¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South
On September 27, 2015, ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South officially opened to the public at Levine Museum of the New South. Over three years in the making and the museum's most ambitious project to date, ¡NUEVOlution! is a 3,500 sq. ft. bilingual, interactive exhibit with robust programming, civic dialogue, collaborative art and online media that explore the surprising ways Latinos are shaping the South and the South is shaping Latinos.
The increased presence of Latinos in the South represents a regional transformation with national significance. Over the past 25 years, the South has abruptly emerged as the nation’s most vibrant area of Latino growth. Charlotte and Atlanta top the Nielsen list of fastest growing major Latino metro areas nationwide, up over 400% since 2000. In North Carolina alone, more than two dozen small and mid-sized municipalities are now over 20% Latino. This puts the South at the cutting edge of a nationwide trend that is seeing new Latino populations where none previously existed in nearly every U.S. state.
Many historians consider the dramatic shift and its impact to be the biggest story in southern history since the Civil Rights Movement. ¡NUEVOlution! explores this topic by sharing powerful, personal stories behind the statistics.
Created by Levine Museum, in collaboration with Atlanta History Center and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, the exhibit aims to engage Latinos of many backgrounds together with non-Latinos—serving as a catalyst for personal reflection, cross-cultural interaction and community engagement. It will create civic spaces physically and virtually to deepen understanding of Latinos’ histories, cultures and experiences, foster connection across difference and promote exploration of contentious issues in a safe environment.
Encuentros—a Spanish word with multilayered meanings, “encountering, discovering, confronting, coming together, growing”—is the organizing principle of the ¡NUEVOlution! exhibit. Videos, interactives and environments convey and create encuentros as visitors navigate, experience and learn about the rapidly evolving Nuevo South. Levine Museum partnered with noted Latino filmmaker Rodrigo Dorfman, plus prize-winning exhibition developer Darcie Fohrman to create a compelling visitor experience.
The exhibit poses questions and offers numerous interactive opportunities for visitors to add their voice and create user-generated content that further enriches the experience. In addition, responses to questions posed out in the community and captured by an interactive video story kiosk and via social media are incorporated throughout.
¡NUEVOlution! is presented to the community by Belk, Wells Fargo, and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation.
Additional support comes from Duke Energy Foundation, Ford Foundation, UNC Charlotte, Z. Smith Reynolds Foundation, Carolinas Healthcare System, Reemprise Fund, MetLife Foundation, Foundation for the Carolinas Charlotte Mecklenburg Community Foundation, and the Smithsonian Latino Center. In-kind support was provided by AC&M, Luquire George Andrews and Norsan Media.
Originally scheduled to close on October 30, 2016, the museum has extended the exhibit to November 27 to accommodate group tour and dialogue requests and further host the community and visitors.
After November, ¡NUEVOlution! will travel to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, where it is scheduled to open in January 2017, over the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. weekend.