The Ultimate Chapel Hill Fall Arts Checklist

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Festifall takes place each autumn on West Franklin Street.
Festifall takes place each autumn on West Franklin Street. Photo by Mark Losey / Town of Chapel Hill

Watch giant puppets come to life as Paperhand Puppet Intervention’s 20th annual summer show, “We Are Here,” continues into September at the Forest Theatre. Sept. 1-2, 13-15, 20-22, 27-29; 

Nambi E. Kelley’s theatrical adaptation of Richard Wright’s novel, “Native Son,” directed by Colette Robert, takes the stage at PlayMakers Repertory Company. Sept. 11-15, 17-20, 22,
24-27, 29;

Tierra Whack
Tierra Whack photographed by Maria Jose Govea.

Experience a culmination of cutting-edge rap, hip-hop and pop from Philadelphia-born Tierra Whack at Memorial Hall.
Sept. 13;

Explore the Chapel Hill and Carrboro downtown arts scene as you stroll from venue to venue during the 2nd Friday ArtWalk. Sept. 13, Oct. 11 and Nov. 8;

Jam out to indie-rock songstress Cat Power as she performs songs at Cat’s Cradle from her impressive discography that dates back two decades. Sept. 16;

Visit UNC’s Sonja Haynes Stone Center for Black Culture and History for the “DO or DIE: Affect, Ritual Resistance” exhibition, featuring the work of award-winning visual artist Fahamu Pecou. Sept. 19 – Dec. 4;

Witness 12 pioneering Arab and Iranian women challenge the stereotypes surrounding the people, cultures and landscapes of their countries through their provocative photographs at a new exhibition, “She Who Tells a Story,” at the Ackland Art MuseumSept. 20 – Dec. 1;

Experience a genre-bending performance of traditional Korean music by award-winning percussionist Kim So Ra as she plays the janggu, a Korean double-headed drum, at The ArtsCenter. Sept. 22;

Watch artists as they paint Orange County’s beautiful landscapes and landmarks – and have the chance to purchase some of the resulting masterpieces – during Hillsborough Arts Council’s third annual Paint it Orange: Plein Air Paint-Out and Wet Paint Sale. Sept. 25-27;

View and vote for your favorite short films at the 22nd annual Manhattan Short Film Festival hosted at venues both around the world and also closer to home, like Silverspot Cinema (Sept. 26-29) and The ArtsCenter (Oct. 3-4, 6).

Check out CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio for a takeover by the Martha Graham Dance Company, who’ll perform and teach you how to embody some of their iconic poses. Sept. 27-29; 

Grab your dancing shoes and learn how to contra dance with the Triangle Country Dancers at Carrboro Century Center, featuring the musical stylings of contra band Wild Asparagus. Sept. 28;

Stop by FRANK Gallery for a pop-up preview of the Alamance Artisans Extravaganza, an annual art show showcasing the works of more than 30 artisans. Sept. 28-29;

Dozens of local musicians play over two days and multiple venues, including Carrboro Town Commons and Cat’s Cradle, during the 22nd annual Carrboro Music Festival. Sept 28-29; 

Groove to the ’80s synth pop beats and earworm hooks of Video Age, a musical duo made of Ross Farbe and Ray Micarelli, at Local 506. Oct. 2;

Get a head start on awards season and catch some of the year’s best films at the second annual Film Fest 919 at Silverspot Cinema. Oct. 9-13;

Celebrate Scottish history, culture and the popular TV series “Outlander” at the inaugural Outlandish Hillsborough festival, hosted by The Alliance for Historic Hillsborough at Ayr Mount Historic Site. Oct. 11-13;

Head to West Franklin Street for Festifall, the annual arts celebration that seeks to inspire creativity and features an arts and craft market with local talent, live entertainment and interactive activities. Oct. 12;

Take in the soothing sounds produced by Duke University’s Assistant Professor of Music Roseen Giles’ baroque flute, as part of Preservation Chapel Hill’s annual “Baroque & Beyond” series at the Horace Williams House. Oct. 13;

Join author Jane S. Gabin for a reading and presentation of her first novel, “The Paris Photo,” at Orange County Public Library. Oct. 15;

Listen to spoken poetry focusing on the theme of “work and reconciliation” at the annual West End Poetry Festival.
Oct. 17-19; 

Bring the family out for a day of free outdoor music at Hillsborough Arts Council’s fifth annual River Park Concert, featuring music by Eno Mountain Boys, Ruby Velle & the Soulphonics, Samantha Fish and Anders Osborne. Oct. 19;

Meet local artists, explore their workspaces and view their pieces on display during the Orange County Open Studio Tour, held by the Orange County Artists Guild. Nov. 2-3 and Nov. 9-10;

Find country bliss in the voice of 14-time Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Emmylou Harris, who brings her talent to Memorial Hall for an unforgettable Carolina Performing Arts performance. Nov. 8;

Dive into the world of cinema at the 14th annual Carrboro Film Festival, a celebration of independent films of all genres, at The ArtsCenter. Nov. 15-17;

Catch a performance of PlayMakers Repertory Company’s “Ragtime,” the Tony Award-nominated musical centered on three compelling stories at the turn of the 20th century. Nov. 20 – Dec. 15;

Support local artisans and shop from their wide selection of artwork and handmade items during the bi-annual Arts on Market at the Southern Village Green. Nov. 24; 

James McMahon and Suzy Hall at The PIT Chapel Hill
James McMahon and Suzy Hall at The PIT Chapel Hill

Burst out laughing at The PIT Chapel Hill’s first Franklin Street Comedy Festival, featuring stand-up, improv and sketch comedy. Nov. 20-24;

– compiled by Adam Phan 

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