News & Events

Caldwell Art Council – A Community Gem in the Foothills NC

art classes Western North Carolina

There’s something about the onset of autumn that inspires folks to come together on a late afternoon or early evening as the air turns cooler and the sun sets a little earlier.  What better reason than the wide array of artistic events that are never-ending in Lenoir, North Carolina?  Community and the arts go hand and hand in this region, bringing us all together while fulfilling our cultural needs.  This is the perfect time of year to plan an excursion to Lenoir, and maybe check out some of those desirable Carolina mountain properties you’ve been dreaming about.

The Caldwell Arts Council, a non-profit organization, located at 601 College Ave SW, Lenoir, North Carolina, has been essential to the mountain towns in North Carolina since 1976.  For those of us who adore finding cultural things to do in Lenoir NC, this historic Fidelity building in Lenoir’s quaint downtown is the place to visit; whether you admire contemporary or traditional paintings, or amazing and unique pottery–the four gorgeous gallery spaces will suit your artistic fancy.  The Caldwell Arts Council is one of the many strong cultural draws for folks exploring Carolina mountain properties who crave an idyllic natural setting enhanced by a little sophisticated art.  In the CAC’s own words, “we are active players in the life and vitality of this county.”

Those who live in the mountain towns of North Carolina already know there’s so much more than art happening at CAC—an Artist-in Schools Program presents a wide array of theater, dance, and music to the lucky kids in the county. The performances enhance learning in all the basic subjects as well as foster  “making healthy choices.”

And the annual Sculpture Celebration has an ever-growing following with visitors who come from both near and far.  The mission of the CAC is “to establish and maintain an awareness and appreciation of cultural arts, to encourage participation in arts events, and to offer various educational opportunities and administrative services in support of artists, arts agencies, and audiences.”

For those hankering for things to do in Lenoir NC…here’s the fall schedule:


October 24—Hudson–CCC&TI’s Associate of Fine Arts Music’s the App State Trumpet Choir, 1pm; room B-100; free and open to the public

October 25–Morganton Comma Auditorium; Keith Allynn: A Neil Diamond Tribute 

October 27—Lenoir–JE Broyhill Civic Center–Catapult

October 27—Hickory–Western Piedmont Symphony’s Chamber Series with the Tesla Quartet: Famous Last Words, Chamber Classics II, 7:30pm

October 28—Boone–Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music; Mountain Treasures – Bobby McMillon and Glenn Bolick at 2pm at Harvest House Performing Arts Venue


November 1—Lenoir–CCC&TI Culinary Arts program presents Spain, 6pm

November 1—Lenoir–JE Broyhill Civic Center presents Chanticleer

November 1–Morganton Comma Auditorium; Bits and Pieces Puppet Theatre: Three Billy Goats Gruff

November 2 – Hiddenite–31st Annual Quilt Workshop; Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center

November 3—Hickory Western Piedmont Symphony Masterworks II

November 3–Hiddenite Arts & Heritage Center; Barn Quilt Workshop with Carol Mitchell

November 8—HUDSON–CCC&TI’s Associate of Fine Arts Music’s Warren Wilson Gamelan Ensemble performing Java and Bali in Indonesia, 1pm in room B-100; free and open to the public

November 16-December 2 – Newton–Scrooge!; the Green Room Community Theatre

November 17–Morganton Comma Auditorium; Yesterday: A Tribute to the Beatles

November 23-24–West Jefferson–Florence Thomas Art School’s Christmas Market, 1-8pm

November 24—Boone–Joe Shannon’s Mountain Home Music; A Celtic Christmas with Jamie Laval, Scottish Fiddle Champion at 7:30pm – Harvest House Performing Arts Venue

November 29–Morganton Comma Auditorium; Lightwire: A Very Electric Christmas

November 29-December 2—Lenoir–JE Broyhill Civic Center and Foothills Performing Arts’ The Adventures of Santa Claus

Ongoing events:

Through October 30—Valdese–New Windows Gallery; Robyn Smiley photographs

Through October 31–the Lucas Mansion Gallery in Hiddenite “Celebrating Life, Work, and Play” watercolors by Zan Thompson and paintings by Terra Gedeon

Through November 25–Hickory Museum of Art; BlowUP Inflatable Contemporary Art in the Shuford & Coe Galleries

Through November 30–Arts In the Morganton City Hall Lobby; Carol Turner “To See Clearly”–figurative, still life, landscape and abstract–305 East Union Street=

Here’s a little run down on the other happenings at the CAC:

Youth Programs

• Artists-in-Schools– curriculum-related touring theatrical productions

• Caldwell Junior Appalachian Musicians (JAM) Program

• Middle School Poetry Recitation Competition–an annual competition for Middle School students in Caldwell County–announced in January and held in April

• High School Shakespeare Monologue Competition–for students in Caldwell, Avery, Alexander, Ashe, Burke, Watauga, and Wilkes counties; announced in January and held in April each year.

• Young Art Student Art exhibits and competitions

• Summer Camps:  Sculpting Our Future, JAM Camp, Summer JAM, Art-in-Motion Dance


• Caldwell Arts Council Gallery exhibits Sculpture

• Public Sculpture Collection (over 80 pieces on display)

• Sculpture Celebration (70-plus sculptors with over 200 sculptures in competition for cash awards)

• Tucker’s Gallery—sculptural art for sale


• Happy Valley Fiddlers Convention—competitions and concerts

• Caldwell Visual Artist Competition (annually in June and July)

• Exposures Photography Competition (January)

Artist Grants and Scholarships, Opportunities

• Grassroots Grants

• Regional Artist Project Grants

• Stevens Family Scholarship

• Artists in Schools Grants Programs

• Art Around Caldwell Studio Tour

Other Programs and Services

• Satie’s Gift Shop

• Artistically Speaking Calendar of Area Art events

• Poetry Caldwell–October 18—free and open to all with esteemed poet Jonathan Kevin Rice

Fundraising Events

• Comedy Club

• Hues and Brews

Parties Series–Come party year round!   All parties benefit the Caldwell Arts Council.

• Annual Fund Drive

The Coves Mountain River Club is the chosen home for many who explored Carolina mountain properties and discovered why our community has everything a family could desire–whether they choose to build a custom cottage home, selected a gorgeous resale or a new home package—we still have dream-like options for each unique owner’s needs. 

There is a simplicity that defines life at The Coves and creates a laid back style along the meandering Johns River originating from Grandfather Mountain. The pace is relaxed, and the folks who live within our peaceful gated community are genuine and welcoming to newcomers.   

With a vibrant downtown in Lenoir, and the CAC’s performances, music and art, there’s a variety of things to do in Lenoir NC within 20 minutes of The Coves. So come and visit the mountain towns of North Carolina and see for yourself why The Coves should be the next place you call home.

Call 828.754.0700 now to schedule a tour!

Exploring the area for the first time?

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The Coves Mountain River Club magazine