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Arts & Culture
These articles were excerpted from Tapestry, a weekly newsletter that examines the arts and entertainment world in Charlotte and North Carolina.

Charlotte Museum Of History's Mad About Modern Hits The Road — Virtually

Mad About Modern
Dustin Shores
Courtesy Charlotte Museum of History
This Catawba River home is on the Mad About Modern home tour this year.

It really wasn’t that much of a debate about whether to make this year’s Mad About Modern home tour a virtual affair for the second consecutive year. Yet again, the coronavirus pandemic has upended plans.

“We had very few homeowners that were, really early on, eager to do what we normally do for an in-person tour – which is about 1,300 people that come out in a day,” said Adria Focht, president and CEO of the Charlotte Museum of History.

But it didn’t take Focht long to realize that going virtual also presented a unique opportunity for Mad About Modern, the museum’s biggest fundraiser of the year that gives people a glimpse into midcentury modern homes in the Charlotte area.

Often, there are houses that seem like they would be a perfect fit for the tour but simply can’t be included for logistical reasons. Maybe it’s just too far away from every other home. Maybe there isn’t just an easy way to accommodate parking for so many people.

“There's always that list of homes that you're like, ‘You know, this would be great for the tour, but there's no way to get a thousand people there in a day,’” Focht said.

Mad About Modern
Dustin Shores
A low pitched roof with overhanging eaves efficiently shades the large windows of this home on the Catawba River, designed by notable local architect Murray Whisnant.

Like the three-bedroom Murray Whisnant home on the Catawba River. The mid-century modern ranch gives picturesque views of the river, features floor-to-ceiling windows … and very little parking to accommodate a large group of people coming to it.

“It's very far, geographically — out of the way,” Focht said. “I don't think the neighbors would would appreciate all the cars in this remote area. So, that worked out very well this year to have that home on the tour.”

It’s one of five homes that can be visited virtually through Oct. 22. Thursday was the kickoff event, The Mod Experience, at the Charlotte Museum of History.

Focht said she’s hopeful that next year’s Mad About Modern home tour will allow for in-person exploration once again – but that future events likely will incorporate some sort of virtual component.

“I think in the future we could definitely do some homes virtually and some homes in person, especially when we do have those issues of parking and locality,” she said.

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