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The Year in Arts & Culture 

Timothy Myers of NC Opera

Photo by Alex Boerner

Timothy Myers of NC Opera

This year, for good and for ill, the nation's attention turned to North Carolina.

House Bill 2 made national headlines and sent violent ripples through the art world, as creators and presenters banded together against the discriminatory lesgislation—or against the state. But as we became a national laughingstock and battle lines were drawn, our artists responded with courage, commitment, unity, and a will to save North Carolina from regressive forces. Musicians played anti-HB 2 benefits and branched out into other kinds of activism. Visual artists created safe spaces for endangered populations and turned to political performance art in droves. Independent bookstores banded together to affirm their status as bastions of diversity, curiosity, and open intellectual inquiry. Theater artists pushed to widen the inclusion of women on local stages as misogyny was enshrined in the highest office in the land.

It wasn't all negative attention, though even the positive looks often had a serrated edge, as the country enjoyed a Southern food fad that raised existential questions of authenticty and ownership here. All this national scrutiny, not to mention the dire state of N.C. politics, raised the stakes for our artists, who admirably rose to the occasion. We trust that they'll use their heightened platforms for continued protest in 2017. We'll be here to hold them accountable, support them when they succeed, and catch them when they fall.


Refreshers and Updates on the Top Stories of a Vigorous, Volatile 2016 in the Arts

From Record Stores to Music Festivals and HB 2, Triangle Music Grappled with Growth This Year

The Best Theater, Dance, Books, and Movies of the Year

The Most Essential Local Art of 2016 Punched Back at a Disgraceful Year

As the Nation Feasted on Southern Food Fads, We Held Down Our Diverse Roots

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Many thanks for the review, Chris Vitiello. There are two things I would like to clarify as the exhibition curator. …

by L Turner on In Versus, This Year's Crop of UNC Studio Art MFA Graduates Take a Long View of Immediate Crises (Arts Feature)

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Many thanks for the review, Chris Vitiello. There are two things I would like to clarify as the exhibition curator. …

by L Turner on In Versus, This Year's Crop of UNC Studio Art MFA Graduates Take a Long View of Immediate Crises (Arts Feature)

Great article , very well written which made the article more exciting …

by Linwood McNeill on You Are Here, NCMA’s Immersive Experience in Light and Sound, Tempers Wild Extravagance with Themes of Sacred, Shared Humanity (Arts Feature)

"In the eighties, Kevin Eastman set out for a modest career in underground comics, which is a reasonable goal when …

by Daniel Gregory on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Cocreator Kevin Eastman Went for a Modest Underground Comics Career. He Started an Independent Pop-Culture Dynasty Instead. (Arts Feature)

Tim is an outstanding person all around!

by 3ZKL on Tim Walter’s Long Effort to Give Downtown Durham a Venue It Needed Pays Off in the Nick of Time (Arts Feature)

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