Home Life Arts and Style Celebrate the Arts This Fall With These Can’t-Miss Events

Celebrate the Arts This Fall With These Can’t-Miss Events

Make plans to take part in the local arts scene with our diverse lineup of festivals, concerts, plays and exhibits

Photo by Libby Gamble


Reflecting on Hillsborough’s appreciation of the arts, community and a good time, the Hillsborough Arts Council sponsors this free downtown outdoor concert featuring performers like Seth Walker and Eric Lindell. Oct. 28


Hillsborough Gallery of Arts features works from area artists Larry Favorite, Marcy Lansman (right) and Pat Merriman in this show, opening with a reception on September 29. Sept. 25– Oct. 22

Photo by Elisabeth Caren


Get your fill of comedy and drama in this original play written by UNC alumnus and “This Is Us” screenwriter Bekah Brunstetter (right), making its regional premiere at PlayMakers Repertory Company. Sept. 13–Oct. 1


In honor of the best-selling novel by UNC alumnus Charles Frazier, The Santa Fe Opera, Opera Philadelphia, Minnesota Opera and North Carolina Opera have joined forces to reimagine the tale in music form, to be performed at Memorial Hall courtesy Carolina Performing Arts. Sept. 28 & Oct. 1


This exhibit at Ackland Art Museum features Japanese woodblock prints of action-packed battle scenes like Bairin’s “Naval Battle at the Kaiyo Islands in Korea,” created after the Japanese were first introduced to modern war technologies like torpedoes and long-range ammunition. Oct. 6–Jan. 7

Also at Ackland, Check out the Peck Collection

Rembrandt van Rijn, Dutch, 1606- 1669: Noli me tangere, n.d., Pen and brown ink with touches of brown wash on paper, Ackland Art Museum, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, The Peck Collection.

In January, the Ackland Art Museum received its largest gift ever and exciting opportunities for growth along with it. The gift, given by longtime donors Sheldon and Leena Peck, is valued at $25 million. Included are 134 Dutch and Flemish masterworks, with seven of them drawings by Rembrandt van Rijn. Sheldon, an orthodontic specialist, educator and art collector, is a Durham native and UNC alumnus. He and Leena have made previous contributions to the museum and joined the Ackland’s national advisory board in 1987.

The Pecks’ generosity also allows the museum to create a new curator position whose work will focus primarily on European and American art before 1950, including the new Peck Collection. With this endowment, the Ackland will be able to acquire additional works of art and continue digitizing and conserving its collection. The outcome of this gift is sure to be long-lasting. In a press release, museum director Katie Ziglar says, “Works of such high achievement and quality will fascinate and delight Ackland visitors for decades to come.” Since the announcement early this year, the museum has exhibited a small selection of pieces every few months with the newest rotation on display starting in August. –Courtney Dennis

Photo by Scott Scala


Celebrate the 20th year of this favorite fest with a two-day lineup of Triangle-area performers from a variety of styles. Sept. 23–24

Photo by Alex Boerner


In its 12th year as the premiere film festival in the Piedmont area, this two-day film-art celebration offers works of all lengths and genre. Nov. 18–19

Photo Courtesy Yep Roc Records



Join Hillsborough’s Yep Roc Records at this three-night music extravaganza celebrating the 20th year of the artist-driven label at Cat’s Cradle and featuring favorites like Nick Lowe (left), Dave Alvin and Phil Alvin and Los Straitjackets. Oct. 19–21

Artists Luna Lee Ray and Shelly Hehenberger (right) collaborate to address the themes of geological and biological systems and cycles in this powerful body of work on display at FRANK Gallery considering time, change, mutation and variation. Sept. 5–Oct. 7


Get crafty with your kids at these family-friendly functions
Photo by Julia Baker

Engage with Chapel Hill’s art community at the 45th annual festival featuring handmade art of all kinds – photography, painting, jewelry and more, plus live music and crafts. Visit the Chapel Hill Magazine booth to color in our monster mural. Oct. 1


Get creative during North Carolina Botanical Garden’s pumpkin-carving contest, plus crafts, treats and more. Oct. 27

Paperhand Puppet Intervention and Halloween Costume Parade

Awe the kiddos with the magnificent puppetry of Saxapahaw’s Paperhand Puppet Intervention and join in on the costume parade at Southern Village. Oct. 28

Photo courtesy Southern Village


The ArtsCenter, Carrboro’s education center and cultural gathering place, is going on its 43rd year. Started in 1974 by Jacques Menache – now a full-time artist and electrician – he saw a need for art classes and began to offer painting lessons in what was called “The ArtSchool.” Originally housed in Carr Mill Mall, The ArtSchool soon outgrew that space and moved in 1986 to its current location.

The ArtsCenter currently has two main performance spaces, several multi-use classrooms, different studios and a public gallery space. With classes, concerts, theatre productions, art shows and more, they’ve got something for everyone. “We are unique in the area in that we do a lot of different things that are not found together in the same building. There are a lot of great venues in town, but there are not a lot of places where so many activities can overlap,” says Patrick Phelps-McKeown, who came on a little over a year ago as marketing director. For many of their programs, they offer scholarships and partner with schools to make sure that anyone interested can have access to their resources.

New for The ArtsCenter is the introduction of an official performance season. In the past, there have been mini-series or festivals, but the 2016-2017 season was the first curated series for the whole year. And the center is excited to have an even bigger season for 2017- 2018. Our picks include “Ira Knight Presents: Mandela, An Interpretation” in October, Ranky Tanky in November and Jason Marsalis & the 21st Century Trad Band in January.
– Courtney Dennis