Charlotte to Host Congress of Cities and Exposition

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The City of Charlotte, N.C., will host the 82nd Congress of Cities and Exposition December 6-10, 2005 at the Charlotte Convention Center. This will be the first time Charlotte has hosted the NLC Congress of Cities and Exposition.

Charlotte, has everything you might expect in New York, Chicago, or Los Angeles--the enchantment of Broadway shows, the excitement of professional sports, classy hotels, award-winning restaurants, and spectacular museums. The Southern culture of Charlotte represents a colorful spectrum--from the sophisticated fine artwork of the Mint Museum to the engine-racing thunder of NASCAR that draws more than 1 million visitors to Lowe's Motor Speedway each year.

The crossroads of two Indian trading paths that once marked the village of Charlotte Town is now the heart of modem downtown Charlotte; the former trading paths are now known as Trade and Tryon Streets, the latter named for William Tryon, a royal governor of colonial North Carolina.

The village, established by Thomas Polk, uncle of U.S. President James K. Polk, was named for Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz, the German wife of British King George Ill.

Today Charlotte is the second-largest financial district in the world. Charlotte's history as a financial center dates back to the early 1800s when gold deposits were found in the area. In 1838 the U.S. Congress established a branch of the U.S. Mint in Charlotte because of the gold deposits found in the area.

Charlotte is also a center of excellence for the performing and visual arts, Charlotte offers a variety of theaters, museums, cultural centers and galleries that cater to a delegate's more artistic side.

Both the Mint Museum of Art and its companion Mint Museum of Craft & Design offer ever-changing exhibits featuring some of the world's finest collections. The Charlotte Museum of History displays more than 10,000 American historical objects based on the people, buildings, and stories spanning the region's history.

The Light Factory is a hands-on gallery that focuses on the education and presentation of photographic art and current issues. The Light Factory regularly exhibits stylistically diverse works that often address aspects of race, ethnicity and gender.

The Blumenthal Performing Arts Center is home to the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra, Opera Carolina and North Carolina Dance Theatre as well as several other local and regional performing arts organizations.

The Afro-American Cultural Center offers comprehensive programs and presentations in the visual arts, performing arts and innovative educational programs that serve to preserve, promote and present African-American art, history, and culture.

The North Davidson (NoDa) district of Charlotte is home to a thriving community of artists. Comprised of a four-block area just three miles from Center City, the district is a collection of art galleries, restaurants, a performance theater, retail shops and clubs. In addition, NoDa provides spaces for improvisational comedy workshops, live music, poetry readings and stand-up comedy. On the first and third Friday of each month, NoDa hosts the award winning Gallery Crawl, allowing you to see everything artistic the district has to offer.

With Charlotte's mild winter temperatures, delegates will find many outdoor activities to enjoy along with a host of indoor sites to explore. …