Levine Museum of the New South is centrally located in Charlotte, North Carolina. Right in the center of downtown Charlotte (the locals call it “Uptown”) the museum is a part of the growing arts district of Charlotte. It is also just minutes from both the Discovery Place and the Charlotte Hornets Coliseum. The city of Charlotte is located in Mecklenburg County. As of 2014 Charlotte’s population had 809, 958 people. Mecklenburg County’s population, as of 2014, had 1,012,593 people. The age demographics of Charlotte as of 2010 being under 5 years of age at 7.6%, being under 18 years of age at 25.2%, and being 65 years or older at 8.5%. As of 2010 Charlotte was 51% female. The racial demographics as of 2010 was 50% white, 35% African American, 5% Asian, and 13.1% Hispanic. 17.3% of Charlotte’s population lives under the poverty level. The largest employers of Charlotte are Carolinas HealthCare System and Wells Fargo.
In 1990 the idea for Levine by Sally Dalton Robinson and Anne Batten. In 1991 the idea integrated “Museum of the New South.” By 1992 the “Museum without Walls” was placing interactive kiosks around Uptown Charlotte. In 1996, open to the public, the museum utilized only the first floor of the building for temporary exhibitions and educational programs. In 2001 the museum re-opened as Levine Museum of the New South. Since 2001 Levine has won numerous awards for its innovative exhibitions and received many grants to continue reaching out to the public. The Levine reaches 500,000 people annually through onsite visitation alone, and reaches over 100,000 people through offsite outreach.
Levine’s core values include scholarship, education, collaboration, inclusion, and fiscal responsibility. Focusing on the broad and diverse history of the South, primarily Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, Levine hopes to present opportunities of learning about this history for enjoyment and educational purposes. Through these opportunities Levine hopes to create dialogue about contemporary issues, and to build community through history.
Levine Museum of New South has internal and external needs. Internally the exhibitions have a lot of information. While this is great, it is overwhelming. Particularly because of the amount of school groups the museum attracts. Maintaining the interest and attention of school ages children is vital to the program. Externally, there are many complaints about the admission fee. In Charlotte, you have to pay for parking, and then pay for an admission fee to a museum (in this case). Levine has many forms of income, and the admission fee is restricting to a lot of visitors. While the fee is not high, when Charlotte itself is a little pricey, the museum should consider other avenues of revenue.
Levine of the New South is an innovative museum that prides itself on their diverse history and value for education and inclusion. Their community outreach has helped the museum tremendously. By considering the changes listed above the museum will continue to impact their community and success in the museum field.