South Carolina artist Leo Twiggs will join a panel at the Mint Museum Uptown on Oct. 16 talk about how art can be a starting point for some tough but necessary conversations. 

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Being a great museum is no longer good enough. That industrywide truth was reconfirmed this week when the Mint Museum Uptown announced plans to host a series of live events – starting today.

This free, weekly lineup, dubbed “Live at the Mint,” will include a variety of entertainment options – music, dancing, panel discussion and more. It all starts at 6 p.m. each Wednesday, but the cash bar opens at 5:30.

What it all means: The Internet Age is forcing countless industries to rethink how they interact with the public, and museums are no exception. Younger audiences are looking for new ways to connect, and that often means interactive, face-to-face events.

A Mint spokeswoman said the new series is meant to show that the uptown museum is “more than just art hanging on the wall. We can also be a place you want to go after work, when you want to grab a drink, unwind, and listen to some cool music.”

A trend unfolding: The Mint is just the latest museum in Charlotte to try this new approach:

  • The Bechtler Museum of Modern Arts hosts “Jazz at the Bechtler” on the first Friday of each month.
  • Levine Museum of the New South is home to “#ShapingCLT,” a continuing series that includes light snacks, a cash bar, and conversations about trending topics.
  • The Harvey B. Gantt Center offers “Yoga, Mimosas and Chill,” held each Sunday at noon; “The Classic Black Cinema Series,” held on the second Sunday of each month at 2 p.m.; and “Gantt After Dark,” a quarterly series that includes a variety of entertainment options.

At the Mint, the new series will launch with an eight-week run, with plans to continue into 2020 with nights featuring the Charlotte Ballet, the Charlotte Symphony and more.

Today’s kickoff event: Live jazz with the band Conversation Piece and a panel discussion with South Carolina artist Leo Twiggs, who made headlines with his series of pieces done after the shooting at Mother Emmanuel church in Charleston. He and other panelists will talk about how art can be a starting point for some tough but necessary conversations. 

Other highlights this year:

  • Oct. 23: A night of swing dancing with Gottaswing Charlotte — free lessons included 
  • Dec 4: Jazz vocalist Mercury Carter will perform with JazzArts Charlotte
  • Dec. 11: A night with Latin fusion band Chócala 

The bottom line: As Charlotte grows, so does its menu of entertainment options. Your next favorite place to hang out might just be inside a museum.

Click here to read the rest of today’s Morning Brew.

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