Bored with your usual days out? Enjoy the fine arts in Fayetteville, a thriving community with something for everyone's interests, from art galleries, to live music and live theater. These local enterprises are focused on inspiring and touching the lives of the community members they live among. They invite you to step out and discover something new.
The three-story complex of Cape Fear Regional Theatre is a dream that the original founders of local actors could not comprehend back in 1962. Located on 1209 Hay Street, this small group grew from performing in middle school auditoriums and borrowing everything from costumes to props to having a main stage that seats 309 and contracting designers from all over the country. The theatre’s mainstage six-show season, outreach and educational programs reach over 42,000 audience members per year, including 7,000 students. With their demands for excellence, the Cape Fear Regional Theatre creates challenging, imaginative productions that thrill people from every age and background. From classic Christmas productions such as A Christmas Carol to fun productions like Monty Python’s Spamalot, a classic Broadway gems from Guys and Dolls, Cabaret, Hairspray, and The Wiz; there will always be something to see. Tickets become available 10 days before the first performance.
For 52 years the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra has educated, entertained, and inspired the people of Fayetteville through music. Founded in 1956 by a group of friends who dreamed of playing regularly and touching lives, the regional orchestra is praised for its artistic excellence. They continue a tradition of playing for young people and in schools to foster appreciation for classical music. This tradition continues into several after-school programs, and its own Symphony Youth Orchestra. FSO has half-year seasons where they typically perform six to eight times, either at Methodist University or Fayetteville State University. Tickets range between $10 – $27 per concert and a three-pack option is also available, at a 10 percent savings from $27 – $71. Each concert is themed and the music specifically picked to create a magical evening.
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Founded in 1989 Cape Fear Studios is the only visual arts cooperative in Fayetteville, comprised of a gallery, retail area, and seven artists studios. The Studios are open to the public and display art from a variety of mediums; including pottery, sculpture, photography, painting, glass, wood and jewelry. These unique pieces are created by member artists and are rotated on a monthly schedule so there’s always something new to see! The main gallery features a new exhibit each month from members and regional and national artists. In the retail gallery, visiting artist work is displayed quarterly. The seven fully functional studio spaces allow guests to wander in and watch the artists at work. Keeping in tradition with North Carolina’s pottery reputation, Cape Fear Studios features pottery wheels and a kiln room, both are available for members of the community. Tours of the studios are also available if you prefer a more personalized experience. To schedule a tour, contact Cape Fear Studios ahead of time at 910-433-2986.
City Center Gallery started with a friendship when the proprietors met artist Bob Rector and decided to open a gallery to display his works. When the gallery moved to its current location in a beautifully restored circa 1890 house, the “& Books” was added on. Their ever-evolving collection has since included fiction, military history, mysteries, classics and a children’s literature section – where dinosaurs are said to be lurking. City Center is still the exclusive agent of Bob Rector’s art, also available are some limited signed pieces. Their art selection also now features Caroline Merino, Johnny Horne, and Cindy Burnham, among others. Be on the lookout for special events during 4th Fridays, the Art Walkabout, and other Downtown Fayetteville events. If you prefer more quiet entertainment, the City Center is host to two book clubs, The Directions Book Club, and The Other Book Club. Reading lists and books for both clubs are available in the store. So get out and discover new art, new literature, and new friends!
Gallery 208 is located in Fayetteville’s local community newspaper Up and Coming Weekly's office at 208 Rowan Street. Open to the public from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m., Gallery 208 offers a wonderful experience to stop by and experience art and sculpture from local and regional artists.
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Gilbert Theater is semi-professional theatre company and conservatory which produces up to six plays and musicals a year. There are summer offerings and theater-minded classes for students of all ages. They are a not-for-profit corporation that melds the traditions of community theater with those of regional theater. Gilbert Theater offers Broadway classics, theater classics, and innovative new pieces every season, so there’s always a reason to go! General admission tickets are $16 but discounts are available for military, first responders, students and seniors. Packages are available at three price levels. There’s no reason to delay, go out and see a play today!
Enjoy the fine arts in Fayetteville from the theater to art galleries and the symphony. With our hectic schedules, it's nice to sit back and make time for the finer things in life!
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Cover photo from Pixabay