Arts & Culture

This area has been known for decades for its thriving creative music scene. Many people travel from around the region – and sometimes around the world – to attend shows at the Cat's Cradle and other venues in Chapel Hill and Carrboro. Less famous, but also doing us proud, are visual artists, dancers, actors, and filmmakers around the Triangle. In fact, Chapel Hill was home to the first Flicker festival, which now takes place in ten cities around the world!

Dreams on display

Chapel Hill's Community Art Project this year invited us to to share our dreams. The result is a very broad range of objects, from children's drawings to mature poems, on display all over town. You can view the community's dreams in this online gallery (hosted by Andrew Ross), or on Thursday April 29 when the "dream tour" will be held in all venues hosting parts of the exhibit. DREAM runs until May 27.

One percent

I've noticed a lot of people grumbling lately about the Town of Chapel Hill's "Percent for Art" Program, which designates 1% of the budget for new facilities toward public art. Some penny pinchers feel this expenditure is extravagant during our current budget squeeze. I disagree.

Creativity is a fundamental part of humanity. I picture a world without art as something between George Orwell's "1984" and Cary - in short, not a place I want to be. We live in a community that is uniquely expressive. For example look at Franklin Street on Halloween, you will see thousands of adults publicly expressing their creativity and humor. This is not something that happens in other towns.

On her blog, Council Member Sally Greene wrote a thoughtful response to the Chamber of Commerce Director Aaron Nelson's questions of why the new Town Operations Center should waste money on public art. According to the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission:

What's your dream

These public art projects always seem to come out more interesting and more valuable than they seem from the description. This one is especially vague as a dream could be anything from a hope for the future to a psycheledic fantasy. It will certainly be interesting!


Submissions for the Chapel Hill Public Arts Commission's Community Art Project – DREAM – are due March 18 and 19 from 10 am to 4 pm at the Chapel Hill Museum.

What do you dream? The dream exhibition, which will be on view in public places throughout Chapel Hill and Carrboro from April 7 to May 27, will be a peek into the dreams of our community. Take this opportunity to let us know what's on your mind. We invite you to explore, remember, imagine, express and dream. To be a part of this community-wide exhibition the CHPAC is asking everyone who lives/works/plays in Chapel Hill and Carrboro to create an artwork that expresses your dream. Any definition of "dream" is acceptable--be creative!
Sweet dreams - Nightmares - Goals - Premonitions - Recurring dreams - Desires - Visions - Daydreams - Fantasies - Aspirations

Cradle & Arts Center Move

Guest Post by Ross Grady

Editor's note: This was originally written as part of a discussion on about the proposed redevelopment of 300 East Main Street in Carrboro. For more background, see this Chapel Hill News article.

Most of us who actually live here have by-and-large seemed pretty optimistic in our assessment of this project.

I myself would like to get beyond the current namby-pamby weak-postmodernism that southern commercial architecture seems to be stuck in; it's neither vernacular enough to be useful in the South, nor interesting enough to be, well, interesting. (Like that white building at the western end of the project; I'd like to see more details of that one.)

I'd like to see structures that take advantage of the vast quantities of solar energy available to us here, like the new Club Nova apartments just a couple of miles further west do.

Eyes on...

Today is Eyes on the Screen, nationwide grassroots screenings of "Eyes on the Prize," a very important documentary on the civil rights movement of the mid-twentieth century. You can watch in Carrboro:

Community Realty
February 8, 2005 at 8:00pm
201 North Greensboro Street
Approx Capacity: 15. 13 people plan to attend.
Organized by: Scott Morningstar
Episode 1
Bring a folding chair if you can.

As an African-American Studies minor (OK, over 10 years ago), I can attest to both this film's importance and to it's watchability. It allows the individuals who collectively formed the grassroots of this critical movement to speak for themselves and document their own experiences. The result is compelling and educational.



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