Charlotte Museum of History

Exhibit Opening: Open Wide the Door: The Story of Mary Cardwell Dawson and the National Negro Opera Company

Imagine it is a hot, August night in 1941. The theater is buzzing with activity. Costumes are being buttoned and zipped, make-up applied, and the singers are preparing to take the stage. The orchestra is tuning their instruments and a sense of anticipation fills the air. This is the scene on August 28, 1941 as the National Negro Opera Company, the most commercially successful Black- owned and operated company, prepared to perform 'Aida.'

On March 26th, the Charlotte Museum of History will unveil a new exhibition that imagines this night to tell the story of the National Negro Opera Company and its founder, Mary Cardwell Dawson. This is the story of dancers, singers, musicians, set designers, costume designers, painters, and the entire production team. It is the story of segregation and a lack of funding, but also of perseverance and determination as a Black woman from the Piedmont of North Carolina carved out a space for herself in the world of opera, bringing a talented group of artists along with her in a world where separate was anything but equal.

Sponsorships still available!

Exhibit Closes on December 31, 2024.

Event Type
Event Setting
At Nonprofit's Location

Charlotte Museum of History
3500 Shamrock Drive
Charlotte, NC 28215
United States

Tuesday, June 18th, 2024, 11am - 5pm
Repeats weekly on Tuesday, 11am - 5pm until Tuesday, December 31st, 2024
Duration of 6 hours