Oct 21, 2023

Greensboro Sizzles with Art and Culture

Summer is upon us and although UNC Greensboro's (UNCG) campus may seem quieter than during fall or spring, the city of Greensboro is alive with art, music, and culture. Looking for a way to spend a summer day while broadening your appreciation for our city and the artists, venues, and events that make it cool? Here are 10 ways to entertain and enliven your creative side this summer.

Before you venture off campus, consider an afternoon at the Weatherspoon Art Museum. Stroll through the galleries and courtyard spaces and find new exhibits, interactive creative experiences, and comfortable nooks for study or quiet talks with a friend.

Recently, the museum has completed a curation of its artwork based on an 18-month collection of visitor input. This summer, 43 of the museum's works will be presented in galleries based on themes of importance to visitors: family, community, place and memory. Come see "Making Room: Familiar Art, New Stories," set to roll out over the month of June and connect with the Weatherspoon's artwork in new ways.

Each Saturday in June, July, and August, downtown's Center City Park Oval Lawn will be alive with music, craft and food vendors. Bring a picnic blanket or lawn chair and settle in for live entertainment by regional artists each Saturday at 7:00 PM. From Americana, R&B, and pop to strings, brass, and electronic funk, this line-up is truly as diverse as Greensboro itself.

No tour of American summer culture would be complete without a baseball game. For Greensboro, it's the Grasshoppers, who play minor league baseball at downtown's First National Bank Field. Watch the hometown ‘hoppers square off with regional opponents all summer long. Each night has a promotion – Thirsty Thursday or Two Dog Tuesdays offer vendor specials – and fireworks follow most Friday and Saturday night games. Bring your dog for special Bark in the Park nights.

On June 24, from 2:00 to 10:00 PM, local artists and nature lovers will gather in the Greensboro Arboretum and Lindley Park to celebrate the longest night of the year. Greensboro's Summer Solstice Festival began in 2005 and has grown every year since to welcome all ages and characters. Enjoy craft and food vendors and live entertainment that culminates in a Fire Finale of talented hoopers and fire spinners.

Honor Greensboro's place in the Civil Rights Movement at the International Civil Rights Museum. The Woolworth's lunch counter has been restored in its original location and is surrounded with permanent and rotating exhibits with powerful stories of struggle for change. Learn more about the history of Greensboro or make a plan to observe Juneteenth with a historical tour. Reservations are encouraged, but walk-ins are welcome.

From July 10 through August 9, the Carolina Theatre is hosting summer movies each Monday through Thursday night at 7:00 PM. The Carolina Theatre is a beautiful historic theater in downtown Greensboro. It's the perfect place to escape the heat with a cold soft drink, buttery popcorn and a classic film like Jaws, Singin’ in the Rain, The Big Lebowski or Grease. Check out the theater's event list to find your favorite classic.

Another gallery for local art is the Greensboro Project Space located downtown at 111 February One Place. Greensboro Project Space was created by UNCG's School of Art as a place for students and local artists to create and share inspiration. Exhibits, half of which are student artwork and half of which are created by community artists, rotate constantly, and are often interactive experiences. On First Fridays, Downtown Greensboro's monthly event with music and street vendors, visitors typically find a musical act playing in the space, which adds to the vibrancy of the gallery.

On July 28th, UNCG will be sponsoring an outdoor viewing of Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Lebauer Park. Bring chairs or picnic blankets and enjoy the beautiful outdoor space nestled in the middle of downtown Greensboro. Lebauer Park is flanked by Cafe Europa and includes two food kiosks for convenient refreshments. The film will begin at sunset. Take in a movie under the stars!

Visit a different park in Greensboro every Sunday this summer for Creative Greensboro's Music for a Sunday Evening in the Park (MUSEP). This is the 44th season for this free local concert series. The music begins each Sunday at 6:00 PM and genres vary from orchestras and concert bands to international music and contemporary vocals. Food trucks will be on hand and picnics are encouraged. Check the schedule for a full listing of concerts and their locations planned for every Sunday in June, July and August, with the exception of July 4th weekend.

Wrap up your summer with the most fun and culturally vibrant event in the area when NC Folk Fest lights up downtown September 8-10. During the NC Folk Fest, stages are erected and spaces are consumed throughout downtown Greensboro for three days of free outdoor concerts, dance and craft exhibitions, food and more. Diverse folk and traditional performing acts come to Greensboro from around the state and beyond to share their global influences and cultures.

If you are an aspiring folk musician yourself, consider applying for Not Your Average Folk Contest. Applications are open now through June 12. The competition highlights artists who are finding new and creative ways to embody the spirit of folk art. Winners will perform at the 2023 NC Folk Fest, and UNCG has represented well in past competitions. UNCG faculty Lorena Guillen Tango was a 2021 winner and CVPA student Anna Vtipil's group took first place last year.

Story by Becky Deakins, University Communications.Photography by University Communications photographers.

What's New at the Weatherspoon City Sunsets Concert Series Take Me Out to the Ballpark Summer Solstice Festival Step Back In Time with the Greensboro Four Beat the Heat with a Classic Movie Experience an Artful Connection Don't Miss Spartan Cinema on July 28th Sunday Vibes Mark Your Calendar for Folk Fest