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Charlotte's 10 Best September Festivals & Events
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Charlotte's 10 Best September Festivals & Events

Picture of Helen Armitage
Updated: 9 February 2017
Charming and vibrant Charlotte, North Carolina, presents a packed-full program of events perfect for any lover of culture visiting the city this September. From a performance by three-time Grammy winner Keb’ Mo’ to a food tour of Southern cuisine and a festival celebrating Indian culture, events in this city are not to be missed.

Theatre | River City

3 – 20 September

The Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte presents River City – a new critically acclaimed play by playwright Diana Grisanti that has received various accolades, including Audience and Judges’ Favourite at the theatre’s 2013 nuVoices Festival and a David Mark Cohen new Play Award. River City tells the story of its main character Mary, who, during her recently deceased father’s wake, discovers a childhood photograph of him that sheds light on a past he never spoke of. Determined to unearth the truth about her family history, Mary sets off on a journey that takes her to Louisville, Kentucky’s West End neighbourhood. The Actor’s Theatre of Charlotte’s production of River City is directed by Ann Marie Costa.

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Food | Soul of the South Uptown Tour

5 September, 19 September

Operated by Feast Food Tours, a local company established by food culture maven Kristi Martin, the Soul of the South Uptown Tour is a perfect event for any foodies wanting to find out more about Charlotte’s Southern cuisine. Taking participants on a journey through Uptown Charlotte’s best-loved restaurants, the tour includes meetings with restaurant owners and chefs who explain the importance of the area’s Southern heritage in creating their food and drinks menus. From traditional recipes to Southern cuisine with a contemporary twist, participants will get to sample local dishes and craft beers and experience Charlotte’s beautiful architecture and rich history along the way.

Soul of the South Uptown Tour, Feast Food Tours, Venues across Uptown Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 980 258 9992

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Art | Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. & Melvin B. Eagle Collection

6 September – 22 February

From September onwards the Mint Museum UPTOWN presents Beyond Craft, an exhibition featuring various decorative studio objects from the private collection of Leatrice S. and Melvin B. Eagle. Spanning crafted items made from the mid-1960s to the 2000s, with a special emphasis on the 1960s to 1980s, the exhibition is made up of approximately 90 objects from 50 artists and is a fantastic opportunity for anyone wanting to learn about craft history. Boasting works crafted by the California-based artists Peter Voulkos and Viola Frey, the exhibition also includes furniture designed by Wendell Castle, John Garrett’s abstract wall-hangings and jewellery made by Earl Pardon.

Beyond Craft: Decorative Arts from the Leatrice S. & Melvin B. Eagle Collection, Mint Museum UPTOWN, Levine Centre for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 337 200

A dance performance at the Festival of India | Image Courtesy of Festival of India
A dance performance at the Festival of India | Image Courtesy of Festival of India
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Culture | Festival of India

13 – 14 September

Organised by the India Association of Charlotte, 2014 will see the city come to life with the 20th annual Festival of India. With a population of around 5,000 Indian American families in the Charlotte area, the festival aims to celebrate Indian culture and share India’s rich cultural history with the city while fostering understanding and a sense of community between different cultures. The Festival of India has something for everyone, with the 2014 festival featuring performances of Bollywood dances, paintings from locally based Indian artists on display and an array of dishes typical of Indian cuisine available to try.

Festival of India, Belk Theatre, 130 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 372 1000

Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow | Courtesy Levine Museum of the New South
Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow | Courtesy Levine Museum of the New South
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History | Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges

Until 14 September

The Levine Museum of the New South presents Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow – an exhibition documenting an important and historically significant occurrence that saw two seemingly unlikely cultural groups come together. Following the rise of Nazism in Germany before World War II, many German Jewish professors and scholars forced to flee their homeland found refuge in the USA and found employment in the South’s historically black colleges. Bound by experiences of racism, black students and Jewish professors developed a harmonious respect for each other which the Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow exhibition documents through a series of artefacts, stories, photographs and interviews.

Beyond Swastika and Jim Crow: Jewish Refugee Scholars at Black Colleges, Levine Museum of the New South, 200 East 7th Street, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 333 1887

Festival in the Park | © Tom Schellin
Festival in the Park | © Tom Schellin
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Music | Festival in the Park

19 – 21 September

The Festival in the Park has been a Charlotte tradition for 50 years, having first taken place in 1964. Established with the vision of bringing good music, great art and fun to the city the festival takes place each year in Charlotte’s picturesque Freedom Park – a 98 acre green space featuring a lake, paved trails and rolling fields. The three-day festival attracts on average an estimated 85,000 visitors and was listed among Sunshine Artist Magazine’s 200 Best Festivals due to its relaxed atmosphere, live arts and crafts demonstrations and wide variety of food vendors. Live muic acts this year include country punks Analog Daze and jangle pop legend Don Dixon.

Festival in the Park, Freedom Park, 1900 East Boulevard, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 338 1060

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Art | Marek Ranis: Arctic Utopia

19 September – 22 November

As part of its 15th anniversary celebrations, the McColl Centre for Art and Innovation – a nationally acclaimed contemporary art institution located within a beautiful neo-Gothic church – Polish artist Marek Ranis, a 1999 alumnus of the centre’s artist-in-residence programme, will present his exhibition Arctic Utopia. Through a combination of site-specific installations, video and mixed media sculptures Arctic Utopia is an exploration of how climate change impacts upon the human experience and examines the many social and political consequences of this change. With a particular focus on indigenous cultures, Ranis investigates how geographic displacement has become an increasingly central and critical aspect of their survival.

Marek Ranis: Arctic Utopia, McColl Centre for Art and Innovation, 721 North Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 332 5535

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Music | Keb’ Mo’

22 September

Presented by Blumenthal Performing Arts in collaboration with Maxxmusic and the Visulite Theatre, the visionary roots music artist Keb’ Mo’ will entertain music fans of Charlotte with a performance related to the release of his twelfth full-length album BLUESAmericana. Mo’, who is a three-time winner of Grammy Awards including the Award for Best Contemporary Blues Album for his 1996 release Just Like You, began playing music in the 1970s and over the years has established himself as a respected musician with a flair for storytelling through his songs. His latest album release marks the 20th anniversary of his first self-titled album and a journey of artistic growth.

Keb’ Mo’, Knight Theatre at Levine Centre for the Arts, 430 South Tryon Street, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 372 1000

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Fashion | Charlotte Fashion Guild Style Week

24 – 27 September

An ideal event for any dedicated follower of fashion, the Charlotte Fashion Guild Style Week was established in 2013 with the aim of reinventing how people see fashion in Charlotte and attracting designers and boutiques from across the globe to show their designs to stylists, buyers and lovers of fashion. Now in its second year, this year’s Style Week will take place at Charlotte’s elegant Label House and will features runways showcasing the fashions of several national and international designers. Confirmed designers at the event include Michael Kuluva, founder of the Tumbler and Tipsy fashion brand, and haute couture creator Kyle Matas who originally hails from Trinidad.

Charlotte Fashion Guild Style Week, Label House, NC Music Factory Boulevard, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 704 996 0476

A scene from Bicycling with Moliere | Image Courtesy of Charlotte Film Society
A scene from Bicycling with Moliere | Image Courtesy of Charlotte Film Society
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Film | Saturday Night Cine Club: Bicycling with Moliere

27 September

The Saturday Night Cine Club is a programme established by the Charlotte Film Society that screens monthly independent films from across the globe with the aim of showing film fans in the city films they may not otherwise have the opportunity to see and generating discussion around them. September’s screening is of the 2013 French film Bicycling with Moliere, which is a funny and touching comedy that tells the tale of two French actors who, despite personality clashes, are bound in friendship by their mutual love of Moliere’s classic play The Misanthrope. A post-film discussion will be led by Dr Michele Bissiere, an associate professor of French at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Saturday Night Cine Club: Bicycling with Moliere, Theatre Charlotte, 501 Queens Road, Charlotte, NC, USA, +1 980 292 0422