The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art provides a collection of beautiful works of art, amazing cultural events and, of course, a famous Charlotte landmark with The Firebird, instagrammed, known and loved by many locals and visitors. What you may not know is that the museum also makes an impact on our community through initiatives that bring the art and the museum to groups of people traditionally underserved in this arena.  Museum Memories caters to our aging residents and their care partners, and Artists in Schools reaches our youngest Charlotteans. 



The Bechtler Museum

The Bechtler’s Museum Memories program provides a space specifically for early stage dementia patients and their caregivers

Working in partnership and in talks with Southminster, the Western Carolina Chapter of the Alzheimer’s Association, Brookdale Senior Living, Brightmore of South Charlotte, UNC Charlotte and Project C.A.R.E., the Bechtler’s Museum Memories program is designed for adults with early-stage dementia and their care partners. Through a combination of tours and art classes, participants engage in social activities and intellectual stimulation in the hopes of stirring up memories of past events. In the pilot stage, the Museum Memories program has already proven to be a source of stress relief and a safe space for individuals with dementia and their care partners.

“His wife was his care partner, they were a lovely couple. She said, “He is losing his language, we went to dinner with another couple and he didn’t speak.” As we sat there and watched him work with the teaching artist on his self-portrait he told stories of his youth, his travels and his family. His wife smiled, she said, “This is why we need classes like these.”

The Bechtler Museum

Museum Memories tours and classes are designed for adults with early stage dementia and their care partners



The Bechtler Museum

Students at Hidden Valley Elementary school creating their own works of modern art

The Bechtler’s Artists in Schools program serves approximately 1500 students from more than 25 schools in Mecklenburg County, 40% of which are Title One, each year.

“This was a great opportunity. Our students need exposure to artists, the building and spaces that exhibit art, and create quality hands on pieces of work that otherwise are not achieved due to the lack of public schools’ resources.” Lauren Griffin, University Park Creative Arts Academy, Art Teacher

A teaching artist, trained by The Bechtler, works directly with the school’s art teacher to deliver the lessons together. The Artists in Schools program brings unique resources and perspectives to the Mecklenburg Schools art curriculum. Teaching artists work with students between 15 and 25 hours and end their time with their classes with a free museum tour.

The Bechtler Museum

Artists in Schools from the Bechtler provide art resources not available in most CMS schools

You can ensure that these and other community outreach programs through the Bechtler continue by considering a contribution to the Annual Fund. Here are some of the ways your financial contribution could be used:

$500 – Sponsors one elementary school’s Teaching Artist
$250 – Funds school buses and substitute teacher fees for 100 students to visit the museum
$100 – Provides a tour for one Low-To-No-Vision Tour or Museum Memories Tour
$50 – Covers the cost for one family of 4 to participate in Bechtler Family Days
$25 – Provides art supplies for one participant in any Bechtler Outreach program

Your fully tax-deductible gift to the Annual Fund, in any amount, makes a difference. Please make a contribution today


420 South Tryon Street
Charlotte NC 28202

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Don’t forget, now through November 30th, The Bechtler Museum of Modern Art is offering Scoop readers a special on Family Memberships – click here for details