Dance, eat and tour the town at Connect with Culture Days

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At this year’s Connect with Culture Days, hosted by the Arts and Science Council on Saturday, Jan. 26, community facilities will transform into arts and culture hubs to present free cultural programming throughout the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area.

The fifth annual event, celebrating ASC’s 60th anniversary, is an opportunity for residents to have free access to sample and connect with creative individuals and arts, science and history organizations in the community.

Throughout the day, these 12 “hubs” will each be hosting five to 10 family friendly and free culturally diverse experiences. With a wide variety of activities including music and dance performances, art, tours, programming robots and even food, there’s something new for everyone to discover. 

Find where you want to go.

University City/Mallard Creek

Camino Community Center, 201 Stetson Drive, 28262

(1) Read With Love, 11:30 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Registration is required, so make sure to visit here. There is also a Spanish experience offered from 10–11 a.m. You can register for the reading in Spanish here.

(2) Afro-Brazilian Dance Class, 11 a.m.–noon

The Department of Dance at UNC Charlotte will be teaching a dance class incorporating basic Afro-Brazilian dance movement. No previous experience is necessary, and all ages are welcome.

(3) Friendship Bracelets, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

Create Friendship Blankets for neighbors in need. No previous sewing experience is necessary.

(4) Grupo Los Morales, noon–1 p.m.

Join Grupo Los Morales, a music group that has been performing since 2002.

(5) Story Time with a Ballerina, 2:15–3 p.m.

Children ages 4 to 7 are invited to story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(6) Music Performance by Mariachi Gavilanes Gabriel, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Interested in Mariachi music? All ages are welcome at this group performance by Mariachi Gavilanes Gabriel.

East Charlotte

Charlotte Museum of History, 3500 Shamrock Drive, 28215

(1) Tours of the Hezekiah Alexander Homesite, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.

Admission and tours of the Hezekiah Alexander Homesite, which is a Revolutionary War-era home, is free and open to all ages.

(2) El Ritmo! with Dapper Street Productions, 11:45 a.m.–1 p.m.

Check out this Latin Jazz experience presented by talented musicians from all over the world.

(3) Taste of the World, noon–4 p.m.

Enjoy an international culinary adventure by sampling food from all over the world, including Southern, Caribbean, Chinese and Italian cuisine, and many more!fballe

(4) Sphero Robotics by Digi-Bridge, noon–3 p.m.

Those who range from 5 to 17 years old have the chance to program Sphero robots using algorithm and block coding.

(5) Sweet Jenn, 12:30–1 p.m., and 4–4:30 p.m.

Sweet Jenn is an old theatrical performance based on the experiences of an enslaved woman. Lakeetha Blakeney will perform an excerpt from the show.

(6) Food from Home, 1:30–2 p.m.

Learn about the food traditions of our city with this interactive slide talk by Dr. Tom Hanchett.

(7) West African Dance Class, 2:15–3:15 p.m.

Try this workshop presented by the Charlotte Ballet to learn a series of movements based in traditional West African dance. No previous experience is necessary, and all ages are welcome.

(8) Charlotte 101 by Dr. Tom Hanchett, 3–3:30 p.m.

Dr. Tom Hanchett will take participants on a quick journey through 25 years of our city’s history.

(9) Music Performance by Mark Larson Combo, 3:30–4:30 p.m.

Watch a swing jazz performance to vintage, well-known songs.

Northwest Charlotte

Northwest School of the Arts, 1415 Beatties Ford Road, 28216

(1) Story Time with a Ballerina, 10–11 a.m.

Dress up for story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(2) Music Performance by the Charlotte Symphony’s Prelude Ensemble, noon–12:45 p.m.

Enjoy this live, 45-minute performance and discussion of the instruments used in the symphony, repertoire and featured composers.

(3) Be A Lion, 12:30–2:30 p.m.

Inspired by “The Wiz,” “Be A Lion” tells the story of who will restore Oz after the Wiz is gone and what happens to Dorothy once she returns home.

(4) Number Drummer, 1:30–2:30 p.m., 3–4 p.m., and 4:15–5:15 p.m.

Mix math and music in an experience like never before. Registration is required. Click here to register for 1:30 p.m. performance. Click here to register for the 3 p.m. performance. And click here for the 4:15 p.m. performance.

(5) Solar System Spectacular, 2–5 p.m.

Step inside the Starlab and experience the wonders of the universe. Explore the solar system to learn about the sun, planets, asteroids and moons that make up the Earth’s neighborhood. This experience will take place in the gym.

(6) Two Trains Running, 4:15–5:15 p.m.

In this performance, urban planning has taken over a restaurant owner’s neighborhood, and the owner must decide whether or not he must sell his beloved restaurant. Adults only, as the performance contains mature language.

South Charlotte

Sam Lerner Center at Foundation of Shalom Park, 5007 Providence Road, 28270

(1) ELECTRICITY!, 1–2 p.m.

Learn how the discovery of Earth’s invisible magnetic force and static electricity led to a useful understanding of electromagnetic energy.

(2) Slam Poetry Workshop with Bluz, 2–3:15 p.m.

Those ages 13 to 19 will learn tips and tricks on how to put their thoughts onto paper, and will have the chance to read their own work aloud. Go here to register.

(3) Senior Movement Class, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

Charlotte Ballet will host a movement class that begins in a chair and later gets participants on their feet.

(4) Jamming Through the African Diaspora, 4–5 p.m.

Through music, dance and the spoken word, hear the tales and experiences of the African Diaspora.

Mint Hill

Lebanon Road Elementary School, 7300 Lebanon Road, 28227

(1) Musical Petting Zoo, 10 a.m.–1 p.m.

Have you ever visited an instrument petting zoo? Now is your chance!

(2) Performance by Charlotte Arirang Korean Drummers, 10–10:45 a.m.

This rhythmic performance is appropriate for all ages. 

(3) Let Me Entertain You, noon–1 p.m.

Performers from the Northwest School of Arts will present Broadway songs, presented by Theatre Charlotte.

(4) Story Time with a Ballerina, 2–2:45 p.m.

Dress up for story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(5) Capoeira Class, 3:15-4:15 p.m.

The International Capoeira School will teach guests about the art form of Capoeira to spread awareness of Afro-Brazilian culture.

Pineville

Pineville Elementary School, 204 Lowry St., Pineville 28134

(1) Story Time with a Ballerina, 10–11 a.m.

Dress up for story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(2) Afro-Caribbean Dance Class, noon–1 p.m.

Charlotte Ballet will teach an Afro-Caribbean dance class, which is performed with high energy and maintained in a fluid motion.

(3) Accordion Bookmaking, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Learn about each step in the book creation, design and finishing process.

(4) Tangle of Tales, 2–3 p.m.

Watch as three of your favorite folks tales come to life with a modern twist: “The Frog Prince” from Germany, “Three Billy Goats Gruff” from Scandinavia and “The Three Little Pigs” from England.

Southwest Charlotte

Nations Ford Road Elementary School (behind E. E. Waddell Language Academy), 7050 Nations Ford Road, 28217

(1) Dancing with Sphero, 10 a.m.–4 p.m.

Program a Sphero to dance along to your favorite song.

(2) Latin Dance Class, 11 a.m.–noon

Charlotte Ballet teaching artist Lorraine Crittendon will lead a fun Latin dance class, exploring various Caribbean dance styles such as Salsa, Bachata and Merengue.

(3) Visual Art Experience by Edith Covarrubias, noon–4 p.m.

Make art that is both educational and fun.

(4) Story Time with a Ballerina, 2–3 p.m.

Dress up for story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(5) Traveling Blue: From Latin America to New Orleans, 3–4:30 p.m.

Hear the songs that bring feeling and life to singers Tenya Coleman and Anan Lucia Divins.

North End/Sugar Creek

Sugar Creek Church of Christ–Fellowship Hall, 3932 Sofley Road, 28206 

(1) The Wonderful Potential of Clay, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Participants will learn basic hand building techniques out of clay.

(2) Steppin’ Into Health, 11 a.m.–noon

The Purple Charlotte Steppers will teach American-style ballroom and line dancing to participants of all ages.

(3) Jazz Performance by Vincent Rivers, 12:30–1:30 p.m.

Enjoy the sounds of Vincent Rivers.

(4) Story Time with a Ballerina, 2–3 p.m.

Dress up for story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(5) Experience: YAPRE Bomba, 3:30–4 p.m.

Experience two bomba dances from Puerto Rico: sicá and yubá.

West Charlotte

Barringer Academic Center, 1546 Walton Road, 28208

(1) Story Time with a Ballerina, 10–11 a.m.

Dress up for story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(2) The Healing Force, 11 a.m.–noon

Tosco Music will tell folk tales, as well as sing songs while also celebrating African culture.

(3) Friendship Blankets, 11:30 a.m.–2 p.m.

Create Friendship Blankets for neighbors in need. No previous sewing experience is necessary.

(4) African Drum Circle, 2:30–3:30 p.m.

Enjoy a performance by Drums 4 Life.

(5) Repertory Dance & Cirque Works, 1:30–2 p.m.

Mix dance and circus arts through repertory works.

Steele Creek

Central Steele Creek Presbyterian Church–Gym, 9401 S. Tryon St., 28273 

(1) Story Time with a Ballerina, 10–11 a.m.

Dress up for story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(2) Lego WeDo 2.0, noon–3 p.m.

All ages are invited to build and program robots to complete various tasks.

(4) Performance by Jazz Arts Initiative, noon–1 p.m.

An all-age performance will be presented by the Jazz Arts Initiative.

(5) Vibrant Cultural Dances, 2–3 p.m.

Watch 3000-year-old Indian classical and folk dances presented by Dr. Maha Gingrich and groups.

(6) Recuérdame, 3:45–4:15 p.m.

The Nouveau Sud project will be presenting Recuérdame.

Cornelius

Cornelius Town Hall, 21445 Catawba Ave., Cornelius, 28031 

(1) Dance A Story: “Peter Pan,” 10–11 a.m.

Enjoy this experience, presented by the Charlotte Ballet, with a dance class and story-telling.

(2) Lego WeDo 2.0, noon–3 p.m.

Children ages 5-8 are invited to build and program robots to complete various tasks.

(3) Visual Art Experiences, noon–5 p.m.

Create artworks based on the works of various artists such as Georgia O’Keefe.

Ballantyne

Morrison YMCA, 9405 Bryant Farms Road, 28277 

(1) Wheel Throwing Demo & Hand building, 1–3 p.m.

Use a pottery wheel and participate in a hand-building clay project. All ages are welcome.

(2) Teen Slam Poetry Workshop, 1:30–3:30 p.m.

Participants ages 13 to 18 will tips and tricks on how to put their thoughts onto paper, and will have the chance to read their own work aloud. Go here to register.

(3) Lego WeDo 2.0, 2–5 p.m.

All ages are invited to build and program robots to complete various tasks.

(4) Story Time with a Ballerina, 2–3 p.m.

Dress up for story time with ballerinas from Charlotte Ballet.

(5) Performance by Morrison YMCA Performing Company Dance Team, 3–3:45 p.m.

Enjoy an interactive dance performance by the Morrison YMCA Performing Company Dance Team.

(6) Performance by India Association of Charlotte, 4–4:45 p.m.

Audience members will learn the basic steps of the folk dance garba.

(7) Performance by Garvin Dean Project by Tosco Music, 4–5 p.m.

Listen to the performance by this contemporary jazz ensemble, which has performed across the United States.

Center City

Locations vary

(1) Wells Fargo Museum, 9 a.m.–5 p.m.

Learn about gold mining in North Carolina and the early stages of Wachovia Bank with free admission to the Wells Fargo History Museum, 401 S. Tryon St.

(2) Self-Guided Experiences inspired by Judy Moody & Stink – The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt, 9 a.m.–5 p.m

Enjoy multiple experiences based on Children’s Theatre’s play Judy Moody & Stink – The Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt. Times: 9 a.m.–5 p.m. for a book walk, scavenger hunt, and pirate-themed activities; 10:30 a.m. for family story time (ages 0-5); and 2 p.m. for story Explorers – Blackbeard the Pirate (ages 5-11) at ImaginOn, 300 E. 7th St.

(3) Bechtler Museum of Modern Art at Levine Center for the Arts, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art, 420 S. Tryon St., will be offering free admission that includes tours, as well as hands-on art activities.

(4) McColl Center Concert and Hands-On Experiences, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

View the McColl Center’s winter exhibitions and participate in hands-on art for all ages, including a water color demonstration. Admission to the McColl Center for Art + Innovation, 721 N. Tryon St., is free.

(5) Levine Museum of the New South, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Tour the museum’s permanent exhibit “Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers,” which illustrates the timeline of the Queen City’s history. Admission to the Levine Museum of the New South, 200 E. 7th St., is free.

(6) Gantt Center’s Neighborhood Dreams, Drop-In Collage Activity, Community Coloring, Guided Tours and Community Quilt, 10 a.m.-5 p.m.

In Neighborhood Dreams, participants will create a piece of art that reflects their aspirations for their own neighborhoods from 10–11 a.m., noon-1 p.m., and 3–4 p.m. at the Harvey B. Gantt Center at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 S. Tryon St.

In the drop-in collage activity, participants will put together a collage of both words and images of what they want for the future of Charlotte. In community coloring, children can color Charlotte the way they see it. Both activities are 10 a.m.–5 p.m. 

Finally, in community quilt, participants can draw, write and paint how they feel about their communities from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Guided tours of the Gantt Center will be available at 10:30 a.m., 12:30 p.m., and 2:30 p.m.

(7) Mint Museum Uptown Performances by Emily Cargill and Dancers, and Guided Tours, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.

Enjoy guided tours of the Michael Sherrill Retrospective and other Mint Museum Uptown collections. Admission is free to the Mint Museum at the Levine Center for the Arts, 500 S. Tryon St. from 11 a.m-6 p.m. Dance performances by Emily Cargill and Dancers will take place at noon and 1 p.m.

(8) Studio 345 – Mixed Media, Light Writing and Digital Art, 11 a.m.–12:30 p.m.

Participants in 9th grade and older are invited to participate in mixed media, light writing, and digital art experiences at Spirit Square, 345 N. College St. In mixed media, explore techniques and approaches to abstract painting. Register for the workshop here. In light writing, learn how to take long-exposure images that capture light’s movement with your camera. Register for the workshop here. Finally, in digital art, create a tree through digital etching and digital painting. Register for the workshop here.

(9) Free Tickets to Judy Moody & Stink – The Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Treasure Hunt, 3 p.m.

Presented by the Children’s Theatre of Charlotte at the Wells Fargo Playhouse at ImaginOn, 300 E. 7th St. Up to four tickets per family are available here while they last.

(10) Public Art Walking Tour

Hear about the stories behind public art in Uptown Charlotte in a walking tour with ASC’s Public Art staff. Tours will begin in the lobby of the Carillon building at 227 W. Trade Street and end at Romare Bearden Park. Register for the 3-4 p.m. tour here, and register for the 4-5 p.m. tour here.

Huntersville

Locations vary

(1) Carolina Raptor Center, 10 a.m.–2 p.m.

Participate in hands-on experiences using clay, drawing, and music that focuses on on how birds inspire culture. Admission to the Carolina Raptor Center at 6000 Sample Road, Huntersville, is free.

(2) Guided Tours at the Historic Latta Plantation, 11 a.m-2 p.m.

Take a glimpse of life back in the 1800s in North Carolina. Admission and tours of the Historic Latta Plantation, 5225 Sample Road, Huntersville, are free. Register for the 11 a.m. tour here. Register for the 12 p.m. tour here. And register for the 1 p.m. tour here.

NoDa

(1) Tours of the Historic Rosedale Plantation, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Tour the 200-year-old Historic Rosedale Plantation and see trained blacksmiths performing demonstrations of metal craftsmanship. The gardens are open throughout the entire day. Admission and tours of the plantation, 3427 N. Tryon St., are free. Register for the 12:30 p.m. house tour here. Register for the 2 p.m. house tour here. And register for the 3:30 p.m. house tour here.

Myers Park

(1) Wing Haven Cyanotype, Guided Photography Walk, Guided Bird Walks, and Mixed Media Art, 10 a.m.-4 p.m.

Explore the gardens of Wing Haven and participate in a variety of experiences, including guided bird walks from 10 a.m.-3 p.m.; a guided photography walk and cyanotype workshops at 10 a.m., 11 a.m. and 2 p.m.; and mixed media art for children from 10 a.m.-noon and 2-4 p.m. Admission to Wing Haven, 260 Ridgewood Ave., is free.

Eastover

(1) Mint Museum Randolph, 11 a.m.–6 p.m.

Explore the Mint Museum-Randolph’s current exhibition, “African-Print Fashion Now! A Story of Taste, Globalization, and Style.” Admission to the museum, Mint Museum – Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road, is free.

Davidson

(1) The Jungle Book, 1 p.m.

Click here to register for this adaptation of the classic adventure story, “The Jungle Book.” The presentation will be at the Armour Street Theater, 307 Armour St., Davidson.

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