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Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture marks its 50th anniversary in 2024 with the Gantt Golden Year, a yearlong celebration of Black joy, genius, and excellence. Illuminating the Gantt's fifty-year evolution from an idea to an institution, we honor the people and culture since its founding in 1974.

The Gantt Golden Year features a series of premier performances, gala events, exceptional exhibitions, and outstanding programs. During this epic year of celebration, the Gantt:

  • Engages the community through multidisciplinary programming across generations, interests, backgrounds, faith traditions, and neighborhoods
  • Ensures local artists and creatives are prominent and inspired
  • Presents local, national, and international artists across various platforms
  • Collaborates with an array of groups, institutions, and partner organizations

"We are thrilled to mark our 50th anniversary throughout 2024, with programs and events across visual, performing, literary, and culinary arts," said David R. Taylor, former president and CEO, Harvey B. Gantt Center. “In the spirit of our mission and in honor of our founders’ vision, celebrating this landmark year ignites community engagement while trumpeting the contributions of the Gantt to the arts and cultural landscape of the Charlotte region.”

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A Special Performance by Boris “Bluz” Rogers

"For Black Boys Who Dream in Skylines"

This spoken word piece performed in honor of the 50th anniversary celebration and those who were instrumental in establishing the Gantt’s foundation.

50th Anniversary Watermark

"The Gantt Golden Year" will be celebrated through 2024 and across five arts and cultural pillars:

  • Dance
  • Afro-Culinary Foodways
  • Literary Talks and Community Forums
  • Art Exhibitions
  • Music

The Gantt and Blumenthal Performing Arts partner to present the world's first Black classical ballet company, Dance Theatre of Harlem on February 9 & 10, 2024, with a gala reception before the Saturday, February 10 evening performance. An American professional ballet company and school based in Harlem, NY, Dance Theatre of Harlem was founded in 1969 under the directorship of Arthur Mitchell. The Gantt will also offer a dance education series, led by local dance instructors and dance organizations, that will be available for K-12 students and the wider community.

Revel in Afro-culinary arts with nationally-renowned Stephen Satterfield and regional award-winning chefs and culinary experts. Extraordinary food experiences will be curated by Stephen Satterfield, the 2024 Gantt Scholar-in-Residence. Satterfield is an American food writer, producer, and TV host of the Peabody Award-winning docuseries High on the Hog: How African American Cuisine Transformed America on Netflix. As the Gantt’s Scholar-in-Residence, Satterfield curates three (3) farm-to-table community dinners in March, May, and October 2024. For these experiences, he partners with regional Black farmers, local restauranteurs, caterers, and renowned chefs, including Greg and Subrina Collier’s BayHaven Food Festival collaboration.

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l. to r. Yaa Gyasi, Dennis Reed, and Patrick Alston

Knowledge is power. The Gantt features incredible literary talks and community forums, like the 1619 Project public talk featuring Pulitzer Prize-winning writer, Nikole Hannah-Jones. On July 11, 2024, at Knight Theater, the creator of the 1619 Project and staff writer at The New York Times Magazine hosts a public talk on the 1619 Project, discussing its implications, impact, and impetus for Black futures. Her 1619 Project illuminates the legacy of slavery in the contemporary United States and highlights the contributions of Black Americans to every aspect of American society. It is also an Emmy® Award-nominated six-part Hulu docuseries.

The Big Read: Homegoing centers the community-wide reading of one of Oprah’s 'Best Books of the Year' and PEN/Hemingway award-winning novel by Ghanaian-American author, Yaa Gyasi. National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) selected the Gantt to lead The Big Read in the Charlotte region during the Gantt’s 2024 fiscal year.

Due to the book’s themes and myriad opportunities for community building, Homegoing, is a natural selection for the Gantt and its collaborators, particularly the three library partners -- Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Cabarrus County Library, and J. Murrey Atkins Library at The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. On February 23, 2024, the kick-off celebration features the Kankouran West African Dance Company and the distribution of books. On June 27, 2024, The Big Read community-wide program culminates with the Homegoing book talk featuring Yaa Gyasi.

The Big Read will have robust programming on topics relevant to celebrations each month, including February - Black History, March - Women’s History, April - National Poetry, May - African World Heritage Day, June - Immigrant Heritage, and Juneteenth.

Powerful works by exceptional Black artists from the region and around the globe will be on view at the Gantt during 2024. Art exhibitions will include celebratory opening and closing events; artist visits and talks; student tours and panel discussions with national and local artists, curators, and art enthusiasts.

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l. to r. Dance Theatre of Harlem, Stephen Satterfield, and Nikole Hannah-Jones

Music is a common theme interwoven throughout many of the Gantt Golden Year activities. Award-winning gospel & soul musician and community leader, Dennis Reed, is the Gantt’s Musical Artist-in-Residence to steward music experiences during 2024. Reed and his music GAP were finalists on NBC’s America’s Got Talent, performed for President Obama at the 2012 Democratic National Convention, a chart-topping Billboard artist, and many more accolades. Reed curates a series of music performances and experiences to present fresh, interactive cultural experiences, with music, that illuminate the rich talents, contributions, and impact of African-Americans on society. Major activities include a Juneteenth concert at Knight Theater; a concert series that features local and national artists, with pre-concert conversations; gospel brunches; master classes and programming, with panel discussions that explore the art and business of being a musician and creative professional.

Post-Traumatism: In Search of Freedom solo exhibition featuring Patrick Alston, curated by Dexter Wimberly, will be on view November 10, 2023 through May 12, 2024. Alston is a painter whose art practice focuses on gesture and materiality. Through abstraction, his work reflects on socio-politics, identity, language, and the psychology of color. The exhibition seeks to illuminate the profound interconnectedness of human existence and the universality of our struggle for emancipation. In this exhibition, eight large-scale abstract paintings take center stage, adorned with visceral and emotive gestures that lay bare the raw intensity of trauma and triumph.

A Superlative Palette: Contemporary Black Women Artists curated by Dexter Wimberly, will be on view January 26 through July 11, 2024. This group exhibition brings together the work of more than a dozen generation-defining, contemporary Black women artists from around the world. In the realm of contemporary art, the contributions of Black women artists have been transformative, challenging traditional narratives, and enriching the cultural landscape. A Superlative Palette will feature works by Mickalene Thomas, Deborah Roberts, Amy Sherald, and more.

Christopher Myers: Please Trouble, Carry Me features the installation Let The Mermaids Flirt with Me (2022) and will be on view February 2 through July 21, 2024. In addition, works demonstrating the scope of Myers’ creative process. He is an artist and writer whose work across disciplines is rooted in storytelling and delves into the past, to build narratives that speak to the slippages between history and mythology. His diverse practice spans textiles, performance, film, and sculptural objects, often created in collaboration with artisans from around the globe.

Qualeasha Wood’s solo exhibition will be on view May 24 through September 2024. Wood is a next-gen textile artist whose work contemplates realities around Black female embodiment that do and may possibly exist. Inspired by a familial relationship to textiles, queer craft, Microsoft Paint, and internet avatars, Wood’s tufted and tapestry pieces mesh traditional craft and contemporary technological materials. She navigates an internet environment saturated in Black Femme figures and culture with a political and economic environment holding that embodiment at the margins.

The John & Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art is an assemblage of fifty-eight two-dimensional works celebrating the expression and passion of twenty artists, including Charlotte-born Romare Bearden and other master artists, Margaret Burroughs, Jonathan Green, Jacob Lawrence, Elizabeth Catlett, Ann Tanksley, and Henry Ossawa Tanner. The Gantt is the permanent home of the Hewitt Collection and is delighted to have this collection exhibition on view August – September 2024. Acquired by Bank of America and pledged to the Gantt in 1998, the Hewitt is a cornerstone of the Gantt’s permanent collection.

Black Rock Global Arts Foundation presents a group exhibition of selected alumni artists from the Black Rock Sénégal artist residency program, which will be on view August 9, 2024 – January 20, 2025. The Foundation was established by renowned artist Kehinde Wiley to support initiatives that connect artists and creative thinkers throughout the world with opportunities to collaborate, create, and live in locations of cultural significance on the African continent and throughout the African diaspora. The Foundation's primary grantee is the multidisciplinary artist residency program, Black Rock Sénégal, which is located in Dakar and has hosted over 60 artists since it opened in 2019. This exhibition serves as the launchpad for a five-year partnership with the Gantt.

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The Gantt: A Look Back Over 50 Years

Take a brief look at 50 years of history, highlights, and milestones of the Gantt, from the initial idea through a half-century of change and growth.

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After a five-year absence due to COVID, the Gantt is excited to announce the annual Jazzy Gala will return in December 2024 as a grand culmination of an incredible year of celebration and commemoration.

Gantt Golden Year Schedule *

November 2023

  • Patrick Alston Post Traumatism: In Search of Freedom (November 10, 2023 - May 12, 2024)

January 2024

  • Black Carolina Artist Residency (January 22 - July 26)
  • A Superlative Palette: Contemporary Black Women Artists (January 26 - July 28)

February 2024

  • Dance Theater of Harlem with Blumenthal Performing Arts (February 9 & 10)
  • The Big Read: Homegoing by Yaa Gyasi (February 23)
  • Christopher Myers solo exhibition (February 2 - July 21)

March 2024

  • Stephen Satterfield: Foodways Community Dinner Celebrating Women’s History Month

April 2024

  • Jazz Appreciation Month concert

May 2024

  • Stephen Satterfield: Foodways Community Dinner
  • Qualeasha Wood exhibition (May - September)

June 2024

  • Big Read Culmination, Homegoing author Yaa Gyasi
  • Juneteenth Celebration
  • Black Music Month

July 2024

  • A Night at the Gantt – Kids Edition
  • Nikole Hannah-Jones 1619 Project (July 11)

August 2024

  • Hewitt Collection on view (August - September)
  • Black Rock Senegal exhibition (August 9, 2024 - January 20, 2025)

October 2024

  • Foodways: BayHaven Food & Wine Festival collaboration (October 4)

December 2024

  • Golden Year culminates with Jazzy 2024

* Please note that this is not a complete listing as other activities, events, programs and performances will be added to this schedule.

About The Gantt

Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture is a multidisciplinary arts institution located in the heart of Charlotte, North Carolina. Founded in 1974, the Gantt's mission is to present, preserve, and celebrate excellence in the art, history, and culture of African Americans and those of African descent through visual and literary arts, dance, music, film, educational programs, theatre productions, and community outreach. The Gantt features fine art and history exhibitions from around the world. It's home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art, which was generously donated by Bank of America and is accessible online.

Named for Charlotte civic leader and former mayor Harvey Bernard Gantt, the Gantt is housed in an iconic, award-winning structure designed by architect Philip Freelon, co-designer of the Smithsonian National Museum for African American History and Culture (NMAAHC).

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