The Latino Initiative: Reaching Out to the Latin American Community Around Town

Amid Charlotte’s vibrant diversity, the growing population of newcomers from all corners of Latin America has led the Mint in recent years to undertake some of its most exciting multicultural projects.

Through its Latino Initiative , the Mint has developed a close relationship with the local Latino community and has showcased Latin American culture through art, programming, and special events. Local audiences can view one of the nation’s largest permanent collections of Art of the Ancient Americas at Mint Museum Randolph , spanning 4,300 years of human creativity from ancient Mesoamerica, Central America, and South America. Bilingual special exhibitions at the museum have ranged from an international celebration of food to the work of Colombian artist Débora Arango to the recent Mint-organized exhibition Connecting the World: The Panama Canal at 100 .

The initiative has launched programming for all ages, ranging from Bilingual Stories & Music for children ages 0-6 and their families to last spring’s first-ever Arte*Poesía*Música concert, a collaboration with Opera Carolina and ArtSi Charlotte . “Our cultural institutions belong to everyone. We have a social and civic responsibility to use our art to reach our community,” said Maestro James Meena, general director of Opera Carolina. Incredibly strong response to that concert has led the Mint’s Latino Initiative to craft a series of four Latin Music Concerts for the coming year to highlight the musical diversity of Latin America. The first of the series will take place on September 17 at Mint Museum Uptown, kicking off Hispanic Heritage Month celebrations.


Other programming ranges from film to discussions to drama. There’s something for every taste: Evenings of Poetry and Music take place in spring and fall at Mint Museum Randolph; CineMás: Latino Film Series is presented five times a year at the Randolph location to showcase high quality international films that otherwise do not make it to conventional local movie theaters; Round Table Discussions are presented at Mint Museum Uptown and bring the most relevant leaders from economic and cultural sectors to engage in a constructive dialogue about topics including arts and culture, the economy, government policy, diversity, and education; Con A de Arte (A is for Art), an annual event each June at Mint Museum Uptown , showcases the work of local artists from the Latin American community through presentations modeled after TED Conferences which include performances by musicians, dancers, and actors; and each year Mint Museum Randolph hosts the performance of a Spanish-language play.


To further its mission of outreach, the Mint has forged strong partnerships with organizations including the Latin American Chamber of Commerce , Latin American Coalition , Latin American Women’s Association , Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library , and Circle de Luz .


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The Latino Initiative is generously sponsored by the Duke Energy Foundation.


“Part of the Latino initiative at the Mint is to engage people who might not ordinarily access the museum. Our mission is bringing art to all the people in our community and that involves making people feel welcome.”

­­­–Claudia Soria in The Charlotte Observer

Latino Initiative enters new phase at The Mint Museum

Claudia Soria joins staff as new Latino Community Education Liaison

Well-known community arts leader Claudia Soria has joined the staff of The Mint Museum as the new Latino Community Education Liaison.

Most recently the Director of ArtSí Charlotte, an arts initiative promoting and supporting Latin American artists in Charlotte, Soria also has a deep background in data analysis and economics. In addition she is a visual artist who exhibits regularly, notably at Ciel Gallery in Charlotte’s South End. She is also known for her depth of cultural and business connections throughout the greater Charlotte community.

Soria joins the Mint as the museum’s Latino Initiative, launched in 2012, enters its third year. The initiative, funded by the Duke Energy Foundation and The Hearst Foundations, follows more than 20 years of partnership and service to Charlotte’s rapidly-growing Latin American community.

“Claudia is a real visionary and diplomatic community connector,” said Cheryl Palmer, director of Learning & Engagement at the Mint. “She is passionate about art, excellence, and community, and we are so fortunate to have her join our dynamic team. Her exceptional skills, energy, and creative ideas for the future will help take The Mint Museum to the next level of broad and diverse community engagement.”

Soria will oversee a variety of bilingual programs at the Mint and will assist in promoting bilingual exhibitions, including the museum’s upcoming Connecting the World: The Panama Canal at 100, on view at Mint Museum Uptown from November 1, 2014 through February 1, 2015. “I am very excited about joining The Mint Museum, a Charlotte institution that has a mission to reach out to the Latin American community using art as a medium. I am very grateful for the opportunity to be part of this effort, and I look forward to working with the community.”

The community is invited to a celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month and book signing at Mint Museum Randolph, 2730 Randolph Road, at 7 p.m. on Wednesday September 17.  Hispanic Heritage Month events continue with Mint to Move Cultural Dance Night at Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street, from 8-11 p.m. on Friday, September 19. Bilingual events continue at the museum with children’s bilingual story times and musical performances at Mint Museum Randolph at 11 a.m. on October 18 and November 15. More information on these and other events is available at

High-resolution photos of Soria and Latino Initiative events are available upon request.


In 2012, The Mint Museum launched a museum-wide Latino Initiative. Building upon the Mint’s 20-year history of participation and engagement with Charlotte’s growing Latino population, the initiative has four major goals: to strengthen the visibility of The Mint Museum throughout the Latino community; to broaden and diversify the audience base of family and adult visitors and members; to create opportunities for collaboration with other organizations in support of Latin American art and artists; and to position the museum at the center of Latino cultural life. Latino and bilingual initiatives are generously supported by The Hearst Foundations and Duke Energy Foundation.

La Iniciativa Latina entra en una nueva etapa en el Museo Mint

Claudia Soria se une al personal del Museo Mint como la nueva Coordinadora de Educación de la Comunidad Latina.


CHARLOTTE, NC. (17 de Septiembre de 2014) –La reconocida líder de la comunidad artística Claudia Soria se ha unido al equipo del Museo Mint como la nueva Coordinadora de Educación de la Comunidad Latina.

Recientemente la directora de ArtSí Charlotte, una iniciativa artística que promueve y apoya a los artistas latinoamericanos en Charlotte, Soria cuenta con bastante experiencia en análisis de datos y economía. Soria es también una artista visual y sus obras pueden ser vistas en la Galería Ciel ubicada en el área de South End en Charlotte. Soria es conocida por la profundidad de sus conexiones culturales y de negocios en el ámbito de la comunidad de Charlotte.

Soria se une al Museo Mint al mismo tiempo que la Iniciativa Latina, que comenzó en 2012, entra a su tercer año. La iniciativa, financiada por la Fundación Duke Energy y la Fundación Hearst, continúa con más de 20 años de colaboración y servicio a  la comunidad latinoamericana  creciente de Charlotte.

“Claudia es realmente una visionaria y una conectora diplomática de la comunidad”, dice Cheryl Palmer, Directora del Departamento de Educación y Participación del Museo Mint. “Ella es apasionada por el arte, la excelencia y la comunidad y somos muy afortunados de tenerla en nuestro equipo dinámico. Sus habilidades y energía excepcionales, y sus ideas creativas para el futuro nos ayudarán a llevar al Museo Mint al siguiente nivel de compromiso amplio y diverso con la comunidad.”

Soria supervisará una variedad de programas bilingües en el Mint y ayudará en la promoción de exhibiciones bilingües, incluyendo Conectando el Mundo: 100 Años del Canal de Panamá, la cual estará en exhibición en el Museo Mint Uptown desde el 1ro de noviembre del  2014 hasta el 1ro de febrero del 2015. “Me encuentro muy emocionada de unirme al Museo Mint, una institución de Charlotte que tiene la misión de llegar a toda la comunidad latinoamericana usando el arte como medio. Estoy muy agradecida por la oportunidad de ser parte de este esfuerzo y no veo la hora de trabajar con la comunidad.”

Se invita a la comunidad a participar de la celebración del Mes de la Herencia Hispana y la firma de libros en el Museo Mint Randolph 2730 Randolph Road, el miércoles 17 de septiembre a las 7:00 p.m. Los eventos del Mes de la Herencia Hispana continúan con el Mint to Move Cultural Dance Night en el Museo Mint Uptown en el Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street, de 8:00 a 11 p.m. el viernes 19 de septiembre. Los eventos bilingües continúan en el museo con historias bilingües y actuaciones musicales para niños en el Museo Mint Randolph el 18 de octubre y el 15 de noviembre a las 11:00 am. Más información sobre estos y otros eventos se encuentra disponible en el

Fotografías de alta resolución de Claudia Soria y de los eventos de la Iniciativa Latina están disponibles bajo solicitud.


En 2012, el Museo Mint inauguró la Iniciativa Latina en todos sus museos. Basados en 20 años de historia de participación y compromiso con la creciente población latina de Charlotte, la iniciativa tiene cuatro metas mayores: fortalecer la visibilidad del Museo Mint a lo largo de la comunidad latina; ampliar y diversificar la audiencia basados en la familia y los adultos visitantes y miembros; crear oportunidades para la colaboración con otras organizaciones en el apoyo del arte y a los artistas latinoamericanos; y posicionar al museo en el centro de la vida cultural latina. Estas iniciativas latinas y bilingües son financiadas generosamente por la Fundación Hearst y la Fundación Duke Energy.


El Museo Mint es un museo líder e innovador de arte y diseño internacional comprometido a involucrar e inspirar a todos los miembros de nuestra comunidad global. Establecido como el primer museo en Carolina del Norte en 1936, el Museo Mint ha crecido para incluir dos instalaciones dinámicas, el Museo Mint Uptown y el Museo Mint Randolph, y actualmente cuenta con una de las colecciones más grandes del sureste. El Mint ofrece orgullosamente a sus visitantes experiencias inspiradoras y transformativas a través del arte de todo el mundo con sus renombradas colecciones, exhibiciones, programas educacionales y becas.

El Museo Mint Uptown alberga una renombrada colección internacional de arte y diseño, al igual que colecciones excepcionales de arte contemporáneo americano y moderno. Este edificio de 175.000 metros cuadrados y cinco pisos que fue diseñado por la compañía Machado y Silvetti Associates de Boston, combina arquitectura inspiradora con exhibiciones vanguardistas que proveen a los visitantes de experiencias educacionales y culturales sin iguales. Localizado en el corazón del centro dinámico de la ciudad de Charlotte, el Museo Mint Uptown es una parte integral del Levine Center for the Arts, un campus cultural que incluye el Museo de Arte Moderno Bechtler, el Centro Harvey B. Gantt para Artes y Cultura Africanos, el Teatro Knight y el Centro Duke Energy. El Museo Mint Uptown también incluye un amplio rango de instalaciones, entre otras, el auditorio James B. Duke que cuenta con asientos para 240 personas; la galería Lewis family; estudios de arte; una tienda museo y el restaurante Halcyon, Flavors from the Earth, aclamado por la crítica culinaria.

Localizado donde originalmente fue la Casa de la Moneda  de los Estados Unidos, el Museo Mint Randolph abrió sus puertas en 1936 en el vecindario Eastover de Charlotte como el primer museo de arte del estado. Hoy en día, en el hermoso escenario de un parque, sus íntimas galerías invitan a los visitantes a sumergirse en el arte de la América antigua, las artes decorativas, la moda, y el arte africano y europeo, entre otras colecciones. Los recursos incluyen una biblioteca de referencia con más de 18.000 volúmenes, un teatro para presentar conferencias y actuaciones, y una tienda museo.

Para mayor información visite el enlace

ArtSí’s “Con A de Arte” Celebrates 10-Year Anniversary

Mint to host culminating celebration June 20

ArtSí, Charlotte’s arts community initiative that supports and connects Latino and Latina artists in Mecklenburg County, is readying for its 10-year anniversary celebration, Con A de Arte (A is for Art). Three events will be held in uptown Charlotte:

• Con A de Arte Kickoff Party – Saturday, June 15 at 9 p.m., Cosmos Café, 300 N. College Street, uptown Charlotte
• Con A de Arte Literary Night at the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, Tuesday, June 18 from 6 to 8 p.m., West Boulevard Charlotte Mecklenburg Library, 2157 West Boulevard Charlotte, NC 28208.
• MAIN EVENT: Con A de Arte Closing Reception & Awards Ceremony – Thursday, June 20 from 6-9 p.m., Mint Museum Uptown at Levine Center for the Arts, 500 South Tryon Street.

The celebration will culminate with the Closing Reception & Awards Ceremony, at which featured artists will present an artistic response to the exhibition Sociales: Débora Arango Arrives Today, which is on view at Mint Museum Uptown through Sunday, June 16. Colombian-born painter Débora Arango, who died in 2005 at the age of 98, was one of the pioneers of modern Colombian art. She is considered one of the most important and controversial modern artists of her time.

Featured artists were chosen by a group of art professionals that include: Cynthia Moreno (Assistant Learning & Engagement Director, The Mint Museum), Claudia González-Griffin (Residency & Exhibitions Manager, McColl Center for Visual Art), Melina Monita-Pacheco (Latino New South Project Coordinator, Levine Museum of the New South), Siu Challons-Lipton  (Chair, Art Department, Queens University of Charlotte), and Michele Shaul (Director, Center for Latino Studies, Queens University of Charlotte).

Award recipients will also be honored at the ceremony for their contributions to the arts community in Charlotte and the surrounding areas. Recipients have gone above and beyond in promoting and uplifting Latino artists.

Visual Artists: Ivan Peña, Claudia Pureco, Oscar Ortiz, Angela Lubinecky, and Nico Amortegui; Latino Themed by Non-Latino Artists: Bill Temples – Fine Arts, Kevin Shank – Photographer, and Jan Notzon – Writer; Sculpture: Victor Gómez and Adrián Barrionuevo; Dance: Daniel Arredondo, El Alma de la Luna and Movimentos de Samba Brazilian Dance Co.; Music Singers: Aris Quiroga and Jessica Alberto de Gutierrez; Theatre: Mónica Román – Actress; Performing Multidiscipline: Genesis Soto – Poet, Actress; Food/Art: Clara Delgado Tapiero – Gelatin Artist; Photography: Armando Bellmas and Jonathan Reynas; Fashion Design: Jennifer Cardenas

• Sara Wolf Lifetime Achievement Award presented to Edwin Gil
• Community Partner Award presented to Queens University of Charlotte
• Leading Latino/a Artist Award presented to Rosie Molinary
• Individual Community Supporter Award presented to Lucilla Ruvalcaba

The Con A de Arte presenting sponsors are the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library and The Mint Museum. In-kind sponsors are Cosmos Café, Jennifer Cardenas, Edwin Gil, Latin American Contemporary Art Projects, and Rooster Communications. For a full list of donors and key supporters, please visit the ArtSi website at


ArtSí Charlotte is a community initiative developed to support Latinos/as in the arts in Mecklenburg County. ArtSí Charlotte connects Latino/a artists to available resources, creates opportunities, empowers Latino/a initiatives and bridges the cultural, communication and financial barriers that Latinos/as in the arts may face. Further, it aims to connect the community as a whole with an amazing pool of talented and diverse artists in the Latino culture. Strategic direction, administrative support and programming is provided by the following organizations, members of the steering committee: Latin American Women Association, Levine Museum of the New South, McColl Center for Visual Art, Mint Museum and Queens University. For more information about ArtSí Charlotte, visit or find us on Twitter at @ArtSiCharlotte and Facebook at

For more information, contact:

Leigh Dyer
Public Relations Manager, The Mint Museum

Ana Lucia Divins
Latino Community Education Liaison, The Mint Museum

Brian Cockman
President, Rooster Communications
877.210.3737, ext. 11