Culture and Arts in Chapel Hill, NC

Chapel Hill is home to a vibrant arts scene, including many museums, galleries, festivals and programs.

On Wednesday, May 4, 2011 - 17:31
Chapel Hill

If you could stand at one end of Franklin Street and see all the way to the other, you’d pretty much be taking a glimpse at the soul of Chapel Hill. Commonly known as The Strip, the street running from downtown Chapel Hill to Carrboro manages to capture and display a taste of what visitors and residents seem to love about the area – diverse restaurants, unique shopping, a flourishing local arts scene and the down-home charm of old North Carolina.

On The Strip

What you experience in Chapel Hill all depends on where you end up on The Strip. And when. For example, in October, the street is home to Festifall, where you will find artisan displays, live music and great food and shopping.

Carolina on His Mind

With the Chapel Hill-Carrboro region as the childhood home of singer/songwriter James Taylor, it’s no surprise that the area has deep roots in good music. The Carrboro Music Festival is held the last Sunday in September. This festival celebrated its 16th year in 2013, with 180 bands performing on 25 indoor and outdoor stages. Last year 10,000 people came for the free festival that takes place throughout town from 1 p.m. to midnight. The streets are full of artists, homemade food concessions and, of course, music, music, music. On an ordinary evening, the local clubs such as Local 506 or Cat's Cradle are the best place to enjoy the music of your taste.

Galleries Galore

In Chapel Hill and Carrboro, there are 13 galleries all within walking distance of each other. The galleries each promote their own work at the monthly 2ndFriday Art Walk, held year round. Residents and visitors alike tour art galleries, meet artists from all walks of life, watch art demonstrations and enjoy browsing, all in a festive atmosphere that includes music and refreshments.

Musing Around the Museum

For those who want a taste of preserved culture, Orange County is home to seven museums that showcase everything from football memorabilia to Native American artifacts. The museums include the Ackland Art Museum, The Kenan Football Center Hall of Honor, The Carolina Basketball Museum, The North Carolina Collection Gallery, The Orange County Historical Museum, Kidzu Children's Museum and the Morehead Planetarium & Science Center.

Art Programs

Thankfully, to enjoy the art culture in Orange County, you don’t have to just admire another person’s art. There is an abundance of art programs that add to the quality of life. For example, you can catch many cultural events and art classes at The Arts Center in Carrboro.

The Show Must Go On

If you still don’t have enough to do, then you can also catch a play at the Arts Center in Carrboro from the local theater company. The University of North Carolina’s PlayMakers Repertory Campaign draws thousands a year to performances at the Paul Green Theater on the UNC campus. You can also hear a world class concert or see a dance company or ballet at the Memorial Hall on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus through the Carolina Performing Arts Series. With such a rich blend or art and music, the Chapel Hill-Carrboro region is the place to get a satisfying taste of good old North Carolina culture.

Now you've seen some great attractions, let's check out Chapel Hill, NC's food scene.