Arts Events in all 100 Counties Celebrate NC Arts Council’s 50th Anniversary

Arts and cultural organizations in all 100 North Carolina counties will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the North Carolina Arts Council in October through music, dance, visual arts, theater, literature and other art forms presented across the state.

“The celebration in October is a tribute to our collective achievements over the past 50 years,” said Susi H. Hamilton, secretary of the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources. “The N.C. Arts Council along with local Arts Councils have created a truly welcoming and exciting environment for citizens and visitors to North Carolina.”

Residents and visitors can participate in close to 175 cultural events that are slated now through late November in recognition of the anniversary of the North Carolina Arts Council. These events demonstrate the diversity of arts expression developed or supported by the N. C. Arts Council.

“The ideal that founded the North Carolina Arts Council in 1967 was ‘arts for all citizens,’” said Wayne Martin, executive director, North Carolina Arts Council. “Since that time, we’ve worked to create an expansive network of nonprofit arts organizations so that citizens can participate in the arts and artists can contribute to our state’s growth and development.”

The concentration of events will occur during the Statewide Arts Celebration in October, scheduled to coincide with Arts & Humanities Month, a national celebration of arts and humanities across the U.S.

Events are listed on a comprehensive calendar at or you can search by county here.

To jump start the celebration the N.C. Arts Council will present the Davie Street Stage for the Wide Open Bluegrass Festival in downtown Raleigh on Friday, Sept. 29 and Saturday, Sept. 30. Musicians are associated with Blue Ridge Music Trails, a nationally-recognized cultural tourism project conceived and implemented by the Arts Council.

The 50th anniversary celebration of the N.C. Arts Council also includes interviews with fifty renowned artists who share their stories of how North Carolina has influenced their careers . Featured artists to date include best-selling author David Sedaris; painter Beverly McIver; award-winning chef Vivian Howard; photographer Helena Price; and the late Chuck Davis.

A new podcast series Arts Across NC was launched to celebrate the anniversary. Shows explore how the arts transform and enrich our state. Podcasts are released monthly and are available on iTunes and Stitcher.

Visit the 50th anniversary website at and share your arts experiences with us by tagging: #NCArts50 on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.


About the North Carolina Arts Council

The North Carolina Arts Council builds on our state’s longstanding love of the arts, leading the way to a more vibrant future. The Arts Council is an economic catalyst, fueling a thriving nonprofit creative sector that generates $2.12 billion in direct economic activity. The Arts Council is also a cultural pathfinder, sustaining diverse arts expression and traditions and investing in new innovative approaches to art-making. The North Carolina Arts Council has also proven to be a champion for youth by cultivating tomorrow’s creative citizens through arts education.