National Carolina Arts Council

The National Carolina Arts Council emphasizes the importance of culture in the state by promoting the richness of the land’s music, literature, dance, theatrical productions, architecture, museum and galleries and other cultural experiences that are authentically North Carolinian. The Arts Council serves as the central place of information for people who want to discover more about the state through the dissemination of events and the promulgation of information regarding cultural trails and museums and galleries.

The places that are highly recommended by the North Carolina Arts Council are certified to display the unique yet diverse culture of the state. What the council calls as Cultural Trails include Blue Ridge Music Trail which is composed of a community that has been deeply connected with bluegrass music. The community has been an important venue for festivals and events that highlight not only bluegrass music but also ballads, string band, gospel music and even dance forms that are unique to the region. Visitors can sing and play along with this vital North Carolina heritage. Another important place is the Homegrown Handmade, a collection of sixteen driving tours that features art galleries, live music, handcrafts, wineries and bed and breakfasts that captures the farm experience.

For literary savants, many might be surprised that 170 literary legends have made their homes in North Carolina. The literary trails of North Carolina Mountains feature notable writers of various disciplines: from poets to novelists, to romance writers to detective story writers. The eighteen-day tour takes visitors the hike to the Toe River Lodge where the film version of “The Winter People,” a novel by John Ehle, was shot. The state is also home to Thomas Wolfe and F. Scott Fitzgerald. To make the whole trip much convenient, a companion book was written by Georgann Eubanks, “Literary Trails of the North Carolina Mountains” is also included in the tour. Believers of the performing arts may find it interesting that North Carolina has brought a number of historic firsts in the realm of the performing arts. It staged the first outdoor drama, “The Lost Colony.” It is also home to the first state-supported symphony.

Popular singers such as Nina Simone and James Taylor started out as performers in the theater. The state presents some of the most interesting and diverse events including the American Dance Festival, National Black Theater, and Brevard Music Festival. Performing Arts in North Carolina gives spectators a variety of flavors: offering classical music, opera, ethnic dance, ballet and a lot more.

Of course, North Carolina houses a number of museums and galleries that transport visitors back through time, letting them experience the essence of history via artifacts and visuals. Some of the most important museums in North Carolina are Ackland Art Museum in University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Asheville Museum of Art in South Pack Square, Cameron Art Museum in Wilmington, Fayetteville Museum of Art, Greenville Museum of Art, Hickory Museum of Art, Mint Museum of Art in Charlotte, Nasher Museum of Art in Duke University, North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh and Weatherspoon Art Museum in the University of North Carolina-Greensboro.