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Community Arts & Culture

Creative District Research

Forest TheaterOne of the “A Place for Everyone” goals of the 2020 Chapel Hill Comprehensive Plan mentions the development of an Arts & Entertainment District as a way of increasing participation in downtown and as an economic development tool. Throughout the Fall/Winter semester, graduating seniors from Dr. Pete Andrew’s Public Policy Seminar engaged in extensive research; looking at creative and cultural district in other communities across the country and carefully mapping creative and cultural assets on the UNC-Chapel Hill campus. The students; Molly Martin, Avai Uppalapati, Kehinde Adeoti, Aneika Dickens, researched five different large and small community cultural district programs that they felt had a relevance to the Chapel Hill situation (see presentation) and made recommendations for Chapel Hill (see recommendations). In addition, they identified and mapped some 53 cultural organizations on campus and located potential venues for arts presentation.

Simultaneous to their research another student from Environmental Sciences, Emily Bowe, interned with the Cultural Arts Division of the Chapel Hill Parks and Recreation Department. She researched and categorized creative and cultural assets along Franklin and Rosemary Streets, including galleries, local restaurants, architectural firms, entrepreneurial startups and other organizations and businesses who deal in creative products of services (see list). She uncovered many organizations without storefronts who figure prominently in the creative capital of downtown Chapel Hill (see presentation).  Feel free to send comments and suggestions to

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