MLK Day 2024: Truth & Reconciliation – Event At The Harvey B. Gantt Center

“I believe that unarmed truth and unconditional love will have the final word in reality. This is why right, temporarily defeated, is stronger than evil triumphant.”

-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech, Oslo, Norway, 1964.

This special year of MLK Day finds the Gantt steeped in reflection. As the Harvey B. Gantt Center welcomes their 50th year, they engage the community in ways that display their vision for the next 50 years. For MLK Day 2024, the center is connecting with new and old partners to bring experiences that hold space for celebration and artistic expression while exploring the complex meaning of truth and reconciliation. The day’s theme, “Truth & Reconciliation”, seeks to acknowledge the truth of how far we have come, how far we have to go, and how we might collectively get there.

Panel conversations that address the truth of our history from the perspectives of scholars, elders, and leaders. The Harvey B. Gantt Center highlights artists who creatively celebrate the echoes of the Civil Rights era through performances and workshops. The day’s programming has offerings for children and families seeking to create together, history and culture lovers who crave contemplation and collective planning, and art lovers who enjoy meditative and immersive art experiences. The Harvey B. Gantt Center welcomes the entire community to join throughout the day.

The Harvey B. Gantt Center has special partnered-programs with the Levine Museum of the New South which includes a globally integrated dance performance inspired by Rev. Dr. King’s reach, and a panel discussion that examines equity through arts, culture, and history.

Year of Service Initiative

In tandem with MLK Day programming, The Harvey B. Gantt Center is highlighting local non-profits and grassroots organizations that work to preserve the legacy of Rev. Dr. King in their own ways. To honor the objectives of the Day of Service and our 50th year, The Harvey B. Gantt Center encourages every guest of MLK Day to pledge a year of service to one or several of these organizations. Throughout the day, guests may interact with some of the organizations’ leaders, learn about their missions, and offer pledges to engage through volunteering and/or financial support for 2024.

Tours & Exhibitions

The Harvey B. Gantt Center exhibitions complement the holiday’s objective. Participate in the exhibition tours to learn about the history of the Gantt, and gain insight into their current showings:

Tour start times are 10:30 am, 1 pm, and 2:30 pm.

Museum Store

The Harvey B. Gantt Center Museum Store is a collection of local artisans, artists, and vendors that represent some of the best in Black art, literature, stationary items, and more. Support Black creative business with a purchase from the Museum Store.

Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy will be preserved, explored, and celebrated with a free day of hands-on art, performance, discussion, and immersive experiences at the Gantt.

Program Schedule

9 am – 6 pm
March With Us: An Interactive Experience
Mecca of Digital Arts (MODA), 2nd Floor

March with Us is an interactive immersive installation that will transport guests back in time to join a unity walk experiencing the profound spirit of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his historical impact. Led by digital artist Alexander Newman Hall.

9 am – 6 pm
Year of Service Initiative Station
3rd Floor Mezzanine

Meet and learn about local organizations that are furthering Rev. Dr. King’s dream in their own way. Pledge to volunteer at this station for one or more of the organizations highlighted during MLK Day.

9 am – 6 pm
MLK Coloring Station
3rd Floor Mezzanine

A nice resting activity point for children and adult colorers. Use crayons, markers, and colored pencils to bring to life an assortment of creative coloring sheets, all themed for MLK Day.

9:15 am – 10:30 am
Our Friend, Martin: Animated Film
Performance Suite, 2nd Floor

Watch the crowd-favorite animated film, a story of two friends in middle school who travel through time, meeting Rev. Dr. King at different points in his life. The film features an all-star voice cast, including Angela Bassett, Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, and more.

9:30 am – 11 am
Music Theory for Families: Storytime and Activities
2nd Floor Lobby

Enjoy an interactive performance and learn the basics of music theory with live piano sounds and storytime of the children’s book Chris & Frankie, perfect for the little ones. Led by artist and author Christopher Singleton.

10:30 am
Guided Tour
2nd Floor Lobby

Learn more about The Harvey B. Gantt Center’s history, building, and exhibitions with the first docent-guided tour of the day.

10:30 am – 12 noon
Civil Rights & Equity: Arts, Culture, & History
4th Floor

The Harvey B. Gantt Center partners with the Levine Museum of the New South to present a panel discussion that blends both organizations’ missions based on arts, culture, and history. The Harvey B. Gantt Center will explore equity with a focus on lived experience and leadership, scholarly analysis, and arts investment. Featuring County Commissioners board member Arthur Griffin, Director of Charlotte’s Knight Foundation Charles Thomas, and Winthrop professor Dr. O. Jennifer Dixon-McKnight. Moderated by Angelique Gaines, research associate at UNC Charlotte.

11 am – 12 noon
Chris & Frankie Book Signing
Museum Store, 1st Floor

Purchase a copy of the children’s book Chris & Frankie to help your child learn about music, and get it signed by its author Christopher Singleton.

11:30 am – 12 noon
Live Musical Performance with Isaiah Bell
2nd Floor Lobby

Celebrate the holiday with live acoustic music accompanied by melodic vocals from Isaiah Bell.

12 noon – 1:30 pm
Truth and Imagination: An MLK Day Theatre Workshop for Kids and Families
Performance Suite, 2nd Floor

Explore the art of theatre and storytelling through engaging activities that celebrate the values of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Families will participate in role-playing activities that explore themes of truth and equity and get creative with arts and crafts to create props and scenery. The Harvey B. Gantt Center will end with a mini-performance where everyone showcases their unique interpretations of the theme. Led by teaching artist and performer, Tiffany Bryant-Jackson.

12:30 pm – 2 pm
Past & the Future: What is Our Collective Vision?
2nd Floor Lobby

The Harvey B. Gantt Center hears perspectives from some of our elder leaders in Charlotte with a wealth of experiences that reference past challenges and triumphs, to help inform discussion around a collective plan of action to further Rev. Dr. King’s dream. Moderated by media veteran Ken Koontz, featuring District 107 Representative Kelly Alexander, Jr., Charlotte’s first Black female firefighter Linda Lockhart, Ken Bridges, the son of Furman D. Bridges, one of the first Black bus drivers, and Doris Boyd, longtime Gantt partner and community leader.

1 pm – 3 pm
Storytime Nook in the Museum Store
Museum Store, 1st Floor

The Harvey B. Gantt Center Museum Store is the premiere location for children’s books! Bring the little ones to enjoy an assortment of stories that are sure to inspire and empower. All of the books will also be available for purchase. Led by movement artist Kie Jennings.

1 pm
Guided Tour
2nd Floor Lobby

Learn more about The Harvey B. Gantt Center history, building, and exhibitions with the second docent-guided tour of the day.

1 pm – 2:30 pm
Community and Identity: Workshopping Your Activism
4th Floor

In honor of MLK Day, The Harvey B. Gantt Center will lead teens, families, and creatives through a variety of exercises to reimagine a world where their community thrives and explore what role they would want to play in MLK’s dream. Led by creative educator and artist De’Les Latara.

2:30 pm
Guided Tour
2nd Floor Lobby

The final tour of the day, learn more about The Harvey B. Gantt Center history, building, and exhibitions with a docent-guided tour.

2:30 pm – 3:30 pm
MLK’s Global Impact: Dance Performance
2nd Floor Lobby

The Harvey B. Gantt Center’s additional partnered program with Levine Museum of the New South brings a movement-based interpretation of Rev. Dr. King’s influence on our world. From the eastern tenets of non-violence, to the honest intentions of truth and reconciliation in South Africa, we leverage the art form of dance to celebrate a global journey toward peace. Led by MufukaWorks Dance Company, and Dances of India.

2:30 pm – 4 pm
Community Collage Drop-In Workshop
Performance Suite, 2nd Floor

Add your individual art piece to a college installation during this drop-in experience. The combined creative contributions of all participants will yield a blended creative writing and visual art collage. Led by teaching artist and poet Shane Manier.

3 pm – 5 pm
A Binding Truth: Screening and Talkback
4th Floor

In partnership with the Bogues Group and Learning from the Future, the film A Binding Truth is the story of two Black and White high school athletes’ journey through one of North Carolina’s most volatile civil rights cases, played out at the explosive intersection of football and race, including a shocking discovery that reveals secrets found buried in church records that would change their lives. Their story, rooted in the South, is also America’s story—one of slavery’s legacy and our current racial divide. The screening will be an abridged version of the film, including an interactive panel of the film’s two athletes Jimmie Kirkpatrick and H.D. Kirkpatrick, RP3 Strategies’ Bob Johnson, Evolve Consulting’s Dave Newell, and other special guests.

4:30 pm – 5:30 pm
Conscious Sounds: Musical Performance
2nd Floor Lobby

Every great movement has a soundtrack. Enjoy the sounds of past and contemporary explorations of peace, equity, and activism. Curated by musician and community leader Tim Scott, featuring Eric Brice, Evan Brice, and CJ Mercer.

4:30 pm – 6 pm
Beauty of Activisim: Drop-in Art Activity
Performance Suite, 2nd Floor

Create a keepsake with an oil pastel hands-on art workshop to remember MLK Day 2024. This drop-in experience blends the softness and beauty of flowers with the strength and courage of the fist. Led by Dakotah Carter.

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