ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is a unique educational center for children of all ages from toddlers to teens. Located in the heart of in Charlotte's cultural arts district, this one-of-a-kind youth destination spans over 100,000 square feet and features two state-of-the-art theaters, a private library for children under the age of 11, a library dedicated to teenagers, a multimedia production studio, and four classrooms, and an interactive exhibit space. The Center, which is a collaborative effort between the Children's Theatre of Charlotte and the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Library is visited by more than 300,000 people annually.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center aims to challenge and inspire young minds through education, innovation, and creativity, providing cutting- edge services, world-class library collections, and award--winning theater and teaching programs to do so.
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ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is home to The Spangler Library for Children which offers an extensive range of books, media, and resources for children under the age of 11. The library is run by an expert team of professional librarians and caregivers with expertise in early literacy, child development, and children's and teen literature and are on hand to help with any information required. The Spangler Library includes a baby and toddler area for the young ones to explore, a vast collection of fiction and non-fiction books for elementary and middle school reading levels, and a range of bilingual children's books in a variety of languages including Spanish, Russian, French, German, Japanese, Arabic, and Chinese. The library also offers a variety of multimedia such as DVDs, CDs, audiobooks, and other software for children, early literacy and computer stations, hands-on, engaging activities for all ages, and resources for homework from digital media to biographies.
The Loft at ImaginOn is a unique library space specifically designed for teenagers between the ages of 12 and 18 years. The private library covers 3,900 square feet of space and provides a place for teens to study, use computers and access the Internet, get help with homework problems, play video games and hang out with friends. The library boasts 22 computers with Internet access and a vast array of books, magazines, audio books, CDs and graphic novels.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is also home to the Children's Theatre of Charlotte, an award-winning theater that presents artistic productions to more than 300,000 people each year. One of the top family theaters in the country, the Children's Theatre of Charlotte features a 570-seat McColl Family Theatre in which award-winning, professional adult productions are presented and the 250-seat Wells Fargo Playhouse where artistic productions and inspirational performances for all ages are put on. Educational programs at the Theater include Theatre Workshops, Creative Drama Classes, and Summer Camps run by professional instructors and theater artists.
Partner of ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center, the Charlotte Mecklenburg Library is a renowned library that has been serving the community for over a century and offers an array of information services, including reading material, resources, research facilities, modern technology and more for free. Established in 1903, the library focuses on four key areas, namely providing community services, providing a place of solace and refuge, being a leader in literacy and information sharing and acting as a strategist for the community and to contribute towards the building of a better society as a whole.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center showcases several exhibits throughout the year, and the latest show at the Center is the “The Adventures of MR. POTATO HEAD.” Children can join the lovable character of Mr. Potatohead for a range of educational experiences from traveling the globe and enjoying trips to outer space to engaging underwater adventures.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center is located on East Seventh Street in the heart of the cultural arts district of Charlotte and is open from Monday through Sunday. The Center offers both onsite and offsite parking for visitors on 6th Street and at the Seventh Street Station.
ImaginOn: The Joe & Joan Martin Center can be hired for special functions and events and has several venues, meeting rooms and function spaces available for the community to use on request. Meeting rooms can be utilized by the community on four-hour rotations during the Center's opening hours, and spaces can be hired for after-hours functions by prior arrangement.
Back to: Best Things to Do in Charlotte, NC
300 East Seventh Street, Charlotte, North Carolina 28202, Phone: 704-416-4600
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