History of Levine Museum of the New South Charlotte
The Levine Museum of the New South is a history museum in Charlotte, North Carolina, whose exhibits focus on life in the Piedmont region of North Carolina following the Civil War. Temporary and permanent displays on a variety of Southern-related topics can be found in the museum. The Museum of the New South was founded in 1991 and was renamed after museum patron and Family Dollar founder Leon Levine in 2001, the same year the present location at 7th and College Streets in downtown opened.
“Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers: Charlotte and the Carolina Piedmont in the New South,” the museum’s permanent exhibit, has historical displays that reflect regional history. A one-room tenant farmer’s cottage, a cotton mill and mill house, an African-American hospital, an early Belk department store, and a lunch counter from the civil-rights era are among the exhibits. Local culture, art, and history are featured in rotating exhibits.
The Charlotte Museum of History announced in March 2013 that it would relocate its administrative offices to the Levine Museum.
The exhibit “The Legacy of Lynching: Confronting Racial Terror in America” was created in partnership with the Equal Justice Initiative, which constructed the National Memorial for Peace and Justice, and was on display at the museum in 2019.
According to county documents, relocation was contemplated in 2020 since the site had no opportunity for expansion and was worth $7.7 million. One cause for pursuing additional virtual possibilities was the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum announced on June 16, 2021 that it will sell its downtown facility and seek a new location. This announcement comes as the museum prepares to launch virtual activities such as a digital walking tour in August 2021. The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation provided a $600,000 grant to assist make these changes possible.
The Levine Museum of the New South was formed thirty years ago as a history museum dedicated to telling everyone’s narrative — a novel idea at the time and still a daring vision now. We started out as a location that would employ exhibits and programming to confront some of the most challenging challenges we face today in a historical perspective that would develop deeper understanding, empathy, and action toward a better future.
Levine Museum established exhibits and programmes with, for, and about the various populations we serve long before it was customary. Levine Museum redefined the role of the history museum in the community thirty years ago.
We have award-winning exhibits within our walls that explore Charlotte’s post-Civil War history and the changing neighbourhoods that define Charlotte today. Our workshops encourage participants to learn more about important contemporary topics through the lens of history and to engage in healthy debate with others.
Annual Family Days honouring Dia de Muertos, Three Kings Day, Martin Luther King Day, Juneteenth, and Herstory highlight history and culture. Thousands of local families attend these free events to dance, sing, create, eat, and learn about Charlotte’s varied community.
We are continuing the Museum’s heritage of respect for history, inclusivity, diversity, and innovation beyond its doors. Through online programmes that deliver essential conversations to audiences across the country, digital technologies allow us to expand our reach. Students who are unable to visit can participate in field trips through online exhibits. And app-based experiences allow us to extend the Museum into the community by bringing history to life in the places where it happened.
As we strive to establish a better, more equitable, and just community, the Levine Museum ties us to this place and to each other through stories, dialogue, and celebration.
Levine Museum of the New South Charlotte Map
From I-77 South or I-85, take I-77 South to Brookshire Freeway (exit 11). Take Brookshire Freeway East / I-277 South (exit 11A). Take the Church/Tryon Street exit onto 11th Street. Turn right onto Tryon Street. Turn left onto 7th Street. The Museum is on the right, on the corner of College and 7th, with the entrance facing 7th Street.
From I-77 North, take John Belk Freeway / I-277 North (exit 9B) to the College Street exit. Take College Street (one-way) to 7th Street. Turn right onto 7th Street. The Museum is on the right, on the corner of College and 7th, with the entrance facing 7th Street.
Take the Lynx Blue Line to the Seventh Street Station.
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