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Discovery Place To Showcase RACE: Are We So Different?

Exhibition explores the reality – and unreality -- of race

September 21, 2010

CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Are we all different? Or just variations of the same? Is race an idea? Or is it a reality? These and other questions about the perceptions and experience of race and racism will be explored when Discovery Place presents RACE: Are We So Different? February 5 through May 8, 2011. Making its premiere appearance in the southeastern United States, RACE aims to help visitors of all ages better understand the origins and impact of race and racism on everyday life by investigating race through the framework of science.

“In addition to promoting public understanding of its scientific roots, we want to help cultivate informed discussions about race,” said John Mackay, president and CEO of Discovery Place. “Visitors will have the chance to reach their own conclusions about what components of race are intrinsic and what components are interpretation, using knowledge gained from this exhibition.”

RACE: Are We So Different? explores the science, history and everyday impact of race and racism. It presents a powerful combination of artifacts, historic and contemporary photography, multimedia and interactive activities to give guests of all ages the opportunity to think and talk about one of the most important, and polarizing, topics of our time. Intended to inform and shape the quantity and quality of dialogue about race, the exhibition delves into scientific and historical contexts of race as well as social and cultural significance of the idea of race. It scrutinizes the misconceptions, confusion and other interpretations of the theory of race and the powerful social doctrines that have accompanied it.

RACE shows us that genetically, human race is simply a continuum, with no distinct ways to segregate people into racial groups,” said Mackay. “Yet throughout history, humans have continued to divide ourselves in this way, often with severe, long-lasting repercussions.”

RACE: Are We So Different? is a project of American Anthropological Association in collaboration with the Science Museum of Minnesota. The exhibition is now on a national tour presented by the Best Buy Children’s Foundation.

RACE will be on exhibition at Discovery Place from February 5 - May 8, 2011 and is free with Museum admission. Admission to Discovery Place is $12 for adults (14-59); $10 for seniors (60 and older) and $9 for children (2-13); free for children younger than 2 and Members. Discounts are available for groups of 15 or more. Discovery Place is open Monday – Friday 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday noon – 5 p.m.

In addition to the exhibition experience, there is a special RACE website, understandingrace.org. Educational materials also are available on the site for educators and the general public. For more information on Discovery Place pricing or programming, call 704-372-6261, ext. 300 or visit discoveryplace.org.

About Discovery Place
One of the top hands-on science museums in the nation, Discovery Place provides ever-changing, entertaining facilities that engage the public in the active exploration of science and nature. More than a half-million people from all over the United States visit Discovery Place, its IMAX Dome Theatre and Charlotte Nature Museum each year. In June 2010, the Museum completed an 18-month, $31.6 million renovation, resulting in a completely transformed and re-imagined Museum with all-new interactive exhibits. Discovery Place KIDS, a community-based children’s museum for children from birth through age 7, will open in Huntersville in October, 2010.

Discovery Place is located in uptown Charlotte at 301 N. Tryon Street. Convenient parking is available in the Museum’s parking deck – the Carol Grotnes Belk Complex – at the corner of Sixth and Church Streets. For more information about Discovery Place, call 704-372-6261 or visit discoveryplace.org. Discovery Place is supported, in part, with a Basic Operating Grant from the Arts & Sciences Council.

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