How Triangle Schools Keep Art in Education


Published:

Think back to your favorite school memories. Chances are, one or two of them involve art — and may have even inspired you to seek out a hobby or career in the arts. Whether making a collage in art class, singing in a choir or taking a field trip to see a performance, the arts play an important role in rounding out a quality education.

In the wake of the recession, many states have cut funding for school arts programs. North Carolina is no exception — squeezed budgets have forced public schools to get creative with how they make arts accessible to students.

“There is a statewide mandate to have arts education, arts integration and arts exposure well represented in the schools, but the mandate is unfunded,” says N.C. Arts Council Arts in Education Director Banu Valladares.

Fortunately, North Carolina is home to many passionate artists and advocates who have stepped up to help keep the arts a vibrant part of North Carolina’s public education landscape. Whether their support involves helping teachers learn how to integrate arts into the new Common Core State Standards curriculum, or providing resources for schools to host musical performances, many Triangle artists and advocates are working to fill the gaps.

Teachers in Training

Training teachers with national models to take innovative approaches to arts integration is one way to keep the arts a vital part of everyday instruction. The United Arts Council of Raleigh, N.C. Arts Council and Durham Arts Council all offer resources that can fulfill continuing education credits and inspire new ideas in the classroom.

The United Arts Council of Raleigh’s Arts Integration Institute (unitedarts.org/artsed/aii) gives teachers hands-on opportunities to learn art-teaching techniques from renowned North Carolina artists. The N.C. Arts Council offers an A+ Schools Program to combine interdisciplinary teaching and daily arts construction (aplus-schools.ncdcr.gov). And the Durham Arts Council provides educators with arts-integrated teaching plans and other resources (durhamarts.org/teaching_artist.html).

Making sure all children — no matter what their limitations are — engage with existing art programs can be a struggle for teachers. Arts Access trains teachers to develop strategies for making their curricula accessible to children with disabilities.

“We did a big workshop last March in Cary where we invited teaching artists to come,” says Betsy Ludwig, Arts Access’ program director. “The keynote address was about making the arts accessible; for example, how to include children with autism, how to include a kid who uses a computer to talk. We help art instructors by thinking about what they do and offering ideas about how they can include all kids.”

Creative Learning

Planning arts curricula takes time many teachers don’t have. The United Arts Council (in Wake County) and the Durham Arts Council have both created ready-to-go curricula that integrate the arts and conform to state educational standards, making it easy for schools to implement.

Every August, the United Arts Council hosts a booking fair — a day-long event that offers representatives who book programs for their schools an opportunity to meet with the artists and performers who make up the Artists in the Schools programs. The Durham Arts Council hosts a similar event for its Creative Arts in the Public/Private Schools (CAPS) program. Teachers and PTA representatives come to browse the offerings and make selections for the upcoming school year. From African drumming to puppet-making, there is something for all ages and interests.

Although there is a booking fee, arts councils work hard to make sure all schools can pay for some of these resources. “The Durham Public School district partners with the CAPS program, and all Durham Public Schools have a CAPS budget they can use, based on enrollment,” says Shanna Adams, manager of the CAPS program.

The N.C. Arts Council compiles an arts curriculum available to schools for a small fee. “We offer district-wide performances, such as the John Brown Jazz Orchestra, that reach 500-1,000 students at a time. The N.C. Arts Council covers the artists’ fees, and the school district and the venue cover transportation,” Valladares says. “These performances are a whole package. They come with a teacher workshop that prepares all the educators to understand the art form and prepare students for the program.”

Partnering Up

Many private companies in the Triangle also invest in keeping the arts in schools. GlaxoSmithKline and Wells Fargo have made important contributions to schools in Raleigh, and a grant from Verizon allowed CAPS to offer 53 programs in 14 low-resource schools.

“The Durham Arts Council writes grants so we can re-grant to schools,” Adams says. “Target and Office Depot also offer matching grants so schools can apply for these.”

This past fall, DreamWorks Animation and Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment donated $50,000 to the National Association for Music Education, a nonprofit with a  mission to support school music and arts programs. In celebration of the Blu-ray and DVD release of Shrek the Musical, this donation will be used to create five $10,000 grants to help save music and arts programs in schools.

Perhaps one of the most important partners in public school art education is the PTA. Every year, the National PTA Reflections program offers students from kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to earn local, state and national recognition for original artwork. Many Triangle schools participate in this competition, which is organized by parents and accepts submissions in the categories of dance choreography, film production, literature, music composition, photography and visual arts.

Advocating Change

Aside from training instructors, advocacy is a primary task of Arts Access, Ludwig says. "We do advocacy and training about what their requirements are under the law, and offer our expertise to other arts organizations to help them figure out what they need to do to be welcoming."

Triangle ArtWorks, a nonprofit with a mission to provide services, support and resources for ensuring a vibrant creative community throughout the Triangle, believes teaching artists to advocate for themselves is critical.

"The arts community is important, but as a whole, they have no power. Everyone looks at them individually," says Elizabeth Yerxa, executive director of Triangle ArtWorks. "We work with artists and teach them how to advocate for themselves. We recognize the arts as an industry group, much like plumbers or lawyers or doctors. Mostly sole proprietors, small business and nonprofits. They bring lots of money into the community and are important for education."

Valladares agrees, and emphasizes that the arts are a fundamental part of a complete education. "The arts are important because they help create people who are compassionate and empathetic," she says. "Without the arts, children aren't getting a well-rounded education."

Jill Moffett is a freelance writer and full-time mother in Durham. She blogs regularly at jillmoffett.com.

Drawing on Parents

Wondering how you can help keep the arts an important part of public education? Here are five ways to increase access to the arts in your child’s school.

 Learn about available arts programs. Keep your eyes and ears open for tips about programs and performances that might be of interest to your child’s school, and be ready to share the information.

Put art on the PTA agenda. If you haven’t joined your school’s PTA yet, do it now. PTA representatives often attend arts council fairs at the beginning of the school year to choose performances.

Donate supplies from home. Remember that request from your child’s art teacher for egg cartons and toothpicks? She was serious! Start collecting now. It makes a difference!

Share your skills. Offer to lead a poetry workshop, teach block printing, run a mixed media tutorial or share your expertise in swing dancing.

Encourage your workplace to get involved. United Arts encourages matching funds. GlaxoSmithKline has been a major funder of arts in the schools through United Arts. Perhaps your company can join in the fun.

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Calendar

November 2019

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850
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Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675

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We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

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Cost: See website for fees

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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Open Arts
1222 Copeland Oaks Dr.
Morrisville, NC  27560
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Sponsor: Babies On The MOVE
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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (60+ yrs), $3/Child (7-16yrs), Free/Child (6yrs & younger)

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Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
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Telephone: 919-856-6675
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Sponsor: Friends of Lower Haw River State Natural Area
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Cost: For all ages; FREE. Registration is required for everyone

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Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
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Telephone: 919-662-2850

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Cost: See website for fees

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Cost: $5.00

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1201 W Woodcroft Pkwy
Durham, NC  27713
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Sponsor: The Studio School of Durham
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Contact Name: Danielle Sunde
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Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

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Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Raleigh, NC
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Telephone: 919-387-5980
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See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
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We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Red, yellow, orange, and brown – leaves come in all different sizes and colors. Practice your color and shape recognition through centers, songs, and stories. For ages 18 months to 3 years (adult...

Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

See horses compete and enjoy food trucks, children's activities and more. Admission is free; Saturday evening Grand Prix tickets are $10/person. Proceeds benefit Duke Children's...

Cost: Free

Where:
Gov. James B. Hunt Horse Complex
4601 Trinity Rd.
Raleigh, NC  27607
View map »


Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Kids hike, make projects and engage in nature activities. Ages 5-8. Register online. Choose course #127196.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC  27518
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
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Cost: $28.50 and up

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Durham Performing Arts Center
123 Vivian St.
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Website »

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We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

See Happy Dan perform magic, comedy and more.

Cost: $5/person

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Renaissance Centre
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Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
Website »

More information

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We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Join us in the Kidzu Front Yard Garden for a special off-season Junior Gardeners in honor of Chapel Hill Arbor Week. Get hands on and explore trees, and all the things they provide including...

Cost: Free

Where:
Kidzu Children's Museum
201 S. Estes Dr.
Chapel Hill, NC  27514
View map »

More information

Take the fast track to nature in this hands-on study of ecology. Ages 8-12. Register online.  Chose course #127203.

Cost: $9/resident, $12/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

The word philanthropy means love of mankind. From the earliest days, human civilization has depended upon kindness directed towards strangers. Explore the history of giving, then help to cut out...

Cost: FREE. Registration is required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675

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Join us to learn about 4H and then enjoy fall activities and crafts!  No registration is required. Grades 3-5

Cost: Free

Where:
Orange County Main Library
137 W Margaret Ln
Hillsborough, NC  27278
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Sponsor: Orange County Public Library
Telephone: 919-245-2539
Contact Name: Libbie Hough
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Join Cary Lifestyle Magazine for a wonderful night of charity, fashion, decadent food and drinks and shopping. Proceeds go to Saving Grace NC,non-profit animal rescue, that since its inception in...

Cost: $75.00

Where:
Hilton Garden Inn
131 Columbus Ave
Cary, NC  27518
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Sponsor: Carolina LifeStyle Magazine
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Enjoy a family-friendly movie and a slice or two of pizza. Doors open at 5:30 p.m. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $5/person. $2 for ages 2 and younger

Where:
The Halle Cultural Center
237 N. Salem St.
Apex, NC  27502
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Website »

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Ages 11 and older with special needs help support the Town of Cary's annual toy drive by donating an unwrapped toy for a child in need. Make cards for the holiday cards for these...

Cost: $2/resident, $3/nonresident

Where:
Cary Senior Center
120 Maury O'Dell Place
Cary, NC  27513
View map »


Website »

More information

Transformative stories through the mists of time adapted from "1001 Arabian Nights" and performed by Emerson's 10th grade class.  Recommended for audiences age 10 and up. For...

Cost: $5-$12

Where:
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road
Brown Wing
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Website »

More information

It’s the summer before the 1904 World’s Fair and the three Smith sisters are filled with anticipation. But the year brings turmoil as family life interferes with their newfound chances...

Cost: Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Students and children: $5 Family 4-pack

Where:
William Peace University, Kenan Auditorium
15 E Peace St
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: William Peace University
Contact Name: Charles Machalicky
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

Celebrate collards at the State Farmers Market.

Cost: Free

Where:
State Farmers Market
1201 Agriculture St.
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Website »

More information

Come share the excitement as Park West Village hosts Winter Wonderland in The District. Kids of all ages will enjoy our Magical Winter Lights Paintscaping, featuring colorful holiday lights...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Village Market Place
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Park West Village
Contact Name: Conner
Website »

More information

Talented dance students perform the lavishly staged holiday ballet alongside guest artists from Carolina Ballet. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Fletcher Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Deck the halls at Waverly Place and welcome the holiday season with their Eighth Annual Tree Lighting Celebration! The festivities kick off on Friday, November 22 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. and...

Cost: Free

Where:
Waverly Place Shopping Center
302 Colonades Way
Cary, NC  27518
View map »

More information

Transformative stories through the mists of time adapted from "1001 Arabian Nights" and performed by Emerson's 10th grade class.  Recommended for audiences age 10 and up. For...

Cost: $5-$12

Where:
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road
Brown Wing
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Website »

More information

The Triangle Youth String Orchestra and Youth String Sinfonia present a joint concert of their fall repertoire. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: See website for fees

Where:
Cary Arts Center
101 Dry Ave.
Cary, NC  27511
View map »


Website »

More information

It’s the summer before the 1904 World’s Fair and the three Smith sisters are filled with anticipation. But the year brings turmoil as family life interferes with their newfound chances...

Cost: Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Students and children: $5 Family 4-pack

Where:
William Peace University, Kenan Auditorium
15 E Peace St
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: William Peace University
Contact Name: Charles Machalicky
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Our seventh annual food drive will be held during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Crowder County Park
4709 Ten-Ten Rd
Apex, NC  27529
View map »


Telephone: 919-662-2850
Website »

More information

We will be conducting a food drive during the month of November. All donations benefit the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina (www.foodbankcenc.org). We encourage you to get involved...

Cost: FREE. Registration is not required.

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Baileywick Road Park
9501 Baileywick Rd
Second Shelter Field
Raleigh, NC  27615
View map »


Sponsor: Raleigh Redhawks Rugby
Contact Name: denise travis
Website »

More information

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Cost: $19/child

Where:
Middle Creek Community Center
125 Middle Creek Ave.
Apex, NC  27539
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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N.C. Museum of History
5 E. Edenton St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

Where:
Moore Square, Downtown Raleigh
Raleigh, NC


Website »

More information

Talented dance students perform the lavishly staged holiday ballet alongside guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Show times are at noon and 5 p.m. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Fletcher Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

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Cost: $5/Adult, $4/Senior (60+ yrs), $3/Child (7-16yrs), Free/Child (6yrs & younger)

Where:
Historic Yates Mill County Park
4620 Lake Wheeler Road
Raleigh, NC  27603
View map »


Telephone: 919-856-6675
Website »

More information

Participants develop their naturalist skills and understanding of local nature. Ages 5-8 with parent. Register online. 

Cost: $8/resident, $10/nonresident

Where:
Stevens Nature Center/Hemlock Bluffs
2616 Kildaire Farm Rd.
Cary, NC
View map »


Telephone: 919-387-5980
Website »

More information

Talented dance students perform the lavishly staged holiday ballet alongside guest artists from Carolina Ballet. Show times are at noon and 5 p.m. All ages. Purchase tickets online.

Cost: $12-$27

Where:
Fletcher Theater, Duke Energy Center for the Performing Arts
2 E. South St.
Raleigh, NC  27601
View map »


Website »

More information

Come share the excitement as Park West Village hosts Winter Wonderland in The District. Kids of all ages will enjoy our Magical Winter Lights Paintscaping, featuring colorful holiday lights...

Cost: Free

Where:
Park West Village
Village Market Place
Morrisville, NC  27560
View map »


Sponsor: Park West Village
Contact Name: Conner
Website »

More information

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Cost: $25 first child, $20 each additional child

Where:
East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
5655-A Western Blvd
Raleigh, NC  27606
View map »


Sponsor: East Cloud Kungfu, LLC
Telephone: 252-646-7053
Contact Name: Imari Colon
Website »

More information

Transformative stories through the mists of time adapted from "1001 Arabian Nights" and performed by Emerson's 10th grade class.  Recommended for audiences age 10 and up. For...

Cost: $5-$12

Where:
Emerson Waldorf School
6211 New Jericho Road
Brown Wing
Chapel Hill, NC  27516
View map »


Website »

More information

It’s the summer before the 1904 World’s Fair and the three Smith sisters are filled with anticipation. But the year brings turmoil as family life interferes with their newfound chances...

Cost: Adults: $15 Seniors: $10 Students and children: $5 Family 4-pack

Where:
William Peace University, Kenan Auditorium
15 E Peace St
Raleigh, NC  27604
View map »


Sponsor: William Peace University
Contact Name: Charles Machalicky
Website »

More information

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Directories

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Annual Guides

Education Guide

The 2019-20 Education Guide offers 718 education resources in the Triangle, including area preschools, private schools, public school systems, charter schools, boarding schools and academic resources.

The Triangle Go-To Guide

Our Triangle Go-To Guide connects you to family fun resources across the Triangle. In our 2019-20 issue, explore 1,028 resources for family fun.