The Harper-Roddey Society

In 1974, Mary Harper was a young assistant professor of English at the University of North Carolina Charlotte (UNCC) pursuing her doctoral degree. She sought the advice of a mentor Dr. Bertha Maxwell Roddey, the director of the Black Studies Center at UNCC, on her doctoral project, a proposal for an African-American cultural center titled Vistas Unlimited: The Charlotte-Mecklenburg Afro-American Cultural and Service Center. As Drs. Harper and Roddey began to organize their goals and ideas for the center, they realized that many of the important contributions made by African-Americans, particularly in North Carolina, were unrecognized. They envisioned their proposed center as a place where African-Americans could learn about their own heritage but also celebrate the contributions of others whose work, art, history and culture had heretofore gone unsung. They collaborated with other elected and progressive leaders, including other academics from UNCC, to create the organization that ultimately became the Afro-American Cultural Center (AACC) which is today the celebrated Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture.

The Gantt Center has established the Harper-Roddey Society to celebrate the legacy of Dr. Mary Harper and Dr. Bertha Maxwell Roddey and to recognize generous patrons who, like our founders, want to sustain the dream of a gathering place for celebration of and service to the African-American community in Charlotte and beyond.

The Harper-Roddey Society recognizes donors who make a gift of at least $1,000 annually to the Harvey B. Gantt Center for African-American Arts+Culture. Funds support the Gantt Center’s mission to present, preserve and celebrate excellence in the arts, history and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent.

We cordially invite you to join the Harper-Roddey Society with a gift or pledge of $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, or more. Multi-year commitments are especially welcome.

Your annual commitment will enable us to continually:

  • Provide quality and enriching exhibitions about the history, art and culture of African-Americans and those of African descent.
  • Partner with schools, universities and other cultural institutions to provide programs and family activities that are educational, enriching and fun.
  • Support active learning, family participation and multigenerational engagement in a safe and nurturing environment.
  • Nurture the skills and capabilities of all individuals and provide opportunities for personal growth.

Harper-Roddey Society donors receive the benefits of all preceding levels of memberships.

Collectors Circle
$1,000.00 - Purchase membership

Enjoy all membership benefits plus:

  • Priority notification of select donor events including invitations to guest artist and speaker series, private receptions with visiting artists, authors and university scholars, admission to Gantt Center programs and events, docent guided exhibition tours and/or artist/curator-led tours (based on availability)
  • Recognition in Gantt Center newsletter
  • 20% discount on non-consigned items in the museum shop
  • Invitation to annual Harper-Roddey Society recognition event

Sustainers Circle
$2,500.00 - Purchase membership

Enjoy all Collectors Circle membership benefits plus:

  • 2 complimentary guest passes to special programs and events (upon request)
  • Option to provide a one year family membership as a gift
  • Opportunity to donate five (5) complimentary admission tickets to charity, school or community organization of your choice
  • 5% discount on facility rental upon availability (one event per fiscal year)*
  • 2 guest passes to our annual Jazzy Holiday celebration.

Philanthropists Circle
$5,000.00 - Purchase membership

Enjoy all Sustainers Circle membership benefits plus:

  • Private docent gallery tour with Gantt Center President & CEO
  • 2 additional guest passes to all museum-sponsored events (upon request)
  • 25% discount on non-consigned items in the museum shop
  • Opportunity to donate ten (10) complimentary admission tickets to charity, school or community organization of your choice
  • 10% discount on facility rental upon availability (one event per fiscal year)*
  • 4 guest passes to our annual Jazzy Holiday celebration

Luminary
$10,000.00 - Purchase membership

Enjoy all Philanthropists Circle membership benefits plus:

  • 4 complimentary guest passes to special programs and events (upon request)
  • 25% discount on facility rental upon availability (one per fiscal year)*
  • Table of 8 to our annual Jazzy Holiday celebration

* Facility rental is non-transferable and amenities fees apply.

Help the Gantt Center secure a sustainable future with your tax-deductible investment! For additional questions about membership or the tax deductibility of your gift, please contact our advancement office at (704) 547-3781.

Image credits: Dr. Mary T. Harper & Dr. Bertha Maxwell Roddey