Monday, July 28, 2008

Arts in Charlotte

Hi Rich,

I'm considering relocating to the Charlotte area. Does Charlotte have a theatre district and museum like I am used to coming from a larger city?


Dear AC,

Although not quite New York, Boston or Philadelphia, Charlotte does has a vibrant arts and cultural scene--and I think you will be quite happy with all that it has to offer. There is actually so much--from the big performing arts centers, to the small independent venues, that I can't even list them all here. But I can give you a brief description of a few of the highlights.

NoDa, or North Davidson is center for much of the cultural community in Charlotte. You will find galleries, restaurants, and theatres up and down this stretch of the city.

The Hart Witzen Gallery is an incubator for the arts, with a mission to provide an atmosphere conducive to creativity, and what they call "a venue to exhibit cutting edge visual and performance arts as well as an unpretentious forum for the public to experience the arts." Located at 136 E. 36th Street, their website is:

The Neighborhood Theatre was originally built as a movie theatre in 1945, it has been restored and turned into a performance .The venue was designed for exceptional acoustics and provides excellent sound quality for any event. The total capacity of the Theatre is 950. There are 700 comfortable theatre style seats and uncommonly wide aisles. A thrust stage extends into the seating area. A sound system and theatrical lights are available. Find the Neighborhood Theatre at 511 E. 36th Street. Check out their site at

Here are a few of our Charlotte art galleries:

ArtHouse is at 3103 Cullman Ave.

Art Preserve at 3200 North Davidson St. #A.

BEET Contemporary Crafts and Function Art - a contemporary crafts and functional art gallery. 2302-A North Davidson

Canvas Monkey Art and Gifts -- this is a gift shop, but does feature some awesome regional art as well with a show wall featuring the works of a new artist every month. 3306-B North Davidson

Center of the Earth Gallery Inc. Highly regarded by critics and collectors for its eclectic selection of museum quality contemporary art. This award winning gallery features original paintings, sculpture, and glass by over 50 national emerging and established artists.

The Evening Muse is a listening room, art gallery and café featuring live music 5+ nights each week. The Muse features original artists in a wide variety of genres touring at the national, regional and local level and has earned a reputation for awarding-winning sound and a great casual atmosphere. 3227 North Davidson Street

Music is found in all corners of Charlotte in different forms. In NoDa Wine Up is very popular for a casual relaxing evening of entertainment--especially on the weekends. Featuring a first class menu with fine wines and beers along with a selection of appetizers. 3306-C North Davidson Street

A map of the NoDa area is available at This site has a more complete list and more info on the NoDa area.

The Belk Theater is the largest venue in the North Carolina Blumenthal Performing Arts Center at 130 N Tryon St seating 2100 at its full-capacity configuration. The theater is large but intimate with the most distant seat is less than 135 feet from the stage.

The Booth Playhouse (also at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center) is a courtyard-style proscenium theater with cabaret and theater-in-the-round capabilities. This theater contains 434 seats. This theatre hosts a variety of dance, choral and other musical ensembles, as well as meetings, seminars, and workshops.

McGlohon Theatre @ Spirit Square seats 700 and is a showplace for local and national performances. Opened in 1980, this intimate space was the former First Baptist Church. With its stained glass windows and Byzantine dome, this historically designated space is a piece of art in an d of itself.

Duke Power Theatre @ Spirit Square is a multi-purpose space. It is a Black-Box theater and is completely equipped with theatre lighting capabilities and sound system. Used for everything from meeting to small shows, it is a great space.

Charlotte also has several museums. The biggest is probably Discovery Place at 301 N. Tryon St. Discovery Place is a science museum that has great hand-on displays, special programs and a children's section. Discovery Place also contains an IMAX Dome Theater, playing popular and educational movies.

Charlotte Museum of History‎ is located at 3500 Shamrock Dr. with great exhibits showing the history of the area.

Levine Museum of the New South is at 200 E 7th St in Charlotte. This museum is very interesting and a great place to visit, especially for newcomers to the area.

The Mint Museum of Art at 2730 Randolph Rd, is a craft and design museum with some very interesting pieces. This is a place that you could go and easily spend just an hour or two, leaving time to go to some of the great restaurants in the area, or another museum.

The Light Museum --If you like photography and film you'll love The Light Factory. You can view exhibitions and films, take classes, etc.

Nature Museum at 1658 Sterling Rd is located next to the largest park in the city, so pack a picnic and enjoy the day.

----wow... ok there are more, but I think you see what I am saying. Charlotte has a lot of art and culture. The places above are mostly located within a few blocks of each other, but Charlotte and the surrounding areas have an awful lot of little gems outside of the "cultural district" as well.

I hope you enjoy Charlotte - we really do have a lot to offer! Let me know if you have more questions.

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