Asheville boasts a vibrant arts and music scene

Creative Arts & Music Light Up the Stage in Asheville


Asheville, an artistic haven in the heart of Appalachia, is brimming with makers of all kinds. This creative community is home to dazzling performers and talented musicians who captivate audiences every time they step into the limelight. Check out the acclaimed performance spaces, lively festivals and world class artists that make Asheville a cultural gem.

Experience captivating performing arts in Asheville, NC

All the World's a Stage for These Creative Arts and Spaces

With the goal of fostering creative exchange, Story Parlor is a multidisciplinary event space that cultivates the work of a wide range of artists – from poets and actors to writers and dancers. The Parlor hosts an exciting variety of events, including open mic nights, art showcases, poetry readings, storytelling and more. There are also classes and workshops to nurture the next generation of talent.

Diana Wortham Theater, in the heart of downtown Asheville, presents world class dance, theatre and music year round. Spring and summer seasonal highlights for 2024 include "Lizzy and the Triggermen," "Step Afrika!" and the Blue Ridge Orchestra.

NC Stage Company is "dedicated to plays that illuminate the shared human experience." The celebrated space continues to push storytelling boundaries and expand its repertoire through artistic excellence. Don't miss the exciting upcoming season of shows, including "Thurgood," a one-man play about the life and career of the first African American to serve on the U.S. Supreme Court.

For familiar yet beloved shows, pop into the Asheville Community Theater and support the performers who reflect the people of Asheville with their art. Upcoming must-see shows include the Roald Dahl classic "Matilda: The Musical," a live theatrical version of Hitchcock's hair-raising thriller "The Birds," and an adaptation of Disney Channel Original Movie "Disney's Descendents: The Musical."

New Morning Gallery
Source: Stephan Pruitt Photography

Renowned artist Dale Chihuly showcases his splendid hand-crafted glass creations with Chihuly at Biltmore, a near year-long exhibit open for guests of "America's Largest Home," March 25, 2024 - Jan. 5, 2025. While you enjoy Chihuly's glass masterworks, stroll the Biltmore estate and discover lush gardens in bloom, peruse three floors of exquisite architecture in the original house and sip award-winning wine at the winery.

Black Mountain College Museum and Arts Center is a gallery, library and research center committed to preserving the vital legacy of the campus and its community. Through installations, new media, music and performance, the museum and arts center celebrates the rich history of Black Mountain College. {Re}HAPPENING, an art event inspired by John Cage's 1952 Theatre Piece No. 1, brings together local businesses, arts organizations and artists to deliver "an accessible, immersive, [and] educational experience for attendees" April 20, 2024.

Steep Canyon Rangers On Stage
Source: David Simchock

Art Imitates Life with These Musical Acts and Festivals

Asheville local Roberto Carlos Lange morphs into his stage persona, Helado Negro, for a night of genre-defying and soul-satiating vibes. Lange, a multi-instrumentalist from South Florida, strings together rhythmic yarns that "are awash with vibrant melodies, sharp lyrical vignettes, and subtle, even whispered hooks." Catch him April 21, 2024 in Asheville at Burial Beer's Eulogy sound stage, kicking off a world tour for his eighth studio album, "Phasor."

Formed in 1960, the acclaimed Asheville Symphony Orchestra presents large-scale Masterworks concerts along with innovative pop-up performances at local breweries throughout the year. Music Director Darko Butoric conducts his shows with a fiery intensity, demonstrating his love of music and its transformational ability to unite the human spirit in all of us. From Mozart and Mahler to Strauss and Tchaikovsky, you'll get swept away by the sounds of this beloved ensemble.

Asheville Downtown Drum Circle

For festival lovers, these Asheville favorites are an annual highlight. The 369 Monologue and Short Play Festival is back for a second year with 15 provocative theatrical pieces that celebrate Pride "as it is experienced by a cross-section of humans of varying race, gender, sexuality and ethnicity." Six short plays and nine monologues performed across three weekends of entertainment promises to be at once heart-breaking and dramatic. The festival culminates with an afternoon of audience favorites voted on by the festival goers – June 6-23, 2024 at the Wortham Center for the Performing Arts.

Asheville's premiere music festival, AVL Fest, features an eye-popping lineup of blockbuster bands and beloved local artists performing at more than 20 outdoor venues, musical halls and clubs in the area. Check out the AVL Fest website for announcements and to purchase wristbands for the festival happening August 1-4, 2024.

Tune into the heartbeat of humanity with LEAF Global Arts Festival, a four-day event happening Oct. 17-20, 2024 that uplifts trailblazing artists who dare to dream. This year's lineup won't be announced until August, but previous performers include a wide array of musical stylings such as blues and soul, punk fusion, electronic, rap and beatbox and more.

And there's always Asheville's famous Drum Circle in Pritchard Park's outdoor amphitheater. Happening every Friday night during warm weather months, the thunderous drums bring together hundreds of locals and visitors for dancing and harmonizing.

The city of Asheville
Source: Jared Kay

Plan Your Trip

Catch a show or revel in the artistic creations of Asheville, a community known for nurturing its diverse artists, performers, and musicians. Discover more at Explore Asheville or download the Explore Asheville app to plan your arts-filled adventure today.

by Roger Porter

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