From music, dance, and performance art to discussions, craft demonstrations, and hands-on workshops, there is so much to see and do during the Grand Opening Festival. Do as much or as little as you like, after all everything is free! We encourage you to use the Grand Opening program, with the complete schedule of festivities, to help make the most of this jam-packed weekend.
Not sure where to start? Here are some sample itineraries to inspire your Festival visit:
A North Carolina Experience
Kids in Tow
A North Carolina Experience
Our state is about more than basketball and barbecue (though both of those are great!). Whether you’re a native or newcomer, you’ll feel right at home.
Reserve a timed-ticket to the Museum Sunday, April 25 at noon. You don’t need to pack anything special, but if you hum James Taylor or Nnenna Freelon tunes as you’re driving to the Museum, you’ll be in the right frame of mind.
10–11:30 am: Start the morning with great gospel sounds: the MLK All Children’s Choir from Raleigh and Durham’s own Gospel Jubilators.
11:30 am: Make your way to the canopy of West Building and watch potters Pam and Travis Owen make examples of classic and contemporary Jugtown ware.
Noon: Enter the new galleries, West Building. Chapel Hill artist Patrick Dougherty’s work is immediately to your right as you enter. NC artists are indicated on the wall labels, among them, Kenneth Noland, John Biggers, Daisy Youngblood, and John Beerman.
Lunchtime: Whether it’s barbecue, veggies, or tacos that say North Carolina to you, there’s something to suit your taste with a variety of food vendors.
Afternoon: Head across the Plaza to East Building and enjoy film shorts—Tar Heel Shorties and enjoy exhibitions from several NC universities.
As you head back to your car, look to your left toward the Museum Park. The three large rings and the whirlgig are by NC artists Thomas Sayre and Vollis Simpson. You’ve had a North Carolina visit from start to finish!
The new Museum is enchanting under the nighttime sky. Galleries at twilight and illuminated gardens and courtyards set the stage for a romantic evening rendezvous.
Reserve a timed-ticket for Saturday, April 24, at 7 pm. Bring your special someone and a blanket for relaxing under the stars.
7 pm: Take in the new building hand-in-hand, and experience the light-filled galleries against a sunset backdrop. Be sure to step outside and enjoy the Rodin Court together. Soak up the romantic surroundings on one of the stone benches: watch the evening sky reflected in the shimmering pool while the bamboo rustles in the breeze.
8-10 pm: Split a delectable dessert—or two from Hereghty’s Heavenly Delicious, and make your way back to the Plaza, where you’ll overhear music from the park theater concert. Find a spot and linger awhile, because the night also holds a special finale—a fabulous fireworks display set to music.
Some may call you an early adopter. Tech-savvy and social media obsessed, you tweet and blog. You’re into contemporary art and design, so the new @ncartmuseum definitely suits your style.
Reserve a timed ticket for Saturday, April 24, at 6 pm. Download the Museum’s new audio tour (121Mb) and Sound Track (21Mb) tour from home. When you arrive, check in via Foursquare (or Gowalla, or TriOut), and add #ncmaOPEN to your tweets to join in the conversation all weekend on Twitter.
2 pm: Grab a seat in the auditorium for the Art and Architecture Creative Conversation to learn about the design of the new building.
4 pm: Take a coffee break, and then head to the Plaza Music Stage to witness the The Beast, a Durham-based quartet reimagining hip-hop with their musical eclecticism.
5 pm: Check out the new media exhibition in the Museum’s East Building. Many of North Carolina’s most talented digital artists, filmmakers, and designers are teaming up to present an innovative mix of light and sound projections, experimental performances, short films, and imaginative fashion creations.
6 pm: Finally, it’s your time to see the new building. Pop in your headphones and tour the new galleries guided by the new Sound Track experience. You’ll want to spend extra time with the many new contemporary acquisitions, including a video installation by Jennifer Steinkamp. You’ll want your camera handy–yes, you can now take snaps in the galleries!–and be sure to add them to our Flickr group to share with everyone.
Kids in Tow
Introduce the whole family to the transformed Museum. The spectacular new building and our many family–friendly activities are sure to delight everyone in the bunch, including little ones.
Reserve a timed-ticket to the new building Sunday, April 25, at 11 am. Pack a snack, a package of markers for our art supply drive, and a camera—there’ll be lots of great photo opportunities indoors and out.
10 am: Let the kids clap, dance, and sing along with the Martin Luther King All Children’s Choir at the Plaza music stage.
11 am: Next, while everyone’s energy is riding high, stroll through the new galleries. There’s enough art to fill many visits, so pick a few highlights: El Anatsui’s huge metal tapestry, the Sawfish Headdress in the African Gallery, and the animal-themed gallery among the European collection.
11:30 am: Step outside into the Rodin Garden, and strike a pose among our famous new sculptures. We’ll capture you in a souvenir photo to take home. While you’re outside, stop to check out the temporary sculpture box featuring images of North Carolina’s people and places.
Noon: “I’m hungry!” Head over to the food vendors, where you’ll find a variety of lunch options from Whole Foods, Only Burger, Neomonde, and more to satisfy everyone in the group.
Afternoon: A stop by Creation Stations in the Park Theater completes your family adventure. Create your own mini-metal tree to take with you, or a portable art collection, experiment with paper designs, and decorate a frame for your commemorative photo.
Plan to arrive at the Museum by noon on Sunday, April 25 to partake in a cultural treat for the senses.
Reserve your timed ticket to the Museum at 1 pm; remember to pack your binoculars if you enjoy getting to see dancers and musicians up close.
Noon: Enjoy the premiere of a new work by the Carolina Ballet followed by a conversation with Robert Weiss in the Museum Auditorium, East Building.
1 pm: Make your way into West Building; you’ll notice the Dendy Dance Theater performers and NC potters along the way. Take a stroll through the building and be sure to see the Picasso in the modern and contemporary galleries, the expansive European collection, and of course, the two Monet paintings in the Impressionist gallery. Finish your tour in the Rodin Court.
2 pm: You’ll hear the sounds of Charanga Carolina from the Plaza and if you like contemporary art, head back to the auditorium for a talk about SECCA in Winston-Salem. Or take a break and enjoy a snack from Hereghty Heavenly Delicious or Tea Gschwender.
3 pm: It’s time for the Festival Finale, Mahler’s Symphony No. 2, The Resurrection, in the Park Theater—a grand finish to the day!
Check back Monday for two more itineraries: “All Natural” and “Movers and Shakers.”