4 Patriotic Arts Events (Plus 9 More Weekend Outings)
ON FOURTH OF JULY WEEKEND, the cultural sector marks the holiday with a handful of America-themed events. We begin in uptown, at a venue that continues to look at both our past and present:
NATURALIZATION CEREMONY AT LEVINE MUSEUM OF THE NEW SOUTH
Twenty-five residents of the area become naturalized at the Levine Museum Friday. The ceremony, which kicks off at 9:15 a.m., is the sixth hosted by the museum. The proceedings include the presentation of certificates, a video message from President Barack Obama, a call of countries, and a special tour for the new citizens and their loved ones through the exhibit Cotton Fields to Skyscrapers.
CHARLOTTE SYMPHONY SUMMER POPS: CELEBRATE AMERICA
Bring a blanket to Symphony Park in SouthPark for a night with the orchestra on Friday. From "God Bless America" and "America the Beautiful" to selections from Guys and Dolls, the classics are all here. And don't forget the fireworks, a bombastic end to a patriotic night.
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION AT CHARLOTTE MUSEUM OF HISTORY
Warren Bingham, author of the the book George Washington's 1791 Southern Tour, lectures at this event, which also includes tours, a naturalization ceremony, and ringing of the American Freedom Bell.
FOURTH OF JULY CELEBRATION AT U.S. NATIONAL WHITEWATER CENTER
The annual celebration hits the center on Sunday and Monday. Check out performances from Dr. Dog, The Wood Brothers, Hollis Brown, The Congress, Fireside Collective, and Ancient Cities.
And now, nine more arts events to check out this weekend, from a hip-hop luminary to a Charlotte staple.
Aesop Rock emerged as a hip-hop wizkid during the late 1990s, garnering a reputation for complex lyricism and rhyme patterns. With 2016’s The Impossible Kid, his seventh record, the artist returns with more personal content, yet still containing that trademark wit and dark humor.
REED GOLD MINE
The first documented gold find in the U.S. come from this mine. Nearly 220 years after it was built, the site hosts visitors who want to revisit the past and find a treasure themselves. Admission and tours of the mine are free. Gold panning is available for $3 between April and October.
Steely Dan emerged at a time when jazz and funk weren’t often injected into mainstream rock. It’s the reason Rolling Stone labeled them "the perfect musical antiheroes for the Seventies.” And that contrary, yet radio-friendly sound endures today.
As a “Teen Summer Production,” this show sees Charlotte youths taking on Shakespeare with this magical narrative. The program runs for two evenings.
On Thursdays and Saturdays, River Jam offers free music against the outdoor backdrop of the U.S. National Whitewater Center. Check out the center’s selection of food and beer and kick back. This month’s lineup includes The Packway Handle Band (July 2), Scythian (July 7), Urban Soil (July 9), The Way Down Wanderers (July 14), The Ragbirds (July 16), Big Daddy Love (July 21), Temperance League (July 23), Head for the Hills (July 28), and Koa (July 30).
Ciel Gallery is a combined teaching space and mosaic gallery in South End that showcases paintings, mosaics, photography, jewelry, pottery, sculpture, and more each month. The July show—Swelter—highlights works by Ciel artists. Art classes are available for all ages and levels.
LOU FORD'S 20TH ANNIVERSARY
The Edwards brothers have been making music for two decades, under monikers like Lou Ford and The Loudermilks. Enjoy this retrospective, hosted by The Double Door Inn, with longtime collaborators joining in the fun.
LEVINE MUSEUM OF THE NEW SOUTH
History is complex, and there are countless perspectives on the South’s most significant events. The Levine not only puts those events in context, but it offers multimedia exhibits, forums, and artistic expressions that are tethered to our past. ¡NUEVOlution! Latinos and the New South (through Oct. 30) examines the rise of Latino populations in Charlotte and other Southern cities, and how the Hispanic population will help shape the future of the South.
Kids will be kids—and adults will feel like kids—at this uptown science museum. From live animals to grand experiments of physics, the museum offers a multi-disciplinary adventure. Beyond Rubik's Cube (June 11-Sept. 5) is the first exhibition to focus on the popular puzzle, which has been around for 40 years. Find out what inspired its creation and become an expert with games and activities.