25 Ways to Experience the Arts This Fall

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Events are subject to change; check with organizers before attending

Tune in as musician Tim Carless plays the live score to a classic silent film during a monthly  broadcast from his studio in Carrboro. Dates to be announced for September, October and November. artscenterlive.org

PlayMakers Repertory Company’s 45th season includes an encore of Durham native Kane Smego’s one-man hip-hop odyssey, “Temples of Lung and Air” (date TBA) and a live reading of “The Storyteller” by Sara Jean Accuardi, the winner of the first International Thomas Wolfe Playwriting Competition, which will be viewable on PlayMakers’ website. Oct. 30; playmakersrep.org

Grab a drink at Hillsborough’s Bakova Gallery’s bar and then have a look around at the art that occupies the gallery’s two floors. The gallery is back to having regular events on Thursdays and Fridays and is open to the public Thursdays through Sundays. bakovagallery.com

See local students perform ambient music during FRANK Gallery’s virtual series, “Youth Music Salons.” Visit the gallery’s website to keep up with these performances, as video submissions are on a rolling basis. frankisart.com/youth-music-salons

Stop by Margaret Lane Gallery every Sunday from noon-3 p.m. for its meet-the-artist series. A different local artist, such as Debi L. Drew, will be on the gallery’s porch weekly to speak with visitors about art and inspiration, while social distancing and wearing masks. The events are informal and low-key, and children are welcome. margaretlanegallery.com

Margaret Lane Meet-The-Artist
Margaret Lane Meet-The-Artist

Catch a virtual version of the Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History’s annual Diaspora Festival of Black and Independent Film. Popular, resonant short films from past festivals – “Across the Tracks,” “Sweet Honey Chile’,” “An Act of Terror” and “Residue” – from all corners of the African diaspora will be shown. The directors of the films are invited to a post-screening virtual discussion to offer context, perspective and breakdown of the films as well as discuss their filmmaking endeavors. Specific times and dates in September and October will be released soon. stonecenter.unc.edu

Festifall as we know it won’t happen this season, so the Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture team is planning alternative safe and enjoyable art programming to be announced soon. chapelhillarts.org

Explore the exhibit, “Meditations on the Idea of Sacred Space: the Life and Enduring Work of Phil Freelon,” and learn about local legendary architect Phil Freelon at Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History. Phil, who passed away in July 2019, designed the Stone Center and was also a philanthropist, community leader and mentor for young people interested in design and social responsibility.  The exhibition displays local, national and international aspects of his work while celebrating his life. Sept. 1-Nov. 30; stonecenter.unc.edu

Celebrate a decade of FRANK Gallery with a new exhibit that features work from Lew Graham, Peg Bachenheimer, Paul Hrusovsky, Ronan Peterson and Jason Smith. The exhibit will also be featured on the FRANK website. Sept. 8-Nov. 7; frankisart.com/virtual-exhibit

See the work of 25 accomplished local and national sculptors at Garden Art Gallery’s Art in the Garden Sculpture Exhibition. The free exhibition is held in Tinka Jordy’s Hillsborough garden. **Postponed until May 2021**; garden-art-gallery.com

Sculpture in the Garden
Sculpture in the Garden

Visit the North Carolina Botanical Garden for an outdoor sculpture exhibit featuring work by North Carolina artists. Guests are encouraged to visit at different times during the fall to see plants, weather and light change around the sculptures. Sept. 13-Dec. 6; ncbg.unc.edu/sculpture

Margaret Lane Gallery showcases the “What’s Going On” exhibit, based off of Marvin Gaye’s album of the same name that was released almost 50 years ago. Inspired by the album’s themes that cover topics such as racism and war, the exhibit features work from Debi L. Drew and other local artists who aim to encourage positive change in today’s society. Sept. 23-Oct. 25.; margaretlanegallery.com

Singer-songwriter Tift Merritt partners with Carolina Performing Arts on The Spark, a new video interview series featuring beloved performing artists. First up in the series: CPA artist-in-residence and renowned banjo player and singer Abigail Washburn. Sept. 24; carolinaperformingarts.org

The UNC Symphony Orchestra performs as a string orchestra this fall, and the concert will be available to watch live from the Kenan Music Building on the UNC Department of Music YouTube channel. Sept. 30; music.unc.edu/calendar

Get in the spooky spirit with the open-air Creepy Crawly Art Show at Studio 71. The show will feature original exhibits, including pop culture horror pieces by Wes Flanary as well as native North Carolina insect pieces by Kylene Babski Figle. Original horror posters will also be for sale, and the studio hosts a Halloween Bash on Oct. 30. Open-air shows Friday nights in October from 7-10 p.m.; gallery71nc.com

The 23rd annual Carrboro Music Festival will be held primarily in a virtual format this year. A variety of local acts perform at this free event, showcasing their talents while promoting a sense of community. Oct. 4; carrboromusicfestival.com

The fourth annual Paint It Orange: Plein Air Paint-Out and Wet Paint Sale expands out from its usual Orange County borders to the entire state, as artists from across North Carolina are encouraged to participate in Paint It NC, a virtual plein air paint out. ​Artists paint at their choice of site from Oct. 7-13, and the virtual exhibition will be viewable starting Oct. 20. hillsboroughartscouncil.org/paint-it-orange

Watch the UNC Wind Ensemble perform live at Forest Theatre via the UNC Department of Music’s YouTube channel. Oct. 10; music.unc.edu/calendar

Join FRANK Gallery for its annual Off the Wall Gala as it celebrates its 10-year anniversary virtually. Emcee Aaron Keck will draw names, only this time online, and that attendee will have one minute to choose a piece of donated artwork to take home. Oct. 10; frankisart.com

Watch a variety of early award season contenders – films from past years have gone on to win big at the Oscars – live at Silverspot Cinema and outdoor venues (to be announced later) during Film Fest 919 2.0. (The full, third annual festival will return in February.) Also kicking off at the same time is a new, year-round streaming event with a focus on student films to highlight burgeoning talent in North Carolina. Oct. 14-18; filmfest919.com

Read 2019 Piedmont Laureate David Menconi’s new book “Step It Up and Go: The Story of North Carolina Popular Music, from Blind Boy Fuller and Doc Watson to Nina Simone and Superchunk.” One chapter focuses on Chapel Hill, mainly on the alternative rock scene’s “Next Seattle” period in the ’90s with Superchunk, Squirrel Nut Zippers and Ben Folds Five. Oct. 19; uncpress.org

Tune in to the UNC Department of Music’s YouTube channel to enjoy a student recital, live from Moeser Auditorium. Oct. 28; music.unc.edu/calendar

Visit Wonderland via Margaret Lane Gallery during its “Down the Rabbit Hole” art show featuring Judith Maier’s ceramic companions as well as the work of other local artists. Oct. 29-Nov. 22; margaretlanegallery.com

Check out the free Musical Roots Record Show held at the Carrboro Century Center. Established and run by Gerry Williams, this CD and record show happens twice a year. Nov. 8; musicalroots.net

The 15th annual Carrboro Film Festival features virtual screenings of Southern films, livestreamed filmmaker panels and prize giveaways. The event is being planned as an all-virtual festival, but in-person events may take place if deemed safe. Nov. 20-29; carrborofilm.org

See Orange County in a new light as local artists share works that depict landscape transitions from remnants of old ways and cultures to those of modern day during Margaret Lane Gallery’s “Yesteryear and Today” art show. Nov. 25-Dec. 27; margaretlanegallery.com

– Compiled by Laney Dalton

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