Who We Are.
Thirty years ago, Levine Museum of the New South was founded as a history museum that would tell everyone’s story – a radical idea at the time and a radical idea still. We were founded as a place that would use exhibits and programs to confront some of the most difficult issues facing us today in the historical context that deepens understanding, fosters empathy, and inspires action toward a better future.
Long before the practice was commonplace, Levine Museum created exhibits and programs with, for and about the diverse communities we serve. Thirty years ago, Levine Museum re-defined the role of the history museum in community.
Within our new exhibition gallery, we offer rotating exhibits that explore issues relevant to the history of the greater Charlotte metro area and spark curiosity about our world today. Our exhibits and public programs welcome all participants to engage deeply with the diversity of our region’s communities through stories of the past that encourage productive dialogue and deepen understanding of critical contemporary issues.
We celebrate history and culture through annual Family Days that honor Dia de Muertos, Three Kings Day, Martin Luther King Day, Juneteenth, and Herstory. Free to the public, these festivals invite thousands of local families to dance, sing, create, eat and learn about Charlotte’s diverse community.
Beyond our walls, we are building on the Museum’s legacy of respect for history, for inclusion, for diversity, and for innovation. Digital technologies enable us to extend our reach through online programs that bring critical conversations to audiences nationwide. Online exhibits bring field trip experiences to students who cannot come to visit. And app-based experiences enable us to animate history in the places where history happened, bringing the Museum to the community.
Levine Museum connects us to this place and to each other through stories, dialogue and celebration, as we seek to build a stronger, more equitable, more just community. We hope to see you soon!
Levine Museum builds a stronger, more equitable community by connecting people to Charlotte and to each other through history, culture, and celebration. Our exhibits and programs foster empathy, ignite dialogue, and inspire action.
We connect the past to the future to realize the promises of a New South.
After six years of leadership, Kathryn Hill retires as President & CEO.
Levine Museum sells its uptown 7th street location and re-opens in a new interim location at Three Wells Fargo Center. The Museum collaborates with Harvey B. Gantt Center to bring the Smithsonian traveling exhibition, Men of Change, to Charlotte. Men of Change profiles the revolutionary men—including Muhammad Ali, James Baldwin, Ta-Nehisi Coates, W.E.B Du Bois, and Kendrick Lamar—whose journeys have altered the history and culture of the country. Grier Heights: Community is Family, a traveling exhibit developed in collaboration with the Grier Heights Community Center, opens. The exhibit highlights the history and tenacity of Grier Heights, one of Charlotte’s first independent Black communities.
The museum announces plan to sell the uptown 7th street location to help fuel its ongoing transformation from a traditional, facility-focused museum to one reaching new audiences through interactive programs delivered digitally and in non-traditional spaces. KnowCLT, the Museum’s new free app launches. The first app experience recounts the history of Charlotte’s historic Brooklyn neighborhood through narration, photos, poetry, and the voices of former residents.
COVID-19 closes the Museum to the public from March through August. But through digital programs that include #ShapingCLT, New South for the New Southerner, CataLysT, and a new program, What’s It Going to Take, the Museum attracts more than 40,000 views and reaches a national audience.
The exhibit Brooklyn: Once a City Within a City, which explores the rise and demise of Charlotte’s largest African American neighborhood, wins the Best Multimedia Project of 2019 from QC Nerve.
Dr. Willie J. Griffin joins the Museum as Staff Historian. The Museum introduces augmented reality as way to understand the origins of Charlotte’s mobility gap through the lens of its neighborhoods in the exhibit #HomeCLT: People. Places. Promises. The Museum also opens It Happened Here, which builds on the Equal Justice Initiative’s research into the history of lynching across America, situating Mecklenburg County’s two recorded lynchings and the local effort to memorialize the victims within the national conversation.
Following the death of Keith Lamont Scott, the Museum opens K(NO)W Justice K(NO)W Peace, a community-created exhibit about police-involved shootings throughout the nation and in Charlotte. The Museum hosts two additional exhibitions: Let Love Reign, a visual representation of committed same-gender couples features photographs taken by New York-based photographer and former Charlotte resident, Catalina Kulczar-Marin; and Camp Greene, an exhibit about Charlotte’s World War I Army camp and its effect on the west side of the city.
Kathryn Hill becomes President & CEO.
After leading the Museum for two decades, Emily Zimmern retires as President & CEO. Following sixteen years of service as the Museum’s first Staff Historian, Dr. Tom Hanchett also announces his retirement. The Museum introduces former intern Brenda Tindal as the institution’s second Staff Historian. ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South, created in collaboration with Atlanta History Center and Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, aims to engage Latinos of many backgrounds together with non-Latinos, serving as a catalyst for personal reflection, cross-cultural interaction and community engagement. The Museum also opens Cedars in the Pines: The Lebanese in North Carolina, 130 Years of History, commemorating the history of Lebanese immigrants who have made North Carolina their home since the 1880s.
LGBTQ: Perspectives on Equality examines LGBTQ history and contemporary issues from national, regional, local and personal perspectives.
The experiential exhibition Fighting for Democracy opens based on the lives, actions, and decisions of a diverse group of individuals who fought during World War II and at the same time sought equal rights for their families and communities. The exhibition uses World War II as a case study to begin discussion about how women and minorities have expanded the meaning of “we” in “we, the people.”
The Museum is awarded a transformative and highly competitive grant of $890,000 from the nationally renowned Kresge Foundation.
The Museum celebrates its 20th anniversary year with the return of its award-winning exhibit, COURAGE: The Carolina Story that Changed America.
The Museum launches Changing Places, one of the Museum’s most ambitious projects since inception. The project examines the growing cultural diversity and change created by the arrival of newcomers from across the U.S. and around the globe.
Curated by Eleanor Brawley, Families of Abraham is a photographic narrative exhibit that celebrates life and faith traditions of Jewish, Christians and Muslim families in the Charlotte area. The exhibit premiered at Levine Museum from Dec. 2006 to May 2007 and is now traveling around the country including stops at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Wisconsin-Madison and the Duke Chapel at Duke University.
The Museum opens Purses, Platforms & Power: Women Changing Charlotte in the 70s, which receives two national awards: named one of the two best exhibits in the nation by The American Association of Museums and given the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history by The American Association for State and Local History. For its exhibit COURAGE: The Carolina Story that Changed America, the Museum is 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 award is presented during a ceremony at the White House by first lady, Laura Bush.
The Museum unveils a major new exhibit, COURAGE: The Carolina Story That Changed America, commemorating the 50th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education supported by a grant from the Knight Foundation.
Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers: Charlotte and the Carolina Piedmont in the New South is named one of the best exhibitions in the Southeast in an annual competition sponsored by the Southeastern Museums Conference Curators’ Committee.
On October 13, the Museum re-opened to the public as Levine Museum of the New South, in a renovated state-of-the-art facility. Its permanent exhibit, Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers: Reinventing Charlotte and the Carolina Piedmont in the New South is unveiled to the public.
The Museum successfully completes an $8.2 million capital campaign and begins renovation and redesign of the building for installation of a permanent exhibit.
The Museum opens its doors to the first floor of its new building for temporary exhibits and education programs at 200 East Seventh Street, in the heart of Charlotte’s emerging uptown cultural district.
The "Museum Without Walls" places interactive kiosks and exhibits around uptown Charlotte.
The Museum is incorporated as Museum of the New South on April 25, 1991.
The journey begins with one idea shared between Sally Dalton Robinson and Anne Batten, representing the Mecklenburg Historical Association.