Monday, June 23, 2014

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture Kicks Off 40th Anniversary Celebration

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David R. Taylor, president and CEO, Gantt Center; Hugh McColl, former president, Bank of America;
Vivian Hewitt, arts patron, John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art; and
Harvey Gantt, architect and former Mayor of Charlotte 

History and heritage thread through exhibitions, performances and programs for members, visitors and the community

CHARLOTTE, NC – On July 1, 2014, the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture will officially launch its fortieth anniversary celebration with three new art exhibitions and a yearlong rollout of community engagement activities, cultural presentations and festive events.  “This milestone provides an extraordinary opportunity to reflect on the Gantt Center’s role in shaping ideas, people and paths in the Charlotte region over the past four decades,” said Gantt Center President and CEO David R. Taylor.  “Few communities in our nation have the privilege of prominent, public places that—for forty years—have carried a mission to present, preserve and celebrate the Black experience.  Proudly, the Gantt Center holds that distinction for Charlotte.”

Starting in July and running through June 2015, Remember will not only serve as the Gantt Center’s fortieth anniversary theme but also as a community call to action.  The concerted campaign will celebrate the culture-keepers, game-changers and landmark achievements that have influenced the Center’s evolution and forever altered the civic landscape of Charlotte.  Public engagement, programming, performances and publications are integral to Remember, which aims to deepen the community’s collective knowledge of the Center’s heritage and history as a cultural institution.

“I appreciate that the Gantt Center has approached the upcoming year and Remember campaign with such forethought,” says Brett Carter, a Duke Energy executive who is co-chairing the 40th Anniversary Steering Committee with his wife Beckie Carter and Tina and Kevin Henry.  “It’s a look back at the last 40 years but also an invitation to become a member and participate in what happens in the next 40 years.”

Formation of the 40th Anniversary Steering Committee and the 1974 Challenge Committee are part of the Remember campaign’s Membership pillar, which aims to recognize longtime supporters, connect with multiple communities and networks and cultivate a new generation of members.

Remember at the Gantt Center will unfold with the following happenings:

“1974 Challenge”
Participate in the Anniversary by Becoming a Member

Founded in 1974, the Harvey B. Gantt Center invites the public to remember and support its mission through membership in celebration of its anniversary.  Membership, which starts at $35, brings such privileges as unlimited free admission, private exhibition previews, discounts on purchases and much more.  Supporting the Gantt Center as a member provides important funding for outreach programs that enrich the lives of people in Charlotte and across the region.  Members become a part of the Center’s proud legacy and its boundless future.

When members join the Gantt Center between July 1, 2014 and June 30, 2015, they are participating in the 1974 Challenge.  Every new or renewing member moves the nonprofit organization closer to an unprecedented goal of 1,974 members.

Jazzy Holiday Gala
An Evening to Remember

Grand anniversaries call for a gala! The Gantt Center is scaling up its traditional holiday luncheon to an elegant black-tie affair on Saturday, December 6 at the Charlotte Convention Center.  PNC Bank is Presenting Sponsor of the 2014 Jazzy Holiday Gala, which will pay tribute to four remarkable decades of presenting, preserving and celebrating African-American art, history and culture.  Distinguished recipients of the 2014 Spirit of the Center Award are Johnson C. Smith University, Hugh McColl, and Deborah Willis, Ph.D.  Sponsorship and ticket information is available at (See 2013 highlights here.)

Destination: ¡Cuba!
Travel to Intriguing and Colorful Havana

African influences are far-reaching and span the globe, and Cuban culture embodies this diasporic legacy in the Americas.  The Gantt Center and Cross Cultural Journeys Foundation will lead an exciting people-to-people learning journey allowing Gantt Center members and fellow travelers to explore the colorful, vibrant history and culture of Cuba—its friendly citizens, contemporary artists, exceptional architecture, music and colorful outdoor markets.  Set for December 19-23, the five-day, four-night trip will highlight Afro-Cuban dance, film, art and the Havana Jazz Festival.  Travelers will learn and create new memories with the Gantt Center on its inaugural institutional trip with an international destination.

Other anniversary celebrations include the 40 and Counting debut exhibition, GanttFest! 2014, and its annual Gantt Symposium.  For more information on the Gantt Center, please visit and follow on Facebook and on Twitter: @hbganttcenter.  Follow news from the fortieth year via the hashtags #Remember, #1974Challenge and #Gantt40.

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