Charlotte’s Got a Lot estimates that between 30,000 and 35,000 people will come to Charlotte as part of the Democratic National Convention slated to take place next week. To help all those out-of-towners make the most of their visit to the Tar Heel state, we’ve collected some great cultural experiences and attractions in the greater Charlotte area.
Two wonderful art museums in the heart of Charlotte—both supported by the N.C. Arts Council—are currently playing host to first-rate politically-themed exhibitions. “Read My Pins” at the Mint Museum Uptown gives visitors the opportunity to explore the history of American foreign policy through the jewelry of former Secretary of State Madeline Albright. Albright is famous for wearing decorative pins to send diplomatic messages. The Mint’s Vote for Art Project, which kicks off September 1, also invites visitors to explore politics in a unique way.
The Light Factory, also located in uptown Charlotte, has two exhibitions that explore politics through photography and film. “We are Charlotte” gives Charlotte high school students the opportunity to communicate their political beliefs through images and video, while “Out In the Streets” chronicles the 1968 Democratic National Convention through the eyes of photographers caught in fighting between police and protestors.
If history is more your thing, the area offers plenty of opportunities, too. The President James K. Polk State Historic Site, in Pineville, about 12 miles from downtown, preserves Polk’s birth place and explores the history of his presidential term. About a half hour east, Reed Gold Mine in Midland gives visitors the chance to pan for gold at the site of the first documented find of the ore in the United States, and the N.C. Transportation Museum in Spencer offers a glimpse into our industrial past on the grounds of a former Southern Railway’s steam locomotive repair facility.