A Guide to ASC’s Cultural Free For All (9/16-19)

A casual preview of Charlotte Symphony Orchestra's upcoming season comes Wednesday.

SURE, CHARLOTTE'S got a lot in terms of cultural offerings. But it’s not always cheap to get a comprehensive sampling of what the city has. That’s why the Arts & Science Council created the Cultural Free For All, presented by Wells Fargo. It’s a week of (mostly) free events for fans of the arts, history, science, and more. In this piece, we’ll take a look at what’s offered. We start with our city’s beloved symphony.

Wednesday, Sept. 16: Symphony On Tap

Preview the upcoming Charlotte Symphony Orchestra season with a free concert at the gorgeous Belk Theater. Christopher Warren-Green conducts the casual 60-minute program, with a bar that’ll stay open for the duration. Selections include Beethoven’s “Allegro con brio” from “Symphony No. 7 in A major Op. 92,” Prokofiev’s “Montagues and Capulets” from “Romeo & Juliet Suite No. 2 Op. 64,” Copland’s “Hoe-down” from “Rodeo,” and more.

After the concert, check out Rick Dior Quartet in the lobby, along with some free appetizers. Center City Partners and Wells Fargo present this preview party. Reserve free tickets here.

Friday, Sept. 18: Culture Feast

Come to the outside table on South Tryon St. and dine, with a street party taking place around you. The menu includes mesquite grilled chicken breast, cheddar grits, cider braised collard greens, house-made buttermilk biscuits, and a bunch of other stuff that sounds incredible as I type this. A dance party follows; A Sign of the Times performs.

This event’s not free (at least the dinner portion isn’t), but at $25 for advance tickets, it’s a deal worth considering. Purchase tickets here.

Saturday, Sept. 19: ASC Connect With Culture Day

Here it is: The big day is back. Click the region of town to see what’s offered for free on Connect With Culture Day.

+ Center City
* Free general admission to Mint Museum Uptown
Special Opportunity at 12 p.m..: art activities in the Lewis Family Gallery and yoga for all ages beginning at noon. Guided docent-led tour will be offered from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.


* Free general admission to Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture


* Free general admission to Wells Fargo History Museum


* Free general admission to Levine Museum of the New South

* Free general admission to McColl Center for Art + Innovation

* Free general admission to Bechtler Museum of Modern Art
Special Opportunity at 10 a.m.: Community School of the Arts hosts a collaborative art project with the theme “We Are the Arts.”


+ South End
* Theatre Charlotte and Donna Scott Productions present Grand Nights for Singing's "Backwards Broadway" at Charlotte Art League (2 p.m.)

* Crazy Catapults at Wooden Robot Brewery (1 p.m.)


+ Freedom Drive Corridor
* Jazzin’ at Bette Rae with Jazz Arts Initiative at Bette Rae Thomas Recreation Center (10 a.m.)


+ West Boulevard Corridor
* Story time reading with Charlotte Ballet Ballerina Raven Barkley at West Boulevard Branch Library (2 p.m.)


* Drum Circle with Drums 4 Life at West Boulevard Branch Library (3:30 p.m.)


+ West Charlotte
* "Commedia Princess and the Pea", presented by Children's Theatre of Charlotte at First Baptist Church – West (3 p.m.)


+ Hickory Grove Corridor
* Digging History Through Music and Dance with A Sign of the Times of the Carolinas at Hickory Grove Recreation Center (1 p.m.)


+ East Charlotte
* The Wonderful Potential of Clay at Clayworks (times, activities vary)

* Opera Carolina's Opera Xpress presents "How Nanita Learned to Make Flan" at Midwood International & Cultural Center (12:15 p.m., prop-making session; 1 p.m., performance)


* Backcountry Days with the Charlotte Folk Society at Charlotte Museum of History (1 p.m., Stephen Fletcher will discuss "The Photographs of Hugh Morton" exhibition; 3 p.m.,  Tom Phlegar will discuss "The Southern Campaign of the American Revolution")


+ Myers Park
* Free general admission to Wing Haven Gardens and Bird Sanctuary
Special Opportunity at 12 p.m.: Oneaka Dance Company offers Dances in Flight.


+ Matthews
* Story time reading with Charlotte Ballet Ballerina Alessandra Ball James at Matthews Library (11 a.m.)

* Super Cool Science presented by Discovery Place at Matthews Library (1 p.m.)


+ Davidson
* William Shakespeare's Hamlet presented by Davidson Community Players' The Connie Company at Armour Street Theatre (4 p.m.)


+ Cornelius
* Bluegrass Music with High Ridge Pickers at Cornelius Arts Center (6 p.m.)


+ Huntersville

* Free general admission to Carolina Raptor Center


* Free general admission to Latta Plantation


* Surprise Pop-Up Performance at Huntersville Growers' Market (?)


+ Steele Creek

* t's a Fiesta! – Dances from Latin America at Southwest Middle School (4 p.m.)


+ Eastover

* Free general admission to Mint Museum Randolph
Special Opportunity at 12 p.m.: All-ages yoga on the lawn. Guided docent-led tour will be offered from 1 p.m.-3 p.m.

Andy Smith

Contact him by email at andysmith.work@gmail.com or @andysmithlol on Twitter.

Also by Andy Smith:

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Works in Progress: Kids Making Art in Charlotte
Q&A: Staging The Book of Liz at Charlotte Art League
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Categories: Arts + Culture