Harvey B. Gantt Center Hosts Exhibition – America I AM: The African American Imprint

America I AM: The African American Imprint is an exhibition of pivotal moments that celebrates the imprint of African-Americans on our nation. It will run from June 30, 2012 through January 1, 2013.

Online PR News – 04-May-2012 – Charlotte, NC – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Media Contact:
Sharon Holm
Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture
704-547-3767 (office)
704.241.9172 (cell)

Harvey B. Gantt Center Hosts Exhibition – America I AM: The African American Imprint
(Charlotte, April 17, 2012) - America I AM: The African American Imprint, an award-winning touring exhibition conceived of and presented by broadcaster Tavis Smiley, will open at the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture on June 30, 2012. With more than 200 artifacts, the exhibition celebrates nearly 500 years of African-American contributions to the history and culture of the United States. The exhibition will run from June 30, 2012 through January 1, 2013. Charlotte is the 8th city on its 10-city tour and the Harvey B. Gantt Center will be the exhibition’s last venue in the Southeast region. Through 12 galleries, this ticketed exhibition offers an in-depth look at the pivotal role African-Americans have played and continue to play in the development of America.

“America I AM: The African American Imprint encourages all people to connect in a meaningful way with the foundations of democracy, cultural diversity, exploration, and free enterprise, which began when the first Africans arrived in Jamestown,” said presenter Tavis Smiley. “By telling the stories of the events of the past, we can help the leaders of the future set the stage for active participation in the democratic process for years to come.”
"We are pleased to host this exhibition which highlights the contributions of African-Americans to the US," said David Taylor, the Harvey B. Gantt Center’s President & CEO. "We are also extremely excited and honored that the Harvey B. Gantt Center is the only African-American cultural center to host the exhibition and that we will host its last stop in the Southeast region. Because of this, we anticipate visitors from Virginia, North and South Carolina, Western Tennessee and even those who missed it in Georgia. Our hope is that visitors leave with a richer understanding of the diverse culture and history of the United States."

The 12 featured galleries are "Our History," "Rooted in Africa," "Our Foundation," "The Measure of Justice," "The Soul of Freedom," "The Voice of Equality," "Invincible," "Spirit," "Patriotic," "The Conscience of a Nation," "The World” and “What's Your Imprint?"
Filled with poignant artifacts showcasing nearly 500 years of history, America I AM: The African American Imprint celebrates the imprint African-Americans have had on the United States. Visitors will walk past the “Doors of No Return” and view personal artifacts and innovations from African-American artists, activists and inventors. They will see objects ranging from shackles used in the slave trade to abolitionist material and the poetry of Langston Hughes. Personal items from contemporary African-American figures such as NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, Serena Williams, Michael Jordan and Prince will be on display.

Exhibition highlights include:

• The typewriter Alex Haley used to write the groundbreaking book, Roots
• Items from contemporary icons like Michael Jackson, Jimi Hendrix, Michael Jordan, and Tupac
• Objects representing the African-American troops who impacted the outcome of major U.S. wars
• Malcolm X’s journal and personal Quran
• The door key and stool from the Birmingham jail cell that held Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
• Frederick Douglass’ Frock Coat and Shirt
• Muhammad Ali's robe that was worn during training for the “Rumble in the Jungle”

America I AM: The African American Imprint is developed in partnership with Tavis Smiley, and is organized by the Cincinnati Museum Center, and by Arts & Exhibitions International (AEI), a division of AEG Live.

America I AM: The African American Imprint is made possible by Walmart Stores, Inc., which serves as its presenting sponsor. The exhibition’s educational partner is Northern Trust. Microsoft is the technology partner for the tour.

Founded in 1974, Charlotte’s Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts + Culture (formerly the Afro-American Cultural Center) exists to present, preserve and celebrate the art, history and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent through dance, music, visual and literary arts, film, educational programs, theatre productions and community outreach. Named for Harvey B. Gantt, the prominent Charlotte architect and community leader and former Mayor of Charlotte, the center is housed in an inspired and distinguished award-winning structure and is home to the nationally celebrated John and Vivian Hewitt Collection of African-American Art. Please visit www.ganttcenter.org

Founded in 1998 and based in Los Angeles, The Smiley Group, Inc., (TSG) is a communications corporation dedicated to supporting human rights and related empowerment issues. The mission of TSG is to achieve positive results through advocacy and education on issues of concern to African-Americans and other people without substantial economic or social standing. TSG is the holding company for Tavis Smiley Presents, Smiley Radio Properties, the High Quality Speakers Bureau, TS Media, and SmileyBooks. The Tavis Smiley Foundation is a nonprofit organization that provides leadership development training for youth. Tavis Smiley is the host of Tavis Smiley on PBS and The Tavis Smiley Show from PRI and the author/editor of 14 books including The New York Times best sellers Covenant with Black America, What I Know for Sure: My Story of Growing up in America, and THE COVENANT In Action. For more information, visit www.tavistalks.com.

AEI is a division of AEG LIVE and produces the award‐winning exhibition “Diana: A Celebration” in association with the Althorp Estate in the United Kingdom, as well as two touring exhibitions dedicated to the treasures of King Tutankhamun, “Real Pirates: The Untold Story of the Whydah from Slave Ship to Pirate Ship” and “Cleopatra: The Search for the Last Queen of Egypt.” Norman and Numhauser have 40 years combined experience in the entertainment and exhibition business, working over the years on such projects as “Titanic: The Artifact Exhibit” and “Saint Peter and the Vatican: The Legacy of the Popes.” For more information, visit www.artsandexhibitions.com.

The Cincinnati Museum Center at Union Terminal is home to the Cincinnati History Museum, the Duke Energy Children's Museum, the Museum of Natural History & Science, the Robert D. Lindner Family OMNIMAX Theater, and the Cincinnati Historical Society Archives & Library. It is a nationally recognized educational and research resource and is one of the top cultural attractions in the Midwest. With more than one million visitors each year, the Cincinnati Museum Center is the top cultural attraction in Cincinnati and the most visited museum complex in the state of Ohio. Originally built in 1933 as the Union Terminal Train Station, the building is a national historic landmark and was renovated and reopened as the Cincinnati Museum Center in 1990. For more information, call 513‐287-7000 or 1-800-733-2077 or visit www.cincymuseum.org.

Walmart Stores, Inc. (NYSE: WMT) serves customers and members more than 200 million times per week at over 9,600 retail units under 69 different banners in 28 countries. With fiscal year 2011 sales of $419 billion, Walmart employs 2.1 million associates worldwide. Walmart continues to be a leader in sustainability, corporate philanthropy and employment opportunity. Additional information about Walmart can be found by visiting http://www.walmartstores.com and on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/walmart. Online merchandise sales are available at http://www.walmart.com and http://www.samsclub.com.

Northern Trust Corporation (Nasdaq: NTRS) is a leading provider of investment management, asset and fund administration, fiduciary and banking solutions for corporations, institutions and affluent individuals worldwide. Northern Trust, a financial holding company based in Chicago, has a network of 85 offices in 18 U.S. states and has international offices in 15 locations in North America, Europe, the Middle East and the Asia‐Pacific region. For more information, visit http://www.northerntrust.com.

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. To learn more about Microsoft Diversity visit: http://www.microsoft.com/diversity.

If you would like additional information, please contact Sharon Holm, the Harvey B. Gantt Center Marketing Specialist at 704-547-3767, via cell at 704-241-9172 or via email at sharon@ganttcenter.org.

Contact Information
Sharon Holm
Harvey B. Gantt Center
551 South Tryon St.
Charlotte NC, 28202