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Latino New South

Museums, as places of cultural learning and interaction, can be powerful tools to help communities grapple with the stresses and opportunities of demographic change.  Thanks to a prestigious Innovation Lab grant from the American Alliance of Museums in association with MetLife, plus a grant from Knight Foundation, Levine Museum is taking a national lead.  In 2012 the Museum invited two partner institutions, the Atlanta History Center and the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, to join forces to look at how to engage Latino audiences in meaningful, sustainable ways. 

The three organizations carried out a series of Listening Sessions, meeting with Latino groups and community allies in each city.  The Listening Sessions themselves were an innovation in the museum field; History News  the national publication of the American Association for State and Local History, invited Levine educators Janeen Bryant and Kamille Bostick to write a how-to Technical Leaflet, published in Summer 2013.  The Listening Sessions produced “Working with Latino Partners:  Seven Insights” which lays out key messages that community members articulated. The “Seven Insights” now guide development of the exhibit and related components.

In September 2015, Levine Museum will launch ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South, drawing attention to the seismic demographic shifts in the United States. The increased presence of Latinos in the South represents a regional transformation with national significance. ¡NUEVOlution! will explore the surprising ways that Latinos are shaping the South and the South is shaping Latinos.

The heart of the project will be a 3,500 sq. ft. traveling exhibit set to open in Charlotte for a year-long run, and then travel to Birmingham, Atlanta and beyond. Along with the exhibit, robust programming, civic dialogue, collaborative art projects and new media initiatives will invite participation at the museum, at gathering places in the community and on-line. The project aims to engage Latinos of many backgrounds together with non-Latinos—serving as a catalyst for personal reflection, cross-cultural interaction and community engagement.


LGBTQ Perspectives on Equality

Organized under the larger umbrella of Destination Freedom, LGBTQ Perspectives on Equality is comprised of four exhibits that delve into LGBTQ history and the people responsible for bringing LGBTQ concerns to the forefront. The project is the first of its kind in the Charlotte region where, according to the 2010 U.S. Census, more than 2,000 same-sex couples call home; more than 18,000 same-sex couples live in North Carolina. Through the exhibits and related interative experiences, dialogues and public programming, Levine Museum seeks to provide visitors with the opportunity to deepen their knowledge of the LGBTQ community, broaden cultural competence, and join the larger national discussion around gay rights.

LGBTQ Perspectives on Equality is made possible thanks to presenting sponsor PNC Bank, funding from the Charlotte Lesbian and Gay Fund and the Arts & Science Council, media sponsor The Charlotte Observer, and financial support from a host committee of individuals and organizations from the Charlotte area.


Destination Freedom: Civil Rights Struggles Then and Now

The years 2013-2015 mark important anniversaries in the Civil Rights Movement. The March on Washington and Martin Luther King Jr.'s "I Have a Dream" speech of August 28, 1963. The bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church and murder of four young girls in Birmingham on September 15, 1963. The signing of the Civil Rights Act ending segregation in public places on July 2, 1964. The passing of the Voting Rights Act which opened the ballot box to all on August 6, 1965.

In the fall of 2013, Levine Museum launched Destination Freedom: Civil Rights Struggles Then and Now, a two-year series of exhibits, programs, dialogues and new media that commemorate these significant milestones and anniversaries, examine the legacies of the Civil Rights Movement and draw connections to today's struggles for rights among people of all backgrounds. We invite you to join us in this exploration, beginning with three new exhibits and exciting programs throughout the fall.

Destination Freedom is supported by presenting sponsor Bank of America and education sponsor UNC Charlotte.



New COURAGE began in early 2011 as a yearlong partnership between Levine Museum of the New South, Charlotte Mecklenburg Schools, McColl Center for Visual Art, and UNC Charlotte, asking participants to examine "new" issues that require courage in our community today. Through workshops, study, collaboration, and reflection, educators and students from across Mecklenburg County explored historic, personal, and community definitions of courage.

Over the course of the year, teachers attended professional development sessions and created inter-disciplinary curriculum. Students heard from national speakers, participated in a county-wide summit, and created their own artistic expressions of courage.  The initiative culminated  with a juried exhibit of student work inspired by historic perspectives and contemporary issues. Using personally chosen art forms, the student works depicted a new generation's take on activism, action and a renewed sense of the power of community.

Collectively, New COURAGE involved 25 high school teachers who engaged more than 875 students in 12 schools. They were joined by 22 professors and more than 600 undergraduates in a parallel program.

The project was supported by presenting sponsor Wells Fargo, with additional support from Clariant and Duke Energy.