Family Outing: Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture


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A family outing to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture at the Levine Center for the Arts is a perfect way for your family to celebrate Black History Month. Named for Charlotte’s first African-American mayor, the museum upholds a mission to present, preserve and celebrate excellence in the art, history and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent. The 46,500-square-foot Gantt Center is located in an area of uptown Charlotte once occupied by the historic Brooklyn neighborhood, a thriving center of the black community that was razed in the 1960s.

If you go, enter from the street level and purchase tickets inside the gift shop, which sells a collection of artwork, magnets, home décor and T-shirts. The museum offers three galleries: one on the second level and two on the third level. Each is well lit, quiet and calming. Benches and chairs encourage visitors to take time to study a piece. Photography of the artwork is not allowed, but you can take a picture in the lobby of the Afro-American Cultural Center replica built entirely of Lego blocks!

A Kindergartener’s Perspective

My 5-year-old son and I spent a winter afternoon at the museum and had a wonderful time. I knew this experience would be different than the hands-on, play-based museums my little one is accustomed to, so I prepped him by telling him we were visiting an art museum. I told him we would be special reporters looking at everything with our eyes and trying to imagine what the artist was thinking when he or she made a piece. His job was to look at every piece in a room and report back to me about which was his favorite and why.

I spoke freely to my son about each painting, photograph or sculpture, discussing how beautiful a painter made a subject’s eyes or how different colors made me feel. We talked about what we thought was happening in each picture and looked at the individual brush strokes on a canvas. I also showed him how to identify when a work was created and what the artist had named it. He declared his favorite to be “Waiting,” a black-and-white sketch of a forlorn-looking girl standing behind a barbed-wire fence. I was surprised, but enjoyed his explanation as to why he liked that piece. We spent quality time together as we shared our thoughts about some great works of art.

Family Learning Experiences

The Gantt Center hosts its Family First series the first Saturday of each month for families with children ages 5-10. Activities may include a children’s book reading, an art project that ties to an exhibit, dancing, drumming or singing.

Beginning in March, the museum will host a Junior Studio workshop for children ages 8-12 to encourage creativity and an interest contemporary art. Parents and children get the opportunity to discuss works on display and explore processes and techniques in making art. Contact the museum for dates and times.

Plan Your Visit

Beginning in February, galleries at the museum will be filled with a new exhibit titled “Venturing Out of the Heart of Darkness,” which will include works by national and international artists. The exhibit examines how colonialism has impacted prevailing attitudes that define black culture in America today. The community opening is Feb. 7, 11 a.m.-3 p.m., and includes the Family First open studio drop-in workshop: Assemblage. Exhibit artists Renee Stout, Willie Cole and Sean Johnson will be there to inspire participants as they create a work of art out of found objects. Museum admission is $5 during the special event.

The Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture is located at 551 S. Tryon St. in Charlotte and is open Tuesday through Sunday. Tickets range in price from $6-$9, and children under age 6 are admitted for free. Find more information, including a calendar of events, at ganttcenter.org.

Lisa Hassell is a local elementary school teacher and mom to a busy and curious kindergartener. She resides in Union County.

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August 2019

August 16th is National Tell a Joke Day. Come to the Finley Center anytime during the day to share some jokes with the park community. A large board will be set up in the Exhibit Hall where...

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
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Historic Yates Mill County Park
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Erwin Road
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Knightdale Station Park
810 N. First Ave.
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Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
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Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Durham Performing Arts Center
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Cost: Free

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Bach to Rock Music School
9587 US 64
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Sponsor: Bach To Rock Music School
Telephone: 919-446-5386
Contact Name: Kelly Foster
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Flaherty Park Community Center
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Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
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Cost: $35/resident, $46/nonresident

Where:
Herbert C. Young Community Center
101 Wilkinson Ave.
Cary, NC
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Stop in during one of our Back to School Open Houses!  Meet our instructors, tune your instrument, learn a quick song and more!. Aug 12th 7-8:30 Brass & Woodwinds Aug 17th 12:30-2:00...

Cost: Free

Where:
Bach to Rock Music School
9587 US 64
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Flaherty Park Community Center
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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Road
Apex, NC  27539
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Sponsor: Crowder County Park
Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

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Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
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Cost: See website for fees

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Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
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Harris Lake County Park
2112 County Park Dr.
New Hill, NC  27562
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Sponsor: Harris Lake County Park
Telephone: 919-387-4342
Contact Name: Joanne St. Clair
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Cost: Free

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Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
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Cost: Free

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Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
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Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
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514 E Williams St
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Sponsor: IngenuiTea Brews
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Cost: FREE

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Lake Crabtree County Park
1400 Aviation Pkwy.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

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2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
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Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

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Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W. Margaret Ln.
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Cost: Free

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The Wine Feed
307 S Roxboro St
Durham, NC  27701
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Sponsor: Raleigh Night Market
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Film to be announced. *Actual time to be determined by sunset. Bring your lawn chairs, blankets, and picnics to enjoy a movie under the stars in our beautiful garden!

Cost: Free

Where:
GREGG MUSEUM OF ART & DESIGN
1903 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC  27607
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Telephone: 919-515-3503
Contact Name: Gregg Museum
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Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Roxboro
211 N. Main St.
Roxboro, NC  27573
View map »


Sponsor: Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 336-599-8333
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
Website »

More information

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Cost: $15/resident, $19/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: $3/person

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Carrboro Century Center
100 N. Greensboro St.
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Cost: Free

Where:
Durham Central Park
501 Foster St.
Durham, NC  27701
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Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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1712 Willow Dr
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
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Cost: Free

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316 N. Academy St.
Cary, NC  27513
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Cost: Free

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Leigh Farm Park
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Cost: Free

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Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
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Cost: Free

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Duke Homestead
2828 Duke Homestead Rd.
Durham, NC  27705
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Uptown Roxboro
211 N. Main St.
Roxboro, NC  27573
View map »


Sponsor: Roxboro Area Chamber of Commerce
Telephone: 336-599-8333
Contact Name: Melissa
Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Ages 18 months-5 years with special needs enjoy educational and therapeutic toys with caregiver. 

Cost: Free

Where:
Flaherty Park Community Center
1226 N. White St.
Wake Forest, NC  27587
View map »


Website »

More information

Learn basic canoeing skills and a bit about the millpond's history, then head out to explore the pond's many features as seen only from the water. Canoes, paddles, and life jackets are...

Cost: Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Sign up for a Raleigh scavenger hunt and put on your best Nick Cage impression as you seek out the national treasures hidden in Raleigh. Via an app, be guided through the cultural, historical,...

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Downtown Raleigh
500 S. Salisbury St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Sponsor: LetsRoam!
Telephone: 833-202-7626
Contact Name: LetsRoam!
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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201 E. Davie St.
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More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Learning Express Falls Pointe
9660 Falls of Neuse Rd
#130
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Learning Express Falls Pointe
Telephone: 919-325-6057
Contact Name: Stephanie Gillespie
Website »

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Cost: $5/Adult, 4$/Senior (60+), $3/Child (7-16), 6&Younger Free

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Sponsor: Historic Yates Mill County Park
Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
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View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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More information

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Cost: Free

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Clayton, NC  27520
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Sponsor: First Baptist Church of Clayton and Horne Memorial UMC of Clayton
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Cost: $25 first child, $20 each additional child

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East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
5655-A Western Blvd
Raleigh, NC  27606
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Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
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Cost: Free

Where:
North Carolina State University
Raleigh, NC  27607


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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400 Fayetteville St.
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