Local Arts

Charlotte Arts 2019-20: The science and history museums calendar

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Charlotte Arts Guide 2019-20

Here’s all of our stories on the new arts season. We’ll introduce you to the diverse group of people making vital contributions to the arts. You’ll find them in museums, on stage, in studios and even outdoors. And you’ll get our calendar listings for theater, dance, music, museums, literary events and visual arts.

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Charlotte Museum of History

3500 Shamrock Dr.; 704-568-1774 ; charlottemuseum.org

Ongoing: Unforgettable Music Venues of Charlotte. A tribute to three Charlotte music venues that have closed down: The Double Door Inn, The Excelsior Club and Tremont Music Hall.

Photos by Daniel Costen are on display in The Charlotte Museum of History’s newest exhibit on three iconic music venues in the Queen City that have closed. Alex Cason Photography

Sept. 28: Mad About Modern Home Tour. Experience mid-century modern architecture and design through Charlotte’s well-preserved private homes.

Sept. 29: Scots-Irish in the Backcountry. Part of the museum’s Teas of the British Isles series, guests can learn about one of the largest groups of European settlers whose influence made a lasting impression on the backcountry’s culture and traditions.

Discovery Place Science

Part of a network of four hands-on museums in three cities. 301 N. Tryon St. 704-372-6261 ; science.discoveryplace.org

As part of a larger exhibit on Cuba, Discovery Place will show the IMAX film “Cuba” on Sept. 28. Courtesy of Discovery Place

Sept. 20: ”Science on the Rocks: Survival Skills.” Learn skills that will help you survive life, from basic adulting challenges to a zombie apocalypse.

Sept. 26: “Make and Mingle: Chalk & Magnet Memo Board.” Tired of that old cork board hanging in the kitchen or office? At Make & Mingle, people can make their own Half Magnetic Half Chalk Memo Board. Design up to two custom pieces to laser engrave and cut to make into magnets for your board.

Sept. 28: “Family Science Olympiad.” Discovery Place Science celebrates science, teamwork and STEM during its Family Science Olympiad event. In partnership with the North Carolina Science Olympiad, families of all ages are welcome to try science challenges that inspire teamwork, shape critical thinking skills, inspire innovation and introduce families to STEM topics. Participants can solve a crime using science clues, explore prehistoric fossils, predict weather patterns and unearth facts about earthquakes and volcanoes. As part of Educator Saturdays, all educators and Science Olympiad coaches who present their school ID or NCDNPE homeschool certificate will receive free admission for them plus one guest.

Oct. 29, Jan. 28, March 24: “Nat Geo Live.” October’s “The Search for Life Beyond Earth” features astrobiologist Kevin Hand, who is part of the team planning NASA’s mission to Jupiter’s moon Europa. Wildlife photographer Brian Skerry shares his experiences shooting in the glacial waters of the North Atlantic to the shark-infested waters of Australia during January’s “Ocean Soul” event. For March’s show, “Into the Arctic Kingdom,” photographer Florian Schulz shares stories and photos of the vibrant ecosystem he discovered while living in the Arctic kingdom for 34 months.

Through Dec. 27: IMAX Film “Superpower Dogs.” Meet real life K-9 heroes from around the globe who brave natural disasters, protect endangered species and assist those with special needs. Narrated by Chris Evans.

A man drives a classic America car past a row of multi-colored facades in Havana, Cuba, last year. Discovery Place Science has a number of programs planned that take a look at Cuba’s natural and cultural makeup. Desmond Boylan AP

Sept. 28: IMAX Film “Cuba.” Cuban artists, historians and scientists lead this cinematic journey to a culturally vibrant land — until recently — untouched by time.

Nov. 1 – Jan. 1.: ¡Cuba! Delve further into Cuba’s natural and cultural makeup from detailed biodiversity displays that explore the country’s diverse landscapes and ecosystems to games, music and interactive experiences that highlight its unique culture, art, architecture and commerce.

Discovery Place Nature

1658 Sterling Rd.; 704-372-6261 ; nature.discoveryplace.org/

Sept. 10: “CROWN Lecture Series.” Learn more about bird migrations with North Carolina Wildlife Federation Board Member Scott Fletcher.

Sept. 11 and Sept. 14: “Photography Walk.” Learn and practice a few lessons in digital photography while strolling around the Paw Paw Nature Trail.

Sept. 18 and Sept. 21: “Flight Adventures.” This multimedia planetarium show will guide you through the times, learning about famous aviators and planes, and imagining where the future of flight may lead.

Sept. 25 and Sept. 28: “Design Challenge.” Astronauts need to be creative and design their own supplies sometimes. Guests can try their hand at designing a space bag that will hold all of their space gear.


Sept. 27: “Beekeeper Q&A.” This is an interactive program held on Fridays about the basics of beekeeping. Visitors can sample the honey made by Discovery Place Nature bees.

Sept. 28: “Nature Walk.” Join a naturalists on the fourth Saturday of each month for a stroll around Discovery Place Nature’s Paw Paw Nature Trail. People can use their senses of sight, hearing, smell and touch to discover the beauty and diversity of the forest habitat.

Discovery Place Kids

105 Gilead Rd., Huntersville, 704-372-6261 ; 233 E. Washington St., Rockingham, 910-997-5266 ; kids.discoveryplace.org.

Through Sept. 15: “Radical Robots.” A time to explore the world of robots.

Sept. 16-30: “Hands on History.” At the Huntersville location, participants will find, investigate and examine historic examples of the things used every day to spot the different ways these items have changed.

Levine Museum of the New South

200 E. 7th St. ; 704-333-1887 ; www.museumofthenewsouth.org

Ongoing exhibitions: “#HomeCLT. People. Places. Promises.” An evolving exhibition exploring change in Charlotte neighborhoods through history, economy, racial inequity and development. The exhibit uses stories, photography, video, and an augmented reality app that tracks changing demographics in neighborhoods like (in its first incarnation) Eastland Mall, Enderly Park, Dilworth, Hidden Valley and Sedgefield. “K(no)w Justice K(no)w Peace.” A community-curated exhibit covering police-related shootings and protests in Charlotte and across the nation with photographs by Alvin C. Jacobs, Jr. and displays by Tiffany Packer and students from Johnson C. Smith University. “Colorism.” A mixed media, graphic design and digital art exhibit by high school students about how race relations and color informs the future. “Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers: Reinventing Charlotte and the Carolina Piedmont in the New South.” An 8,000-square-foot journey through the area’s history through artifacts, oral histories, video, sound, displays and interactive experiences.

Levine Museum Historian Willie Griffin shows off an augmented reality app during the opening reception for the museum’s #HomeCLT exhibit. Courtesy of Lady Latimore Photography

Free Family Days: No admission fee and family-friendly games, crafts, food, exhibits and activities that coincide with holidays and cultural festivals, including Martin Luther King Day, International Women’s Month, Juneteenth and Day of the Dead.

Schiele Museum of Natural History

1500 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia; 704-866-6904 ; schielemuseum.org

Sept. 14: Bat Discovery. Learn about the native bat population and have myths dispelled through Carolina caves, interactive displays and otheractivities.

Sept. 28: Reptile & Amphibian Day. Get up close with snakes, alligators, turtles, frogs and other reptiles and amphibians, explore the nature trail, cheer for “runners” in the turtle race and talk to researchers about fungi, insects and archaeology.

Reptile Day 2.jpg
Reptile & Amphibian Day is Sept. 28 at the Schiele Museum. DENA JENKINS Courtesy of the Schiele Museum

Oct. 4 and Nov. 1 : Friday Night Lights. In October, the first Friday series focuses on “Dynamic Earth,” which will explore Earth’s interconnected systems from sun to sea and how they inform our weather. November’s presentation, “Our Carolina Lights,” starts with the Carolina sky and touches on everything from the history of astronomy to the latest space missions and advancements.

Oct. 12: Catawba Indian Festival. Celebrate one of the Carolinas’ earliest indigenous people through traditional stories, drum circles, dance, crafts and other hands-on activities during the final event in the Indian Summer Series.

Catawba Indian Festival 1.jpg
The final event in the Indian Summer Series at the Schiele Museum is the Catawba Indian Festival on Oct. 12. Courtesy of the Schiele Museum

Oct. 26: Night at the Creepy Museum. Creep through darkened galleries, experience a living haunting and meet spooky creatures in the ongoing Creepy Nature exhibit before settling in for ghost stories under the stars in the planetarium.

Opening fall 2019: New Piedmont Heritage Farm’s All New Farm Experience. Interact with live animals and witness the care and inner workings of an 18th century farm. Special events include the messy post-Halloween “Pumpkin’ Chunkin’” on Nov. 3 and “Down on the Farm,” with instructions and demonstrations of animal care and farm life, Nov. 23.

A few days before Halloween, people can go to the Schiele Museum of Natural History in Gastonia and experience a “Night at the Creepy Museum.” Observer file photo

More arts coverage

You can find all of our arts season preview stories and calendars in one place: charlotteobserver.com/topics/charlotte-arts-guide.

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