The Democratic National Convention is in full-swing in Charlotte, NC. (Google Images)

The 2012 Democratic National Convention has officially kicked-off. Delegates, politicians, celebrities, professionals, local and international journalists and of course Charlotteans have descended on Uptown Charlotte, creating a bustling energy. With the throngs of people, it can be easy to get overwhelmed and miss out on some great events that are free and open to convention attendees. With the help of Jarvis Holliday and Charlotte Magazine, The Burton Wire has compiled a list of events you should know about below:


IMPACT Film Festival: Where Film Crosses the Aisle (Sept. 4 – 6)
Enjoy three days of politically and socially conscious film screenings, including The Invisible War, Hunger Hits Home, and Butter. Presented by the IMPACT Arts + Film Fund. Begins 10 a.m. daily. Free. Mez and EpiCentre Theaters, 210 E. Trade St.,

Politics and Pints
The Washington Post is organizing this event, focusing on political, news, and pop culture trivia. Chris Cillizza, managing editor of digital politics coverage for The Post, will serve as quizmaster. 6 p.m. Free. Rí Rá Irish Pub, 208 N. Tryon St.

It’s sure to be a hilarious night, featuring live standup by comedians D.L. Hughley, Tommy Davidson, and Aries Spears. A portion of proceeds will be donated to the Obama 2012 reelection campaign and Democratic National Convention. 9 p.m. $85-$150. Belk Theater, 130 N. Tryon St.,

Occupy the Vote After-Caucus Celebration (NOT FREE BUT INEXPENSIVE)
Exercise your right to party, and mingle with Charlotte’s business and community leaders. Music by DJ Moe. Presented by the Urban League of Central Carolinas and Wealth Builders Center for Financial Empowerment. 9:30 p.m. $20. Caviar Nightlife, 300 E. Stonewall St.,,


Rock the Vote Road Trip
The #RTVRoadtrip bus is stopping at Charlotte’s largest university for a day of live music from Music City Soundtrack and Rockie Fresh, voter registration, and plenty of interactive activities. 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Free. UNC Charlotte, 9210 University Blvd.,

UndocuNation: A Night of Art, Activism and Immigrant Rights
The Center for New Community and CultureStrike present this event to celebrate the artists who have given their labor of love to immigrant rights and the cause of fighting against fear and bigotry. Artists performing include: Jasiri X, Laila Nur, Kendrea Mekkah, Sacrificial Poets, filmmaker Josh Davis, and Los Rakas. Doors open 6 p.m.; show starts 8 p.m. Free; all ages welcomed. Neighborhood Theatre, 511 E. 36th St.,

Young & Powerful for Obama (Charlotte Chapter) Presents: Victory Fundraising Event
Young professionals will join for a historic fundraising event in support of President Obama’s re-election campaign. Featured speakers include Congressman Danny K. Davis, U. S. House of Representatives (D-IL); Stefanie Brown, National African-American Vote Director, Obama for America and Michael Blake, Deputy Director, National Operation Vote, Obama for America. General Admission Tickets: $44 Donation to the Obama for America campaign. Dresslers Restaurant, 6 p.m.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

The President’s Nomination Acceptance
More than 74,000 people will fill the stadium, and tens of millions more in television audiences around the world will watch as Vice President Joe Biden and President Barack Obama speak live from Charlotte and officially accept the Democratic Party’s nomination for 2012. The afternoon and evening program will feature entertainment by several performers, including Foo Fighters, Mary J. Blige, Earth, Wind and Fire, James Taylor, Delta Rae, Inspire the Fire, and Marc Anthony, who will sing the national anthem. President Obama, who will speak last, isn’t expected to take the stage until around 10 p.m. Gates open 1 p.m. to allow plenty of time to get through traffic, parking, and security checkpoints. You might still be able to get one of any remaining free public tickets, known as community credentials, at Bank of America Stadium, 800 S. Mint St.,

“America I Am Exhibit” at The Harvey Gantt Center (NOT FREE BUT INEXPENSIVE)
Sponsored by Tavis Smiley, “America I AM answers the question posed by W.E.B. Du Bois: “Would America be America without her Negro people?” The exhibit tells the story of what African-Americans have achieved with others. According to, “The exhibition showcases four centuries worth of objects celebrating African American contributions—economic, cultural, political, academic, athletic, and spiritual—to the United States, blending uncomfortable history and pop culture. This comprehensive collection is sure to draw more than the typical museum goer.” What better way to learn African-American history than to visit a center named for the Queen City’s first African-American mayor?  Admission for adults is $8. The Center is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. For more info: or 704-547-3700.

Hard Truths: The Art of Thornton Dial at The Mint Museum 
Thornton Dial is a keen observer of the human spectacle and its narratives of corruption and moral strength, folly and triumph. Born and raised in the rural South, Dial spent his childhood toiling in the farm fields of western Alabama, followed by decades spent as a laborer in the region’s factories and heavy industry. A working-class man whose art was weaned in the unheralded expressive practices of the black vernacular South, Dial speaks in a voice long overlooked in the canons of modern art and culture. Since his discovery in the late 1980s, critics have likened Dial’s complex and tumultuous creations to the renowned works of such artists as Jackson Pollock and Anselm Kiefer. The Mint Museum Uptown. The Mint is also hosting special tours during DNC.

FREE Movie Screening of the Award-Winning Documentary Brother Outsider: The Life of Bayard Rustin
The Charlotte Trolley (1507 Camden Road); 6 to 9 p.m. The film will be followed by a question/answer with filmmaker Bennett Singer.

Official Obama LGBT Watch Party & After Party
Please join LBGTs for Obama, Meltdown Productions, & Queen City Entertainment on September 6th as they gather with friends, family and neighbors to watch President Obama accept the nomination at the 2012 DNC. Attendees will watch the speech live, enjoy premium cocktails, and dance the night away with music by East Coast Bad Boy – DJ Flemingo. Admission starts at 9:00pm & is $10 before 10pm & cash bar at the Charlotte Trolley (1507 Camden Road). A portion of the proceeds from this event will be donated to Obama for America.

***Please check back as we will add to the list as free and/or inexpensive events are publicized. 

An additional tip, please call ahead to local businesses since hours of operation may have changed due to DNC activities. 

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