opening of The Mint Museum of Art's new exhibition, Loïs Mailou Jones: A Life in Vibrant Color. Loïs Mailou Jones (1905-1998), a pioneering 20th century African-American artist, "changed places" multiple times in her life, moving from Boston to North Carolina to Paris and Haiti and Africa. The exhibition features more than 70 works, all of which demonstrate the profound influence that Jones's migratory life had on her artistry. Images of Jones's paintings will be used to create a film component to accompany orchestral music in the four On Campus concerts.
"It is especially important in these times that cultural organizations work together," said CSO Executive Director Jonathan Martin. "In this project, partners will share publicity and work together to create innovative programming that builds upon each other's missions and activities in a coherent way. Not only is that a wise use of resources, but it produces richer, multi-layered cultural experiences for the local community."
For a complete schedule of events visit www.charlottesymphony.org .
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Taste of the New South to Feature Pinehurst Resort
March 11, 2009 On April 1, 2009 at 6 pm, Levine Museum of the New South hosts the annual fundraiser Taste of the New South and is proud to feature Pinehurst Resort as this year's partner.
Taste of the New South is an evening cocktail reception celebrating southern food, hospitality and entertaining. Held annually since 1997, the museum invites a prestigious, regional resort or inn to "headline" the event. The featured property shares its interpretation of new southern flavor through its chef's signature cuisine. Guests not only get a literal taste of the food, but also the resort's atmosphere as the museum is transformed through décor to recreate the feel of the resort.
While Taste of the New South is in its thirteenth year, the concept allows the museum to produce a distinct event each spring. The first event featured The Inn at Blackberry Farm. Since then, resorts ranging from The Cloisters in Georgia to Biltmore in Asheville have employed creative means to deliver an authentic experience at the museum.
The resort, atmosphere, menu and celebration of longtime and new Southern traditions has established Taste as a unique event with much for guests to enjoy each year. This year will be no exception. While internationally renowned for its golf, Pinehurst also boasts numerous accolades in other areas, including a Mobil Four-Star, AAA Four-Diamond hotel, spa, and award-winning restaurants.
For Taste, Pinehurst will treat guests to a variety of themed food stations, such as The Heirloom Farm, the Spa, and the Corn Action, as well as Seafood, Beef, Pork and others. Items on the menu: Mango, Sweet Potato and Duck Turnovers; Curry Prawn and Collard Greens Springroll; Farm Raised BBQ Pulled Pork with Warm Brie Cheese; and Coconut Bamboo Rice Pudding with Litchee Foam.
Join Pinehurst and Levine Museum on Wednesday, April 1, 2007 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $85 for Museum members, and $100 for non-members (includes a 1-month membership). In addition to enjoying food, wine, music and exhibits, guests will have the chance to win special raffle prizes - including a weekend at Pinehurst and two $600 US Airways gift cards. Raffle tickets are $25 each, or 5 for $100. To rsvp and purchase tickets to the event, call 704-333-1887 ext. 232 or email email@example.com.
All proceeds from Taste of the New South support Levine Museum's educational programs and initiatives.
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Southern Roots, Global Vision A Success
April 25, 2008 On April 15, the Museum welcomed Charlie Rose back to Charlotte to host Southern Roots, Global Vision 2008. An audience of over 500 attended, including many general and visionary museum members, corporate friends, sponsors and others from the community.
After welcoming remarks from Museum President Emily Zimmern, UNC Charlotte Provost Joan Lorden and Deloitte Managing Partner Irv Bisnov, Charlie Rose took the stage and introduced the panelists: Wachovia's Ken Thompson, Cynthia Marshall of AT&T, Tom Nelson of National Gypsum, Charlotte Bobcats owner Bob Johnson, Charlotte Observer Publisher Ann Caulkins, and Bank of America’s Amy Woods Brinkley. With an official "nod" from Rose, UNC-TV began filming.
The hour-long conversation touched on topics ranging from education to the economy, housing to the environment. While the majority of the evening focused on more serious topics, it also included humor and light-hearted moments. During the question and answer session, C.D. Spangler asked Rose to describe being a high school basketball player in Henderson, N.C., and his experience going out for the team at Duke University (he didn't make it!).
Special thanks to presenting sponsor Deloitte, education sponsor UNC Charlotte’s Belk College of Business, and media sponsor the Charlotte Observer for their support of the event.
The program will be broadcast statewide on UNC-TV on May 8 at 10 p.m. and on May 11 at 1 p.m., with additional airings throughout the summer and on their digital channel.
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COURAGE Exhibit Begins National Tour
October 2, 2009 COURAGE opened in New York at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture, part of the New York Public Library. The exhibit will remain on display through December 21, 2009. In February 2010, the exhibit heads to the west coast, where it will be on display at the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, cA threough August of 2010.
August 29, 2008 COURAGE closed at the Atlanta History Center on June 22. During the 6 month run, over 40,000 visitors experienced the exhibit. Up next: Baltimore! COURAGE travels to the Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture in Baltimore where it will open in October and be on display through March 2009.
January 13, 2008 The traveling version of the Museum's COURAGE exhibit officially begins its national tour this month. On January 19, 2008 it debuts at the Atlanta History Center and will remain on display through June 22, 2008. The first of 4 sites across the country that will host the exhibit, the Atlanta History Center is celebrating the opening of the exhibit in conjunction with the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend.
COURAGE was first created and presented by the Museum in 2004. The exhibit tells the story of the De Laine family and the brave citizens of Clarendon County, South Carolina, who brought the first lawsuit that eventually led to the landmark 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown v. Board of Education.
The national tour, underwritten by a generous grant from Bank of America Charitable Foundation, will continue through 2009. After Atlanta, COURAGE will travel to The Reginald F. Lewis Museum of Maryland African American History & Culture in Baltimore, to the Museum of Tolerance in Los Angeles, and to the The Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York.
In addition to the traveling version, the grant has underwritten a long-term installation here in Charlotte. The Museum plans to announce the site for the installation later this year.
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Charlie Rose Returns to Charlotte to Host Southern Roots, Global Vision
January 13, 2008 Back by popular demand, on Tuesday, April 15, 2008, Emmy Award winning television personality Charlie Rose will return to Charlotte to host a special roundtable discussion called Southern Roots, Global Vision with a panel of Charlotte's preeminent business leaders in the McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square.
Ten years ago, the Museum and UNC-TV presented and broadcast this wildly successful program with Mr. Rose who interviewed corporate titans of that time Hugh McColl, Ed Crutchfield, Crandall Bowles, Ruth Shaw, Dick Spangler and John Guffy as they looked at economic development in the New South as the new century approached.
Now eight years into the new century, the business landscape and key players have changed and the discussion will broaden, focusing on the region's future as a major player in the global economy. The 2008 panel will feature Amy Brinkley (Global Risk Executive, Bank of America), Ken Thompson (CEO,Wachovia Corporation), Bob Johnson (Majority owner, Charlotte Bobcats), Ann Caulkins (Publisher, Charlotte Observer), Tom Nelson (CEO, National Gypsum) and Cynthia Marshall (President, AT&T North Carolina). Again, the program will be broadcast statewide on UNC-TV.
Prior to the program, the Museum will host a reception for its Visionary Members, Board Members, Panelists and Corporate Sponsors. The program will immediately follow at 8 pm and take place in the McGlohon Theatre at Spirit Square across the street from the Museum.
Through Feb. 27, 2008, Museum members have the opportunity to purchase tickets for $12 before they go on sale to the public by calling 704.333.1887 ext. 241. On March 3, tickets go on sale to the public for $20.
Levine Museum is honored to partner with the following sponsors for this program: Deloitte, UNCCharlotte Belk College of Business, and The Charlotte Observer.
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Remember and Explore Doug Marlette's South
November 2007 On November 15, Levine Museum of the New South invites guests to explore and remember "Doug Marlette’s South." Using Doug's writings, political cartoons and Kudzu comic strip, a panel of Doug's former colleagues and friends will examine and discuss the themes in his work and his thoughts about the region he proudly called home.
The discussion will be moderated by Ed Williams, editorial page editor of the Charlotte Observer. Panelists will include Mark Ethridge, managing editor of the Charlotte Observer during Doug's tenure; Dr. Tom Hanchett, staff historian at Levine Museum and curator of the Comic Stripped exhibit; and Kathleen Parker, nationally syndicated columnist and close friend of Doug's.
Born in Greensboro, NC, Doug Marlette grew up in Mississippi and Florida. He graduated from Florida State University, and began drawing political cartoons for the Charlotte Observer in 1972. Doug created Kudzu while there, and in 1988 he won the Pulitzer Prize for his editorial cartoons. Doug's fierce love of the South and his enthusiasm for wrestling with Southern stereotypes lie at the heart of Levine Museum's exhibit Comic Stripped: A Revealing Look at the South in Cartoons. He created a custom drawing for the exhibit's logo and loaned original Kudzu artwork.
The reception begins at 6pm, followed by the discussion at 7pm. Admission is free. Reservations are requested by calling 704.333.1887 ext. 501.
The evening is sponsored by the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the Charlotte Observer. The program is presented in conjunction with the exhibit Comic Stripped, which has been made possible by support from the Triad Foundation, RLJ Companies and Creative Loafing.
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Levine Museum Named a Winner in Local Media "Best of" Awards
August 2007 Levine Museum of the New South received two BOB Awards in Charlotte magazine's May 2007 Best of the Best issue. Presented annually, the BOB Awards are defined by the magazine as the "people, places and things that make Charlotte a great city."
In a category named "Essentially Charlotte," the Museum was recognized alongside Mert's Heart and Soul as the best "Place to take visitors." In addition, the exhibit Families of Abraham, which was created by Eleanor Brawley and is on display at the museum through July 31, was named best "Museum exhibition."
The Charlotte Observer's annual Big O Awards is designed to let readers know about the can't-miss food, places and personalities this region has to offer. Levine Museum received a Big O Award for being the "Best Place to Learn About Charlotte."
In addition, the Museum was the Critics' Pick for "Best Museum" in Creative Loafing's annual Best of Charlotte issue.
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Students Come Together Under A Jerusalem Sky
May 7, 2007 Levine Museum of the New South is excited to share a unique youth program and exhibit titled Jerusalem Sky, inspired by Mark Podwal's book Jerusalem Sky: Stars, Crosses and Crescents and presented in conjunction with Families of Abraham.
Under leadership of Levine Museum educator Rod Garvin, a group of sixty one 4th and 5th grade students from Temple Beth El, Trinity Episcopal School and Al-Huda Islamic Academy have been participating in a pen pal program which began on March 25, 2007. The students were assigned pen pals from one of the partner schools, and asked to share thoughts and questions on religion, creating a dialog between diverse groups. At the same time, the students have created two-dimensional artwork that either expresses their own religious and cultural experience or commonalities they discovered among the three faiths. The result of their work is now on exhibit, and will be on display through July 8.
Over 160 people celebrated the project during an opening event at Levine Museum on Sunday May 6. Participating students, parents, teachers and school administrators attended. The students met their pen pals and participated in facilitated activities led by Anti-Defamation League educators.
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Summer Specials at and around Levine Museum
June 11, 2007 Levine Museum of the New South is excited to extend to members and visitors special offers from uptown partners this summer.
Beginning June 13, Discovery Place will present Gunther von Hagens' BODY WORLDS: The Anatomical Exhibition of Real Human Bodies - a first-of-its-kind exhibition in which visitors have the rare opportunity to learn about the wonders of the human body by viewing real human bodies, preserved through a process called Plastination.
Levine Museum visitors and members are eligible for a $2 discount off admission to BODY WORLDS Monday through Friday, June 13-July 31. Download a coupon now or pick one up when you visit Levine Museum. You must present coupon at Discovery Place's Will Call to receive discount. Advance reservations to Body Worlds are highly recommended. Call (704) 372-6261 or visit www.discoveryplace.org for more information.
Before heading over to Discovery Place, visitors should stop by Reid's Fine Foods, located next door in Seventh Street Station. Simply show your Museum admission sticker at any of the registers or customer service desk and receive a free fountain drink from Reid's. In addition, all Reid's Rewards cardholders are eligible for a $1 off Museum admission.
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Taste of the New South 2007 to Feature Biltmore
March 1, 2007 Levine Museum's signature fundraising event, Taste of the New South is an evening cocktail reception celebrating southern food, hospitality and entertaining each year. The museum invites a prestigious, regional resort or inn to "headline" the event. The featured property shares its interpretation of new southern flavor by showcasing its chef's signature cuisine. In addition, the museum is transformed through dramatic decorations, images and floral arrangements to recreate a sampling of the resort atmosphere onsite at the museum. While Taste of the New South is in its eleventh year, the concept allows the museum to produce a distinct event each spring.
This year continues the tradition of southern hospitality, inspired cuisine and first-class service. Levine Museum welcomes Biltmore - a National Historic Landmark which includes America's largest private residence, surrounding gardens and forests, a winery and The Inn on Biltmore Estate.
Taste will feature a menu created by Edwin French, Executive Chef of Biltmore Bistro, the estate's flagship restaurant located next to the Biltmore Winery. French, a graduate of Johnson and Wales University, has been in his position at Biltmore Bistro since 2004.
When asked about the menu for Taste, French promised guests would experience Biltmore’s "field to table" approach and enjoy estate-raised beef, lamb, greens and vegetables. The cuisine will pair beautifully with Biltmore wines, which are also on the menu at this year's event. To accompany French's elegant and mouthwatering menu, Biltmore has exciting plans for the event décor drawing inspiration directly from Biltmore Estate.
See and taste for yourself. Join Biltmore and the museum on March 21, 2007 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $85 for Museum members, and $100 for non-members (includes a 1-month membership). Guests will receive special giveaways from Biltmore, such as a 12 month pass to Biltmore and a gift card for a 2-hour driving experience courtesy of Land Rover. Biltmore will also be providing a special raffle prize - guests will have the chance to win a two-night stay for two at Biltmore and two domestic roundtrip US Airways travel vouchers. Raffle tickets are $25 each, or 5 for $100.
Purchase tickets online or call 704.333.1887 ext. 243.
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Levine Museum Celebrates Black History Month with Programs, Exhibits and More
February 1, 2007 During the month of February, the Museum and WSOC-TV invite visitors and viewers to explore local black heritage. WSOC-TV and the partners of 9 Family Focus are pleased to offer a Family Focus admission special. Ask for the 9 Family Focus discount and receive free admission with each paid admission every day in February. Visitors will enjoy the ongoing exhibit Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers, the new exhibit Palmer Memorial Institute, and the photographic narrative Families of Abraham . Visit the Exhibits section to learn more.
In addition, the Museum's Freedom Song workshop is available to 9 Family Focus viewers for just $5 per family. Visit the calendar for more information on the workshop and other programs.
Also during the month of February, WSOC-TV is presenting a "Celebration of Black Heritage" on television and online. A series of vignettes produced in partnership with the Museum tell the stories of local history and African American leaders. Visit www.wsoctv.com to learn more.
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Levine Museum of the New South Lobby To Get New Look
August 10, 2006 Beginning August 14, the Museum's lobby will be undergoing a renovation to better serve visitors. We will be closed to the public on Monday, August 14, and reopen on Tuesday, August 15. The Museum will remain open for the duration of the renovation. Please pardon our dust during this time!
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Levine Museum of the New South Announces Plans for Permament and Traveling Exhibit
May 1, 2006 On Monday, May 1 Levine Museum of the New South announced the creation of a permanent installation of the award-winning exhibition COURAGE: The Carolina Story That Changed America in Charlotte and a traveling version that will be displayed in four communities across the nation. This permanent installation and traveling version of COURAGE is being underwritten by a $500,000 gift from the Bank of America Charitable Foundation.
"Bank of America proudly supported COURAGE in 2004, and we are pleased to facilitate the continued exploration of and ongoing education regarding this important period in African-American history," said Graham Denton, Charlotte market president for Bank of America. "We are delighted to help Levine Museum of the New South capture this important aspect of our culture and heritage and, in turn, to share it with our associates, customers, and community."
COURAGE was originally developed by and exhibited at Levine Museum of the New South in 2004. It traces the story of Rev. J.A. De Laine and the other brave citizens of Clarendon County, S.C. who brought the first of the five lawsuits that would become the landmark 1954 Supreme Court case Brown v. Board of Education declaring "separate but equal" unconstitutional. The exhibition was on display for eight months, and included a dialogue component called "Conversations on Courage" and extensive programming for the community.
When COURAGE ended in Charlotte, the exhibition traveled to McKissick Museum in Columbia, S.C. Since then significant portions of COURAGE have been combined with material from the Smithsonian Institution's Brown exhibition, and was on display at the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, South Africa at the request of the U.S. Consulate. In addition, COURAGE garnered national media attention and awards, including the nation's top exhibition award from the American Association of Museums. COURAGE was also instrumental in the museum receiving the National Award for Museum Service from the Institute for Museum and Library Services, at a White House ceremony hosted by First Lady Laura Bush.
Visitor feedback and evaluations gathered by Levine Museum affirmed the value and impact of COURAGE. The issue of school desegregation brought back emotional memories for many of the 26,750 visitors, reminding them there was much to be done around issues of equity, access and inclusion. One visitor recalled his mother forbidding him to use the newly integrated swimming pool. He said, "It's interesting to me in retrospect that she never tried to explain why. It's as if somehow she knew that whatever she said about race would not fit with what I learned in Sunday school."
Many expressed their desire to see the exhibition return to Charlotte. Visitors and museum professionals from outside Charlotte inquired about traveling COURAGE to other markets.
Bank of America's support will make both possible.
"We are so grateful for Bank of America’s gift to us, the community and the country," stated museum executive director Emily Zimmern. "We're honored to share the powerful COURAGE story and believe it will serve as a catalyst for civic dialogue at a time when Charlotte and the nation continue to address the issue of educational equity."
With the gift from Bank of America to create the permanent and traveling exhibitions, Levine Museum of the New South is now working to secure a Charlotte venue easily accessible to students, grassroots organizations, other community groups and visitors. In addition, the museum is in active discussions with museums in other parts of the country about hosting COURAGE.
Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy
In 2005, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation embarked on an unprecedented $1.5 billion philanthropic goal over the next 10 years. The bank has announced it will donate $200 million in 2006, making Bank of America one of the most generous corporate donors in the country. The bank approaches giving through a national strategy called "neighborhood excellence" under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of communities. Through Team Bank of America, bank associate volunteers contribute more than 650,000 hours each year to improve the quality of life in their communities nationwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation.
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Levine Museum of the New South Receives National Award for Community Service
November 30, 2005 Levine Museum of the New South was today named one of six recipients of the 2005 National Awards for Museum and Library Service, the federal government’s highest honor for community service provided by museums and libraries. The annual award, made by the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) since 1994, recognizes institutions for outstanding social, educational, environmental or economic contributions to their communities.
"Levine Museum of the New South is not afraid to tackle challenging, social issues in order to build a better community," said Mary Chute, acting director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services. "In 2004 the museum embarked on an extraordinary project that enabled the citizens of Charlotte to examine issues of equity, race, and inclusion in the context of the history of school desegregation. It left a deep impression with the residents of Charlotte and earned the museum a place among the 2005 recipients of the National Award for Museum Service."
Each winning institution will receive $10,000 and be honored at an upcoming ceremony in Washington D.C. Other recipients of the 2005 IMLS award include two museums, COSI Toledo (Ohio) and The Pratt Museum (Alaska), and three libraries, Johnson County Library (Kansas), Saint Paul Public Library (Minnesota), and Mathews Memorial Library (Virginia).
"In our rapidly growing and increasingly diverse community, our mission is to bring people together to explore where we've been and where we're headed," said Emily Zimmern, executive director of Levine Museum of the New South. "All of us here at the Museum are deeply honored and humbled that our efforts are being recognized with this prestigious award."
"Levine Museum is an important part of our community in Charlotte," remarked US Rep. Sue Myrick (NC-09). "They do a great job of having exhibitions that teach us about our past so that we can create a better future for our area. I applaud the work they do, and I know we are all proud that they have received this prestigious national award."
In a statement, Senator Elizabeth H. Dole (NC) expressed her "heartfelt congratulations to Levine Museum of the New South for this well-deserved recognition. Through a ground-breaking exhibit on desegregation and the community discussions that followed, the Museum helped bring together the Charlotte community on the important subjects of race and diversity. I applaud the folks at Levine Museum for their good works and their commitment and service to the Charlotte area."
The annual awards are selected by the Director of the Institute of Museum and Library Services with advice from the National Commission for Libraries and Information Science and the National Museum and Library Services Board. Past recipients include: Zoological Society of San Diego, USS Constitution Museum (Boston, MA), Henry Ford Museum (Dearborn, MI), and The Corcoran Gallery of Art (Washington, DC).
The Institute of Museum and Library Services is an independent federal grant-making agency dedicated to creating and sustaining a nation of learners. The Institute fosters leadership, innovation, and a lifetime of learning by supporting the nation's 15,000 museums and 122,000 libraries. The Institute also encourages partnerships to expand the educational benefit of libraries and museums. To learn more about IMLS, visit www.imls.gov.
Levine Museum of the New South was founded in 1991 to preserve and present the diverse history of the American South since the Civil War, with a focus on Charlotte and the surrounding Carolina Piedmont. As an institution deeply committed to the public role of history and its ability to build community, the museum presents exhibits and programs that provide historical context to contemporary issues, raise important questions, spark dialogue, and bring people together to share their stories and foster understanding.
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The Seaside Institute Comes to Charlotte September 7 - 10
August 2005 See the past, present and future of urban design in Charlotte during a national symposium presented by The Seaside Institute in collaboration with Levine Museum and the Charlotte Regional Office of Duany Plater-Zyberk & Company.
Seminar participants will gain a hands-on understanding of Charlotte's urban development and contribution to New Urbanism through a variety of tours and workshops with a range of speakers.
First Ward and Hope VI will be explored, along with Gateway Village in Center City and suburban live-work retail at Birkdale Village. Other projects to be discussed and visited are Baxter, Vermillion and the Town of Davidson. Registrants will enjoy practical sessions and are encouraged to voice their issues and challenges.
Visit www.theseasideinstitute.org, or call (850) 231.2421 for further information and to register.
John Nolen: Neighborhood-Maker Travel Update
After debuting at Queens University this past May, then traveling to Cornelius in July, the exhibit John Nolen: Neighborhood-Maker will make an appearance at the Museum during the Seaside Institute’s seminar.
As part of the seminar the Museum will host a talk and roundtable discussion Saturday, Sept. 10 at 9 a.m. titled Issues in Charlotte: Suburban Development Today, offered free with paid Museum admission. Visit our calendar for details.
Other dates and public sites scheduled for John Nolen: Neighborhood-Maker include:
Freedom Park Community Shelter: Sept. 12 – Oct. 6
Independence Park Hawthorne Lane Shelter: Oct. 8 – 9
The exhibit will travel to Davidson College in January, but is available Oct. 10 - Dec. 31, 2005. If you are interested in hosting this traveling exhibit, please contact Dr. Tom Hanchett at 704.333.1887 ext. 228.
John Nolen: Neighborhood-Maker is made possible by support from Crosland, Inc. and Cornel University Library's John Nolen Research Fund.
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Levine Museum of the New South Wins Second National Award
Nashville, TN July 2005 The American Association for State and Local History (AASLH) proudly announces that Levine Museum of the New South is the recipient of an AASLH Merit Award for The COURAGE Project.
The AASLH Annual Awards Program, now in its 60th year, is the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. Awards for 2005 represent 87 organizations and individuals from the United States. Award winners will be honored at a special banquet during the 2005 AASLH/PFMHO Annual Meeting in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on Thursday, September 24, 2005. A generous contribution from The History Channel will once again help underwrite the cost of the awards Banquet.
The awards program was initiated in 1945 to establish and encourage standards of excellence in the collection, preservation, and interpretation of state and local history throughout the United States. The AASLH Awards Program not only honors significant achievement in the field of state and local history, but also brings public recognition of the opportunities for small and large organizations, institutions, and programs to make contributions in this arena.
For more information about the awards program, contact AASLH at 615-320-3203, or go to www.aaslh.org.
The American Association for State and Local history is a not-for-profit professional organization of individuals and institutions working to preserve and promote history. From its headquarters in Nashville, Tennessee, AASLH provides leadership, service, and support for its members who preserve and interpret state and local history in order to make the past more meaningful in American society. AASLH publishes books, technical publications, a quarterly magazine, and monthly newsletter. The association also sponsors regional and national training workshops and an annual meeting.
Contact: Harry Klinkhamer, firstname.lastname@example.org, 615-320-3203, AASLH
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John Nolen: Neighborhood-Maker Travels to Cornelius
June 30, 2005 John Nolen: Neighborhood-Maker is on display July 5 through August 1 at the Cornelius Town Hall. Created by Levine Museum of the New South in partnership with Charlotte-based planner Tom Low, the installation showcases the Charlotte work and national career of one of America's foremost landscape planners.
Join us for a special program at the Town Hall celebrating the exhibit on Thursday, July 28 at 7:30 p.m., as UNC Charlotte Professor David Walters, Levine Museum Historian Dr. Tom Hanchett, and other guests discuss Cornelius planning in the 1990s and today.
During the 1990s, Walters led a visionary planning effort to re-shape the heart of Cornelius using the ideas of New Urbanism. Today's Town Hall and bustling community center of shops and apartments are the result.
The evening is sponsored by Levine Museum of the New South and the Cornelius Centennial Committee, with support from Crosland, Inc. and the Arts & Science Council.
100 years ago in Charlotte, NC, John Nolen began a career that would make him a world-renowned pioneer of urban design. In May 1905 Nolen's professors at Harvard gave him permission to skip final exams and travel to south to create his first project, Independence Park near uptown Charlotte. Soon after, he planned a greenway park along Little Sugar Creek, which is an idea being revived today.
John Nolen returned again in 1911 to create the gracious neighborhood of Myers Park. He took a tree-less cotton farm, designed curving avenues, laid out parks, and moved in hundreds of trees to make Myers Park one of the South's most important garden suburbs.
Nolen's detailed landscape drawings for Myers Park, discovered in the archives of Cornell University, are the exhibit's highlight. Photos trace his nationwide career and explore his recent rediscovery by a whole new generation of designers.
Based in Massachusetts, John Nolen planned over 400 projects nationwide, including neighborhoods, parks, entire cities. Today his ideas are inspiring the "New Urbanism" movement, including such Charlotte-area developments as Baxter, Birkdale, Vermillion and the new town center at Cornelius.
John Nolen: Neighborhood-Maker is open free to the public, sponsored by a grant from Crosland, Inc., with assistance from the John Nolen Research Fund of Cornell University Library, and the Arts & Science Council.
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Levine Museum of the New South's Exhibit Recognized as Best in America
May 3, 2005 The American Association of Museums (AAM) announced Levine Museum of the New South's exhibition COURAGE: The Carolina Story That Changed America as one of the best in the nation. In the 17th annual Excellence in Exhibition Awards competition presented by AAM, COURAGE was selected as 1 of 2 exhibits to receive this prestigious national award.
The 17th Annual Award winners were announced Tuesday May 3 at the AAM annual meeting in Indianapolis, which is described by AAM as "the largest gathering of museum professionals in the world."
The Excellence in Exhibition Competition recognizes outstanding achievement in the exhibition format from all types of institutions nationwide. Not limited to museums, the competition includes zoos, aquariums, botanical gardens and any other type of non-commercial institutions offering exhibitions to the public. The competition is a joint project of the AAM Standing Professional Committees, including Curators Committee, the Committee on Audience Research and Evaluation, and the National Association of Museum Exhibition. The Excellence in Exhibitions Competition looks for institutions that have surpassed standards of practice and introduced innovations that stretch the boundaries of accepted practice. Those that do are highly distinguished and serve as models of the capacity of museum exhibitions to provide transforming experiences for visitors.
In considering COURAGE, judges stated that they "felt privileged to hear this story." Additional comments from the panel on why COURAGE was selected include:
"Providing space for moments of reflection is fantastic."
"Intellectually rigorous and ambitious."
"This exhibition represents the fruition of a personal story into a communal story."
"This really had impact."
"Making larger issues relevant to the public really serves the larger goal of the Museum."
"The exhibition treated the community with respect."
"We're thrilled and honored to have been selected. I believe the exhibit's success and this award shows how a museum can use history as a safe way to talk about tough issues. COURAGE had impact on all visitors, prompting conversation on difficult, even painful subjects among people who wouldn't have talked about it otherwise," said Emily Zimmern, Executive Director at Levine Museum of the New South.
Reflecting on the award and project, Zimmern continued, "It's interesting the judges remarked on feeling privileged to hear the Clarendon County story. Because at the heart of all our work, the museum felt privileged to tell the story."
After COURAGE closed at the museum in August of 2004, it traveled to Columbia, S.C. where it was exhibited by the University of South Carolina's McKissick Museum through February 2005. Since then, the interest in COURAGE has continued. Visitors and museum professionals who experienced COURAGE have pursued seeing a version of the exhibit travel, as well as having a permanent display in Charlotte.
"When COURAGE closed last summer, all of us involved felt a void. It had become a large part of our lives and offered such meaning and inspiration. Visitors' responses regularly affirmed the value of the story. So we hope to bring COURAGE back and find a permanent home for it in Charlotte. And we look forward to sharing the story with other communities across the country through a traveling version," stated Zimmern.
Currently, the museum is in discussion with the City of Charleston, S.C. for COURAGE to be exhibited at MOJA Arts Festival in September. The Cincinnati Community Foundation has expressed interest in hosting COURAGE at the National Underground Railroad Freedom Center in Ohio.
Additionally, the U.S. Consulate General has commissioned a special exhibit for the Apartheid Museum, in Johannesburg, South Africa utilizing material from COURAGE. The exhibit will open June 2005 and be on display through September.
Another exciting result of COURAGE is Organizational Courage. Building on the foundation established by the "Conversation on Courage" dialogues, the Knight Foundation has funded an eight-month follow-up project called "Organizational Courage." The museum and Charlotte's Community Building Initiative are working with seven of the original management teams that participated in "Conversations" to dig more deeply into problems requiring courage today and to find solutions that will benefit their organizations and the community. Participating organizations include: Arts & Science Council, City of Charlotte, The Charlotte Observer, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, District & Superior Court Judges, and Time Warner Cable.
Visit our exhibit page for more information about COURAGE.
As the national service organization representing the American museum community, the American Association of Museums addresses the needs of museums to enhance their ability to serve the public. AAM disseminates information on current standards and best practices and provides professional development for staff to ensure that museums contribute to public education in its broadest sense and protect and preserve our cultural heritage. Since its founding in 1906, AAM has grown to more than 16,500 members, including more than 10,500 individual members, 2,700 corporate members, and more than 3,200 museums.
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Taste of the New South to Feature The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island
March 18, 2005 Levine Museum of the New South is excited to host The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island for Taste of the New South 2005. The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island is a new luxury oceanfront resort and spa which opened on a barrier island off the coast of Charleston, SC last summer. Designed in the style of a grand Southern seaside mansion, the resort is already receiving tremendous reviews, including being named "Best New Resort Hotel" by Andrew Harper's Hideaway Report.
Taste of the New South will be held Wednesday, April 13 at 6 p.m. at the Museum. Tickets are $85 for Museum members, and $100 for non-members (includes a 1-month membership). You may purchase tickets online or call 704.333.1887 ext. 243. In addition to providing a mouthwatering menu and elegant setting at the Museum, The Sanctuary will be proving a special raffle prize - guests will have the chance to win a two-night stay at The Sanctuary, including breakfast and a round of golf. Raffle tickets are $25 each, or 5 for $100. Guests do not have to present to win, and raffle tickets may be purchased in advance.
The Sanctuary will undoubtedly continue Taste's tradition of inspired cuisine and first-class service, with a menu created by Executive Chefs Matthew Niessner from The Sanctuary and Doug Blair from Kiawah Island Club's Cassique.
"We are so lucky they agreed to participate since they just opened their doors this past fall. Already, they are considered one of the top resorts in the country. I can understand why all the rave reviews," says Priscilla Walters, event chair. "The Sanctuary staff I've worked with has been incredible. I know Charlotte will be wowed by them at this year's Taste of the New South."
Taste of the New South is the Museum's signature fundraiser that supports the Museum’s education and exhibit programs.
Special thanks to our planning committee:
Priscilla Walters - Event Chair, Cary Mitchell - Co-chair, Moira Alair, David Auger, Sharon Blalock, Linda Lockman-Brooks, Cammie Hauptfuhrer, Elisa Rodriguez, Becky Stowe, Joan Zimmerman, and Joel Walters.
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Opening in March 2005 - Purses, Platforms & Power
November 18, 2004 On March 11, Levine Museum of the New South will unveil a major new exhibit on women's history titled Purses, Platforms & Power: Women Changing Charlotte in the 70s.
In the 1970s women stepped forward. They transformed every aspect of public life in the Charlotte region - politics, athletics, work, culture. Women entered formerly all-male arenas... County Commissioner Liz Hair, TV news anchor Janet England, and UNC Charlotte women’s basketball coach Judy Rose.
Women also founded new institutions... Afro-American Cultural Center founders Bertha Maxwell and Mary Harper, Crisis Assistance Ministry Director and founder Caroline Love Myers, and Planned Parenthood chapter organizer Sarah Bryant.
Together, they reshaped our world. Opening March 11, 2005 through January 31, 2006, Levine Museum of the New South invites visitors to meet & celebrate remarkable women who made history in Purses, Platforms, & Power: Women Changing Charlotte in the 70s. This new original exhibit will connect audiences to a pivotal decade for women and the changes that occurred across the country, then spotlight a sampling of the women who were evoking change right here in the local community. Created by Museum historian Tom Hanchett, with input from a community advisory group of women, the exhibit will utilze oral histories, vintage clothes, artifacts, photographs, and music celebrating the era, to demonstrate how women changed Charlotte in the 1970s.
Along with the exhibit, the Museum will present programming and special events to further explore women's history, issues and contemporary roles in Charlotte and the nation.
Purse, Platforms, & Power is made possible by generous support from presenting exhibit sponsor Wachovia.
Step up and be a part of Purses, Platforms, & Power
If you're interested in stepping up and joining in to support the exhibit, the Museum has a variety of opportunities available, such as being an exhibit or program sponsor, joining the host committee, volunteering, or bringing a group. Call 704.333.1887 x 240 or send an email to email@example.com.
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The Momentum of COURAGE Continues
November 10, 2004 Levine Museum of the New South's groundbreaking exhibit, COURAGE: The Carolina Story That Changed America closed August 15, 2004, yet the impact and momentum continues.
Between January 31 and August 15, 2004 more than 26,760 visitors experienced the COURAGE exhibit. It made headlines across many media outlets - from a front page story in The Charlotte Observer to a feature in Museum News (a national publication reporting on the museum community). In addition, the exhibit drew the attention of national and international media, such as People magazine, TIME, Newsweek, CNN and the BBC. Locally, WBTV produced a primetime news special based on COURAGE and Conversations on Courage.
The momentum that began during the run of the exhibit has continued into the fall, with COURAGE and Levine Museum receiving many honors. In September, The Charlotte Business Journal recognized the Museum as a "Diversity Catalyst in Business" for Conversations on Courage. The Museum was the only non-profit among the group of ten inaugural honorees.
Also in September, the DeLaine family was awarded a Congressional Gold Medal during a ceremony in the U.S. Capital Building in Washington, D.C. on behalf of their father's efforts in Brown v. Board of Education. Historian and exhibit curator Tom Hanchett and Executive Director Emily Zimmern were honored to attend and represent the Museum.
In October, for the second time in three years, Levine Museum received an Award of Excellence from the Southeastern Museums Conference Committee. COURAGE won best in its exhibit category in the 2003-2004 Curator's Competition. Additionally, the Museum and COURAGE has been named a Community Star Award Nominee by The Charlotte Medical Society and the Leary Bar Association.
The collaboration between the Museum and Charlotte's Community Building Initiative (CBI) to offer Conversations on Courage was extremely well-received and had a strong impact across many areas of the community. The original project target was 500 participants. Interest, however, was so great that the target was adjusted to 750. When the project concluded in August, approximately 1741 individuals (111 groups) had participated in a Conversation. Of those participants, 42.4% were corporate, 46.8% civic (non-profit and education); and 10.8% government.
Executive teams included: Allen Tate, Bank of America, Center City Partners, City of Charlotte, Mecklenburg County, Charter Properties, the Apartment Association Board, Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, the Police Department, Duke Energy, Foundation For The Carolinas, Kennedy Covington, Parker Poe, Robinson Bradshaw & Hinson, Springs Industries, TimeWarner, T.J.Maxx, United Way, Urban League, UNC Charlotte, Wachovia, YMCA and elected officials
An evaluation study analyzed the reactions and responses of 792 participants. It reports on the positive impact of Conversations and suggests the need for further programming. Highlights include: 87% found the facilitated dialogue very to extremely valuable; a majority of the sample said that racism and segregation, though in different forms, still exists and that neither Charlotte nor the nation had achieved equal opportunity for all its citizens; a majority asked about next steps in addressing issues of race.
The Executive Summary is available to download as a PDF file (Adobe Acrobat required).
Many Conversationsparticipants expressed an interest in building on their initial dialogues. In response to this, the Museum is excited to again collaborate with Community Building Initiative and offer Organizational Courage to 9 of the original groups. Organizational Courage will be a year long project, funded by a Knight Foundation grant of $50,000.
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Levine Museum of the New South Announces David Gergen as Distinguished Lecturer 2004
August 23, 2004 Levine Museum of the New South welcomes nationally renowned political commentator, author, and presidential advisor David Gergen on the evening of September 20, 2004. Gergen will speak on the relevant and timely topic, "Lessons in Leadership and Election 2004" at 7:30 p.m. in Spirit Square. Tickets are $20.00, on sale through the NC Blumenthal Performing Arts Center Box Office (704-372-1000).
Commentator, editor, teacher, public servant and advisor to Presidents -- for a quarter of a century, Gergen has been an active participant in American national life. From Nixon to Clinton, Watergate to Whitewater, few Americans have observed the ups and downs of presidential leadership more closely over the past thirty years than Gergen. A White House adviser to four presidents, Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Clinton, he offers a vivid, behind-the-scenes account of their struggles to exercise power and draws from them key lessons for leaders of the future.
In the mid-1980s, Gergen began a career in journalism, becoming Editor of U.S. News & World Report. He joined the Kennedy School faculty in January 1999, while remaining Editor at Large for U.S. News and World Report and serving as a frequent television analyst. In the fall of 2000 he published the best-selling book, Eyewitness to Power: The Essence of Leadership, Nixon to Clinton.
In his Distinguished Lecturer address, Gergen will provide insight on both leadership today and analysis of election 2004. Following the lecture, Gergen will return to Levine Museum of the New South for a book signing.
Special Charlotte Shout Offer - As part of Charlotte Shout, the Museum is offering a $2.00 discount off the ticket price with a Charlotte Shout Rewards Pass. The discount will be applied at the time of purchase at the box office; Rewards Pass holders should provide their Pass I.D. number. Visit www.charlotteshout.com for more information.
Prior to the lecture, the Museum will host a private reception with Gergen for Sustainer, Benefactor, and Visionary Members of the Museum. If you are interested in joining at one of these levels and attending the reception, please call 704-333-1887 ext. 243.
This lecture is sponsored by: Wachovia Wealth Management, Grant Thornton, and WFAE.
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Levine Museum of the New South to Open Major Exhibit with Knight Foundation Grant
December 8, 2003 On January 31, 2004, Levine Museum of the New South will unveil a major new exhibit called COURAGE: The Carolina Story That Changed America, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education. The museum will use the exhibit and distinctive programs, funded in part by a $150,000 grant from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as a catalyst for civic dialogue and community building.
Known as "the case of the century," Brown v. Board Education actually got its start in the Carolinas when a preacher named Rev. J. A. De Laine and his neighbors filed the first lawsuit demanding the end of separate and unequal black and white schools. COURAGE will explore the saga of this community - ordinary people outside the traditional power structure, without wealth and often with little classroom education - and how they worked together to begin the process that ended legal segregation of the races in America's schools. A powerful story that began in rural Clarendon County, S.C., COURAGE will chronicle their fight to the Supreme Court.
Internationally acclaimed exhibit designer Darcie Fohrman, best known for "Daniel's Story," the compelling installation at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum, has developed the exhibit with museum historian Dr. Tom Hanchett, and with assistance from the children of Rev. J. A. De Laine. COURAGE is the museum's first major exhibit initiative since the 2001 unveiling of the award-winning Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers.
A key component of COURAGE also supported by the Knight Foundation grant is a program called "Conversations on Courage." A partnership between Levine Museum and Charlotte's Community Building Initiative (CBI), "Conversations on Courage" is designed to involve business, government, non-profit, education and civic leaders in the exhibit. More than 600 community leaders who shape Charlotte's growth and development will be participating in a two-hour experience that includes an exhibit visit followed by a facilitated discussion. The discussion will build on the legacy of the Brown decision and address contemporary issues of education, interracial trust, social justice, and our community's choices for the future. Among many goals of "Conversations on Courage" is the hope that the experience will build stronger relationships within each group and provide a springboard for more meaningful discussions in the workplace.
Leaders within the community have already expressed support of the COURAGE project.
"In my judgment, there is no doubt that the integration of our school systems was the beginning of unprecedented growth in the South. Many of us have forgotten how that happened. I think it's important that we reflect on the Brown decision and urge community leaders to join us in participating in Conversations on Courage," states Hugh McColl.
According to Gloria Pace King, "Matters of race and its effects are still very much with us at the dawn of the 21st century. This exhibit and the discussions it will provoke offer a profound lesson in what we can do individually and collectively to build trust among our community."
Serving as Project Manager for the "Conversations on Courage" is Stephanie Counts. Nationally recognized educator and former CEO of the YWCA of the Central Carolinas, Counts has been honored as National Distinguished Principal, served on a White House Task Force on Education and is an active community leader. Her mission for community service is further exemplified through her work as a Trustee for the Charlotte Advocates for Education and co-chairing the African American Leadership Initiative for the United Way of Central Carolinas.
Knight Foundation's funding of the COURAGE project comes from an interest in civic engagement and race relations, and using the arts as a tool for advancement in these areas. "Knight Foundation sees this project, and the arts in general, as an excellent and possibly less-threatening way to engage the community in difficult conversations around race and racism," said Susan Patterson, Knight Foundation's community liaison program officer based in Charlotte.
"I think museums particularly can be helpful in a community wrestling with the tough issues," states Emily Zimmern, Executive Director of Levine Museum. "Our exhibit presents a special opportunity to bring people together to have a meaningful experience and conversation about difficult but relevant issues facing our community."
The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation promotes excellence in journalism worldwide and invests in the vitality of 26 U.S. communities.
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Levine Museum of the New South Awarded Prestigious IMLS Grant
June 1, 2003 The federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) has awarded Levine Museum of the New South a grant to participate in the 2003 Museum Assessment Program (MAP). A cooperative program between the Institute and the American Association of Museums, MAP is designed to help museums assess their strengths and weaknesses and plot a course for future improvements.
The program's focus, the Public Dimension Assessment, will evaluate how Levine Museum serves its community and audiences. In addition to a self-study process, the two year program includes on-site visits with museum professionals and recommendations for change.
Since 1981, MAP has provided more than 5,000 successful assessments, leading to improved professional standards and practices within museums of all sizes which in turn produces better service for the American public, remarked Edward Able, President and CEO of the American Association of Museums.
IMLS is a federal grantmaking agency located in Washington, D.C. that fosters leadership, innovation and a lifetime of learning by supporting museums and libraries.
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Zimmern Named Charlotte Woman Of The Year
March 11, 2003 Emily Fairchild Zimmern was honored as the 2002 Charlotte Woman of the Year Tuesday at an annual reception and dinner hosted by past Woman of the Year honorees at the Levine Museum of the New South. Zimmern was recognized for her work improving people's lives in Charlotte and building a more healthy, inclusive community.
"Emily Zimmern is a powerful example of a woman who has shared her extraordinary gifts of leadership, vision and passion in order to help us shape Charlotte into and energized, diverse and welcoming new south city that we can all call home," said Harriet Sanford, President and CEO of the Arts & Science Council. "We are blessed and thankful to have her in our midst!"
As Executive Director of the Levine Museum of the New South, Zimmern brings diverse communities together by creating exhibits and programs at the Levine Museum that invite reflection and spark dialogue. Emily's vision for the Levine Museum is to be the community's front porch, where people of all backgrounds come together, share stories, find similarities, and discuss differences, all with the purpose of building a community that can live and work together with respect and dignity. Emily is often heard saying "before people can understand each other, they must know each other," and the programs she creates at the Museum are committed to this inclusiveness.
Emily's commitment to Charlotte-Mecklenburg is also evident by her participation in a wide range of community activities. She was a founding member of the Community Building Initiative, and continues to participate as a member of the Leadership Team for the Leadership Development Initiative. She is also in The American Leadership Forum at The Lee Institute, and was selected by her peers as a representative of affiliate organizations on the Arts & Science Council's Cultural Facilities Planning Task Force.
Emily's deep commitment to improving society, establishing long-term community priorities and finding ways to support them financially is evident in her more than twenty years of service to Charlotte. Emily Zimmern has led Planned Parenthood and served on the boards of the Foundation for the Carolinas, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Leadership Charlotte and Common Ground Race Relations Task Force.
A Louisiana native, Emily earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in History, and a Master of Arts degree in American Diplomatic History and East Asian Studies from Vanderbilt University. Emily was awarded a Blumenthal Fellowship and earned a Master of Business Administration degree from Queens University. She has also completed the Certificate in Strategic Perspectives in Non-Profit Management at Harvard Business School. Zimmern and her husband, Sam have a son, Bill and a daughter, Amelia.
The 2002 Charlotte Woman of the Year was presented in partnership with Bank of America, Springs Industries, Inc., Duke Energy, WFAE and past Woman of the Year honorees.
WBT Radio presented the first award in 1955. Since 1991, past Woman of the Year honorees have selected the award recipient and hosted the dinner.
Media contact: Ashley Thurmond, 704.333.1887 ext. 242
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Levine Museum Of The New South's Centerpiece Exhibition Named Best In Southeast
September 3, 2002 Levine Museum of the New South's exhibition Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers: Charlotte and the Carolina Piedmont in the New South has been named one of the best exhibitions in the Southeast. In the annual competition sponsored by the Southeastern Museums Conference Curators' Committee, it was selected to receive the 2002 SEMC Exhibition Competition Award for exhibitions with budgets exceeding $1,000,000.
The annual competition recognizes the best in the profession and provides benchmarks for regional exhibition efforts. It focuses on exhibitions of merit that are well designed, have educational value, and treat artifacts with care and respect. Levine Museum will be presented this prestigious award at the Southeastern Museums Conference annual meeting in Richmond, Virginia on October 18, 2002.
Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers utilizes more than 1000 artifacts, images, video clips, and oral histories to trace the region's development from field to factory to finance. The nation's most comprehensive museum interpretation of post-Civil War southern history, the exhibit gives visitors an interactive experience as they walk through six "environments" illustrating the South's history from Reconstruction to the present with a glimpse of the future.
Media contact: Ashley Thurmond, 704.333.1887 ext. 242
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