Must-See Artists, Performers and More This Fall

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Don’t miss these artists, concerts, festivals and more this fall

Giant puppets by the Paperhand Puppet artists
Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s larger-than-life show is a fan favorite every year. Photo by Lee Capps.

Compiled by Megan Tillotson

*Events are subject to change; check with organizers prior to attending


PlayMakers Repertory Company kicks off its 2022-23 season with a production of “Blues for an Alabama Sky” by Pearl Cleage. Set in the summer of 1930 in New York City, the play follows a failed Cotton Club singer and her group of friends as they encounter a handsome newcomer. Sept. 7-25;

Head to downtown Chapel Hill for Tracks Music Series, three days of live music performances from the newest bands from the Tracks Music Library collection. The line up features bands like Magic Tuber String Band, Alicia Marie, Larry & Joe, Bangzz and more. The concerts will be held at the parking lot on the corner of Columbia and Rosemary streets. Sept. 8, 15, 22;

Experience the art scene of downtown Carrboro and Chapel Hill by participating in the art walk on the second Friday of each month, featuring new exhibitions and artists at every event. Sept. 9, Oct. 14, Nov. 11;

OdysseyStage’s 10×10 is an annual festival celebrating local creative talent presenting ten 10-minute plays by North Carolina playwrights. Come meet their captivating characters at The Seymour Center. Sept. 15-17 & 22-25;

Raleigh-based Pressure, a Paramore tribute band, takes the stage with The White Stripes tribute act Jumble, Jumble at Local 506. Sept. 16;

For the 22nd annual season, Paperhand Puppet Intervention presents “The Meanwhile Clock and Other Impossible Dances,” a larger-than-life puppet show at The Forest Theatre about time, love, community and the Earth. Weekends through Sept. 18;

Carolina Performing Arts hosts The Soul Rebels with special guest Big Freedia to kick off its season at Memorial Hall. The concert brings New Orleans sound and style, combining jazz, funk and bounce. Sept. 23;

Oneoneone Gallery will host an opening reception for Jon Rollins’ new exhibit, “How Does it End,” from 6-8 p.m. Sept. 23;

The Ackland Art Museum presents “Drawn to Life: Master Drawings from the Age of Rembrandt in the Peck Collection,” an exhibition of 17th and 18th century Dutch and Flemish drawings of landscapes, portraits, biblical scenes and more. Sept. 23-Dec. 31;

Inspired by the success of The Clash-themed show last year, Be Loud! ’22 returns to Cat’s Cradle with some favorite local musicians covering influential acts of the 1980s. Rob Ladd, Robert Sledge and Brian Dennis, known as Preeesh!, will play songs by The Police; glam rockers What Peggy Wants regroup to perform The Cure; and members of The Sex Police and The Connells (calling themselves The Sexells) will take on The Ramones. Sept. 24;

Margaret Lane Gallery presents “Peace, Personal Perspectives,” in which artists showcase all sorts of works representing peace. The exhibition coincides with International Day of Peace on Sept. 21 and features North Carolina artists such as Carol McCanna, Michi Doan, Ray LaMantia and Jennifer Niemiroski. Through Sept. 25;

Explore drawing as a meditation with Suzanne McDermott in a workshop, “Drawing as a Spiritual Practice,” at My Muses Card Shop. Sept. 25;

The exhibit “It Is Somewhere In Time” at the Hillsborough Gallery of Arts features work by Lolette Sudaka Guthrie, the photography of Eric Saunders and blown glass by Pringle Teetor. Sept. 27-Oct. 23;

Check out the “Rainy Days” exhibit at Margaret Lane Gallery to see artists’ work that will take you on a rain-spattered journey. Featured artists include David Knox, Michi Doan and Ray LaMantia. Sept. 28-Oct. 23;

Connect with local art through special exhibitions, family-friendly activities, makers markets, drum circles and live music during Last Fridays & The Art Walk in downtown Hillsborough. Sept. 30, Oct. 28, Nov. 25;


Higgins & Myers Custom Framing and Fine Art Gallery hosts a preview of Orange County Artists Guild’s 28th annual Open Studio Tour with a reception held on the opening night. Oct. 1-31;

Studio 71 Frame Shop hosts artist in residence Christy LaGuardia and Raleigh-based horror aficionado and artist Wes Flanary for showings of their original art, along with the studio’s collection of vintage horror movie posters. Oct. 1-31;

Piano rock trio Jukebox the Ghost takes the stage at Cat’s Cradle. Formed in Washington, D.C., in 2006, the band is known for their unique twist on alternative and indie music. Oct. 1;

The Carrboro Music Festival, a two-day event showcasing artists from the area, returns for its 25th year featuring a variety of musical styles. Oct. 1-2;

Stop by University Place for FRANK Gallery’s fall show’s features work from painters Carroll Lassiter and Nerys Levy. Oct. 4-mid-November;

Artists come from all over to spend a few days in Orange County and participate in the sixth annual Paint It Orange Plein Air Paint- Out. Participants create a work inspired by what they see around them anywhere in the county. The opening and Wet Paint Sale will be Oct. 7 at Eno Arts Mill Gallery. Oct. 5-7;

Cassilhaus presents “Uncommon,” an exhibition of photographer Elizabeth Matheson’s self-portraits, vintage gelatin silver prints and her large-scale color work. Oct. 6-Jan. 29;

Carolina Performing Arts hosts Why Not Theatre’s “Prince Hamlet,” a new twist on Shakespeare’s classic play, at Memorial Hall. The piece features a multicultural cast and will be presented in English and American Sign Language. Oct. 7;

The 12th annual Off the Wall Fundraising Gala returns to the FRANK Gallery with the option to attend virtually or in person. This year, Aaron Keck of WCHL once again serves as the emcee. Oct. 8;

Chapel Hill’s annual arts market Festifall returns as a three-weekend event. All markets will be set up at 140 West Franklin Street Plaza and feature 20 to 30 local artists and craftspeople selling their work. The festival will also include interactive art experiences, food, music and more. Oct. 8, 15, 22;

PlayMakers Repertory Company’s full-company production of Karen Zacarías’ “Native Gardens” in the Paul Green Theatre touches on themes of taste, class, and entitlement. The play will be director Patrick Torres’ PlayMakers debutOct. 12-30;

Indie-pop band Stereolab performs at Cat’s Cradle. The London- based group has nearly 500,000 monthly Spotify listeners and releases their latest album in September. Oct. 14;

Ethiopian American vocalist, songwriter and composer Melkit headlines the UNC African Studies Center’s Africa Fest 2022 at Memorial Hall. She is known for combining jazz, folk and East African influences into her innovative music style. Oct. 15;

The seventh annual Bluegrass Festival at Historic Moorefields returns this fall for music from Vintage Blue; Pickard Mountain; GrassStreet; Nixon, Blevins & Gage; and The Bluegrass Experience. The event will have lawn seating, food trucks and on-site sale of beer and wine. Oct. 15;

The 16th annual West End Poetry Festival will feature poetic readings in various styles. The festival will take on a hybrid format with both virtual and in-person events at multiple venues. Oct. 15-16;

Film Fest 919 highlights the top feature films and the filmmakers behind them over five evenings of screenings at The Lumina Theater and Silverspot Cinema followed by a party each night. Past years have included dozens of movies that go on to be nominated for Oscars. Oct. 19-23;

Hillsborough-based label Yep Roc hosts a lineup of North Carolina artists at Cats Cradle in celebration of its 25th anniversary. Many of the performers were integral to the label’s beginnings, including Dawn Landes, The Old Ceremony, Chris Stamey and more. Oct. 22;

Silverspot Cinema brings opera to the movie theater with The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Cherubini’s “Medea” with Sondra Radvanovsky starring as a mythic sorceress on a quest for vengeance. Oct. 22 and 26;

The Hillsborough Gallery of Arts will host a preview show in anticipation of the Orange County Artists Guild’s annual Open Studio Tour in November. The preview allows attendees to get an idea of the studios they might want to visit during the tour. Oct. 25-Nov. 13;

Originally scheduled for the 2021-22 season, Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company’s “What Problem?” uses movement to explore the tension during divisive political times. The production will be performed in part by local community members at Memorial Hall. Oct. 28-29;

The kids of School of Rock Chapel Hill take the stage to show off their new skills and present a midseason preview show. Check the website for venue details. Oct. 30;


Eno Arts Mill Gallery showcases work from watercolorist Ryann Carey and pottery from ceramicist Amy Gelber at its November opening. Nov. 4;

Cat’s Cradle welcomes stand-up comedian and writer Beth Stelling, who has made appearances on late-night TV shows such as “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” and “Conan.” Nov. 4;

Silverspot Cinema screens The Met’s production of “La Traviata” opera starring Nadine Sierra as Violetta in Giuseppe Verdi’s beloved tragedy. Nov. 5 and 9;

Drive around the county and pop into artists’ workshops during the Orange County Artists Guild Open Studio Tour during the first two weekends in November for a chance to connect with fellow art lovers. Nov. 5-6 & 11-12;

Carolina Performing Arts presents choreographer Bobbi Jene Smith’s “Broken Theater,” an immersive theater experience that blends live dance and cinematic artistry. Nov. 11-12;

As an adaptation of the Jane Austen novel, Kate Hamill’s “Emma” is set in the 21st century. Catch a performance at Paul Green TheatreNov. 16-Dec. 4;

The ArtsCenter hosts the 17th annual Carrboro Film Fest, bringing the best new films produced in the South to the area. Nov. 18-20;

Using live video, dance and performance, CPA artists in residence Marcella Murray and David Neumann create an intimate staged conversation about race in “Distances Smaller Than This Are Not Confirmed” at CURRENT ArtSpace + StudioNov. 18-19;

The semiannual Arts on Market at Southern Village offers art and gifts for sale from local artists, artisans, bakers and makers, plus live music. Nov. 20;

Aesthetic Perfection, an alternative band from Los Angeles, makes a stop at Local 506 on their “American Psycho” tour. Nov. 21;


At its December opening, Eno Arts Mill will host Orange County Artists Guild’s Deck The Walls Annual Holiday Show. With works from 26 members of the OCAG, attendees can browse and purchase art made by local artists. Dec. 2;

Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra, featuring Dianne Reeves and Samara Joy, perform “Big Band Holidays” at Memorial Hall offering soulful renditions of holiday classics along with storytelling and improvisation. Dec. 2;

In partnership with Duke Arts, NC State Live and the American Dance Festival, Carolina Performing Arts presents Emanuel Gat’s work “LOVETRAIN2020.” The contemporary “musical” features 14 dancers and uses choreography and music by Tears for Fears to recreate the vibe of the ’80s. Dec. 7;

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