Chapel Hill is Top Arts Destination
For the fourth year in a row, Chapel Hill has been ranked as on of the nation’s top small city arts destinations by American Style Magazine. This reader’s pool award recognizes that the arts contribute to community identity, economic development, and tourism. Readers voted for the cities that they like most to visit to view, enjoy, and shop for great art.
Among the institutions that make Chapel Hill a top arts destination are certainly the world class Ackland Art Museum, Carolina Performing Arts, and Playmakers Theater on the campus of UNC. Around town in nearby, it is the abundance of practicing artists in the area, the yearly studio tours, the outstanding art for sale at FRANK, an artist cooperative in downtown and other local art galleries that the magazine’s readers most likely enjoyed. Activities like the on-going 2nd Friday Art Walk, art, music film, and theater festivals, and classes and performances at the ArtsCenter in Carrboro helped garner those reader votes as well. Art exhibitions at University Mall allow people to view local and national art while they shop. The public sculpture placed around town through the Town’s Public Arts Program tells visitors they are in an town that values art. Chapel Hill’s Percent for Art Program is one of few such public supported programs in cities with populations of under 100,000. The ecology minded, natural materials installations at Southern Community Park was recently nationally recognized as one of the best public art projects of last year.
If music and other forms of performing art were what the magazine’s readers were drawn to, the Chapel Hill area boasts an excellent local music scene and many venues where one can listen to most any kind of music. No doubt those taking the magazine’s poll were able to whet their appetites on some of the finest local cuisine from countless nationally recognized area restaurants while taking in all the arts Chapel Hill has to offer.