ASC’s Robert Bush reflects on craft, art and the Mint
The Mint Museum will be open to the public on Tuesdays for the first time in six years as part of new efforts to be more available to the Charlotte community.
The announcement follows other initiatives designed to improve accessibility at the art museum spearheaded by Todd Herman, who became president and CEO in August 2018.
The Mint closed its doors on Tuesdays at both its locations, on South Tryon Street and on Randolph Road, in 2013 due to tight budgets and declining funds from the Arts & Science Council. However, the need to be more available for school tours, families and Charlotte visitors led to the decision to reopen from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesdays beginning July 2.
“This is something that the community and our visitors and volunteers and staff had wanted for a long time.” Herman said. “When we reevaluated what that meant fiscally, it was almost a no-brainer.”
In fall 2018, Mint Museum Uptown added Friday date night hours, extending its regular hours to 9 p.m. to give a window of time for those who cannot visit the museum during the week. Free admission to both locations is offered Wednesdays from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Rubie Britt-Height, the museum’s community relations director, said the Tuesday reopenings provide more access to people visiting Charlotte for conferences and meetings, as well as adults and kids from summer school programs, day camps and senior citizen programs.
“Museums are often closed on Mondays, but you don’t expect for them to be closed on Tuesdays,” Britt-Height said. “This gives people another avenue of something positive and beautiful to do while they’re free.”
Besides reopening on Tuesdays, Britt-Height said the Mint also tries to open up opportunities for those who cannot always afford admission, with its free Wednesday evenings, student discounts, scholarships for the Mint summer children’s camp and free passes provided to children participating in the partnership between Freedom School Partners, Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and the Mint.
While he did not give specific details, Herman said Charlotte can expect upcoming initiatives to incorporate more diverse voices into the Mint’s exhibitions, as well as a possible expansion of its free admission times.
“We are committed to being part of not just the cultural ecosystem but the entire ecosystem of Charlotte,” Herman said. “We want to be able to change and react and be flexible as needed so we can meet the needs of the public.”
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