11 Must-Do Events in May and June

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There are so many things to do in Orange County these next two months!

May and June events – 'BLUE' at Cassilhaus
“Stain” by Heather Evans Smith is just one of the visual artist’s photographs on display at Cassilhaus this summer during the exhibit titled “Blue.” Photo by Heather Evans Smith

Compiled by Morgan Chapman

‘How I Learned What I Learned’

April 27-May 15

Head over to PlayMakers Repertory Company’s Paul Green Theatre for August Wilson’s autobiographical journey through his days as a young poet, his first few jobs, an early relationship and his encounters with racism. This heartfelt theatrical memoir, directed by Tia James, chronicles the great playwright’s journey through adversity and what it means to be a Black artist in America.

Freight Train Blues Music Series

Fridays, May 13-June 10, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

The Carrboro Recreation, Parks & Cultural Resources Department and Music Maker Foundation host this eighth annual series that honors the legacy of the late Carrboro musician Elizabeth Cotten. The five free Friday evening concerts at the Carrboro Town Commons feature performances from artists such as Gail Ceasar, Tad Walters and Lil’ Jimmy Reed. Beer and food will be available for purchase.

Writers for Readers

May 15, 4 p.m.

Spend a family-friendly afternoon at The Forest Theatre with Grammy-nominated musician and author Pierce Freelon as he gives a lively reading from his children’s book, “Daddy-Daughter Day.” Don’t miss the musical performance by Pierce and special guest Rissi Palmer, all in support of Orange Literacy’s efforts to make literacy available to all.

Farm-to-Table Dinner Party

May 20-21

Support Habitat for Humanity of Orange County and its mission of affordable housing in Orange County by picking up meals to enjoy at home Friday or attending the dinner party on Saturday at Teer Farm, both featuring the delicious creations of chef Paris Mishoe. Don’t forget to bid on silent auction items online from May 9-22.

Spring Outdoor Concert (CANCELED)

May 21, 2-7 p.m.

Join Kidzu Children’s Museum as they bring together local music, food trucks and craft brewers in a celebration hosted at Coon Rock Farm. There will be tons of hands-on activities for the entire family.


May 22-August 21

This powerful and potent new body of art by photographer Heather Evans Smith at Cassilhaus uses the color blue to evoke a period in her 40s when she lost her father and experienced depression.

Joshua Bell
Violinist Joshua Bell performs at Memorial Hall in May. Photo by Benjamin Ealovega

Joshua Bell and Peter Dugan

May 23, 7:30 p.m.

Grammy-winning violinist Joshua Bell and acclaimed multigenre pianist Peter Dugan take the stage at Memorial Hall. Joshua is a longtime friend of Carolina Performing Arts and most recently appeared during the virtual season last year while Peter returns for the second time.

Beats & Eats Music Festival

June 4, 6-9 p.m.

Enjoy dancing, the music of Bantum Rooster and food from Paco’s Tacos on the Southern Village Green during a fundraiser for the Ronald McDonald House of Chapel Hill.

Imagine More Gala

June 4

This year’s celebration at the American Legion Post 6 will raise funds to support The ArtsCenter’s ArtSchool and Youth Education programming. Attendees will learn about plans for the new location at 400 Roberson St. in Carrboro.

50th Anniversary Celebration

June 18

Preservation Chapel Hill marks its 50th anniversary with a bash at the Horace Williams House featuring dancing, music from Liquid Pleasure and food from chef Paris Mishoe.

‘Modern Black Culture: The Art of Aaron Douglas’

Through June 19

This Ackland Art Museum exhibit explores how Harlem Renaissance artist Aaron Douglas (1899-1979) gave visual form to the idea that Black American culture is a modern culture of diaspora. Through more than 40 paintings, prints, books and magazine illustrations, the exhibit shows how Aaron developed a unique style of dynamic silhouette figures.

Looking for more events? Check out our community calendar!

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