CARRBORO, N.C. – In a recent special report, 24/7 Tempo named Carrboro one of the country’s Top 5 Small Arts Towns. The town shares the honor with such creative outposts as Santa Fe, N.M., and Marfa, Texas.
To determine the best small arts towns in America, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on arts establishments, and employment from the U.S. Census Bureau’s 2019 County Business Patterns dataset.
“From music venues that attract local, regional, and national acts, to arts teachers and arts education centers, to countless formal and informal galleries and spaces for public art, we’re proud of Carrboro as a place where the arts can thrive,” said Carrboro Mayor Damon Seils.
Sometimes referred to as The Paris of the Piedmont, the town of Carrboro has carved out a niche for itself as a thriving arts community. Many exceptionally creative artists and craftspeople call Carrboro home. It is a thriving, inviting place for artists and artisans. Learn more at https://visitcarrboro.com/carrboro-creates/
In Carrboro, Southern hospitality means everyone is welcome, and the folks here are curious about the world, engaged in their community, and lovers of the arts. The community encourages creativity and innovation. From festivals to farmers’ markets and everything in between, Carrboro strives to be a place where folks from all walks of life can work together to make it the best it can be.
According to the article by Maria Wood: “The arts scene in Carrboro flourishes at the ArtsCenter, where live performances and art classes for youngsters and adults are held. Along the Chapel Hill-Carrboro border is a gaggle of art spaces known as Attic 506, which were funded by the Orange County Arts Commission and the artists themselves. On the second Friday of each month, visitors can glimpse the artists’ works during an informal art crawl.”
Read more at https://247wallst.com/special-report/2022/02/12/best-small-arts-towns-in-america/ 24/7 Wall St. describes itself as a financial news and opinion company with content delivered over the Internet.
What Makes The Carrboro Arts Scene So Special! (a baker’s dozen)
- Carrboro Film Fest
Since 2005, the festival brings “Southern films in one of the South’s funkiest small towns.” Embracing its identity as a Southern institution, the festival presents exclusively Southern films in a non-competitive setting.
- Carrboro Music Festival
Established in 1998, the festival was originally held on June 21 as an official affiliate of the Fête de la Musique, which is also known as 'Make Music Day'. One of the largest free music festivals in North Carolina on the last weekend in September, the Carrboro Music Festival hosts more than 150 acts on 25 stages all over Carrboro, all for free over two days. http://carrboromusicfestival.com/
- Arts on Display
In addition to numerous arts and crafts galleries, many of the local restaurants and businesses also exhibit and sell local area art. Public murals commissioned by the Town of Carrboro include Black Lives Matter murals at Communityworx thirft store and the Carrboro Century Center. Carrboro Town Hall and the Century Center regularly host art exhibits featuring local artists through the efforts of the Carrboro Art Committee. https://townofcarrboro.org/2447/Black-Lives-Matter-Murals
- Weaver Street Lawn
At the expansive lawn (known as Carrboro’s front yard), this community-owned grocery store hosts music and community events throughout the year. It’s the largest food co-op in the southeast. Sunday mornings usually draw several hundred people to hear live jazz and for brunch under the canopy of majestic oak trees. https://www.weaverstreetmarket.coop/event
- The ArtsCenter
The ArtsCenter was founded in 1974 by painter and entrepreneur Jacques Menache. Today the center offers classes, performances, and art exhibits all year round. Facilities include a 300-seat theater, classrooms, a dance studio, a 100-seat performance space, and an art gallery. https://artscenterlive.org/
- Farmers Market
Located in the Carrboro Town Commons on 301 West Main St., vendors sell a wide selection of the highest quality locally grown produce, pasture raised meats, eggs, cheeses, breads, pastries, woodwork, metalwork, pottery, woven rugs, baskets, and more. Since its inception in 1977, the Market has been completely farmer run. All products must be produced within a strict 50-mile radius of Carrboro, by the vendors themselves, who must also live within 50 miles of Market. http://www.carrborofarmersmarket.com/
- July Fourth
For decades, the Town has hosted an annual Fourth of July celebration at Town Commons. The event begins with events at Weaver Street Market, followed by a people’s parade to the main event, which features live music, games, and more. Since 2013, the Town has also hosted a Community Reading of Frederick Douglass' essay, "The Meaning of the Fourth of July for the Negro.” www.carrboronc.gpv/308/July-4th-Celebration
- Cat’s Cradle
Since 1969, the Cradle has been feeding the hungry crowds the musical entertainment they crave. Their intimate venue on 300 E. Main St. in downtown Carrboro has been the Cradle’s home for the past 18 years and is credited for helping launch such indie rock careers as Superchunk, Ben Folds Five, Whiskeytown, Polvo and Archers of Loaf. Cat's Cradle is a 750-capacity venue and the Cat's Cradle - Back Room is a 200-capacity venue. https://catscradle.com/
- Carrboro Day
Held the first Sunday in May, there’s live music, books, a free plant exchange and local history programs. This event is about meeting neighbors, learning about aspects of the Town's history, connecting with the Town, and taking a day to celebrate Carrboro! http://www.townofcarrboro.org/301/Carrboro-Day
- West End Poetry Festival
Carrboro held its first poetry festival, organized by then Carrboro Poet Laureate Patrick Herron, in 2005. Since then, many poets from North Carolina and beyond have participated. Participants have included finalists for the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize; winners of the Kingsley Tufts Award, the Los Angeles Book Prize, the Oregon Book Award, and the Pushcart Prize; recipients of fellowships Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts. http://www.westendpoetryfestival.org
- Poet Laureate
The Town of Carrboro established the position of Poet Laureate in 2002. The poet laureate coordinates the opening of every Carrboro Town Council meeting with the reading of a poem. Fred Joiner, the town’s current poet laureate, is the author of BLOOD / SOUND (Central Square Press, 2019). He is co-founder of The Center for Poetic Thought in Washington, D.C.
- Freight Train Blues Festival
Each spring, Music Maker Foundation and the Town of Carrboro present a series of roots music concerts at the Carrboro Town Commons on Friday evenings from mid-May to mid-June. The festival celebrates the life and legacy of Piedmont blues legend Elizabeth “Libba” Cotten, born in 1893 in Carrboro, NC. www.freighttrainblues.com
- The Bazaar Craft & Art Market
Many exceptionally creative artists and craftspeople call Carrboro, or one of its surrounding communities, home. The Bazaar was born out of the need for a large venue where these folks can share their goods with the public. An inviting and vibrant atmosphere welcomes visitors into this thriving craft & art market. Locally sourced food/drink/music are also available for everyone's enjoyment. Held monthly on certain Sundays in spring and fall at Carrboro Town Commons. https://www.takethehighstreet.com/thebazaar
For more information, contact:
Communication and Engagement Director
Catherine Lazorko at email@example.com