At a press conference today at the Charlotte Museum of History, the Charlotte in 2012 Convention Host Committee announced the venues that have been selected to host welcome events for the 15,000 members of the media and approximately 6,000 delegates coming to Charlotte for the 2012 Democratic National Convention. The Media Welcome Event on Saturday, September 1, 2012 will be at the North Carolina Music Factory. The Delegate Welcome Event will be held on September 2, 2012, and divided between 12 unique venues around the region.
For many of the visitors, these events will be their first impression of the city. Hosting events at 13 venues also expands business opportunities to companies across the region.
In the coming weeks, Charlotte in 2012 will be seeking event planners to plan the events at each venue site. The Requests for Proposal (RFP) will be released on Thursday through the Vendor Directory that can be found at www.charlottein2012.com. RFP’s will also be reviewed at a closed press information session this Thursday, February 2nd, 2012.
“This announcement demonstrates how hard we are working to showcase the entire Charlotte region while maximizing the economic impact of the 2012 convention,” said Mayor Anthony Foxx, Co-Chair of the Committee for Charlotte.
“We are very proud to announce thirteen separate venue locations to welcome convention delegates and members of the press,” said Dan Murrey, Executive Director of Charlotte in 2012. “Hosting our guests at these distinct venues truly puts our best foot forward as we welcome these folks to Charlotte, many coming here for the first time.”
The locations of the Delegate and Media Welcome Events are as follows:
On Saturday, September 1, credentialed media will be invited to the Media Welcome Event at the North Carolina Music Factory. This venue was selected both for its capacity and for its wonderful story. Like many Charlotteans do, father and son Rick and Noah Lazes recognized opportunity when they saw it. It was in the form of an aging, unused textile mill that they transformed into the North Carolina Music Factory, a 37-acre entertainment district on the edge of Uptown Charlotte. It offers 14 world class venues, from upscale dining to outdoor courtyards. Members of the media from all over the world will see firsthand how Charlotte takes a modern approach to its rich history.
On Sunday, September 2nd, approximately 6,000 delegates will be hosted at 12 different venues in the region at official Delegate Welcome Events. The venues represent the diversity, culture, landscape and history of the Charlotte region. Selected venues include:
East of Uptown is the Charlotte Museum of History. This museum is an educational organization collecting, sharing and celebrating the history of the Charlotte region. The ten acre site of the museum is also home to Charlotte’s oldest surviving building, the Hezekiah Alexander House.
South of Uptown delegates will be hosted at the Duke Mansion. The mansion takes its name from James Buchanan Duke. It would be difficult to tell this region’s story without including the Duke legacy, which includes Duke University, Duke Energy, and the Duke Endowment, a Carolinas based foundation.
West of Charlotte, in Gaston County, is the Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden. Over 380 acres of lush meadows, manicured gardens, and an orchid conservatory were gifted to this region by Charlottean and textile executive Daniel Stowe for all to enjoy.
Huntersville offers a true gem in the region, the Carolina Raptor Center. This facility is dedicated to the conservation of birds of prey and offers a full-service avian hospital and a living museum with over 25 species of raptors.
Delegates will be welcomed at a US Olympic training facility – the U.S. National Whitewater Center. It is located on over 400 acres of woodlands in western Mecklenburg County along the banks of the Catawba River and boasts world class whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, zip-lining and biking.
The people of the Carolinas have always cherished animal life and natural surroundings, and The Raptor Center, the Stowe Botanical garden, and the U.S. National Whitewater Center illustrate that passion beautifully.
Just West of Uptown is the Wadsworth Estate. Built in 1911 in the historic Wesley Heights neighborhood, this estate has seen a variety of transformations, but was recently purchased by former Judge Shirley Fulton. The Wadsworth Estate is situated on one of charlotte’s beautiful tree-lined streets and faces Charlotte’s Uptown and city skyline.
The region holds a proud heritage in stock car racing and the NASCAR Hall of Fame celebrates the sport’s history and honors its icons that have made significant contributions to the sport.
While NASCAR is beloved here in North Carolina, so are the arts and sciences. Delegates will be entertained at the Mint Museum which is home to local, American and European contemporary art as well as one of the finest collections of craft and design. The collection has moved in recent years to an architecturally striking home, but The Mint was the first art museum in North Carolina and has provided this region with cultural enrichment for over 75 years.
Charlotte is also home to the largest movie going experience in the Carolinas, the IMAX theater housed in Charlotte’s very own Discovery Place. Delegates will enjoy active exploration of science, nature, and technology including a new aquarium, exotic rainforest, and other interactive exhibits.
Another Charlottean who has bestowed a gift upon this region to further enrich the cultural landscape is Andreas Bechtler. An immigrant from Switzerland, he made his family collection of more than 1400 artworks of mid-20th century art, such as Warhol and Picasso, available for viewing in The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art.
Charlotteans will agree that our city would not be where it is today if not for our former Mayor, a man who continues to lead both locally and nationally, including his role as co-chair of Charlotte in 2012’s Steering Committee, Harvey Gantt. The Harvey B. Gantt Center celebrates the rich legacy of African-American art, history and culture through dance, music, visual art, film, educational programs, theatre productions and community outreach.
And last but certainly not least is the nation’s most comprehensive interpretation of the post-Civil War American South at the Levine Museum of the New South. This museum boasts award-winning exhibits and programming to deepen awareness and understanding of the “New South.”