March 2018 Events

2/15 – 3/30:  UNCW All-Student Art Show – UNCW Boseman Gallery

3/1:  JAZZ series: Light Under the Sun with Serena Wiley – Cameron Art Museum

3/1-4 & 8-11:  Weeki Wachee Mermaids – NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

3/2:  The Midtown Men – 4 Stars from the Original Cast of Jersey Boys – CFCC / The Wilson Center

3/2:  First Friday Gallery Walk – Downtown Southport

3/3:  Step Up for Soldiers Back Yard BBQ Cook-off – The Lake in Carolina Beach

3/8-25:  King Lear at McEachern’s Warehouse – 121 South Front Street

3/8:  Henry Cho – Thalian Hall

3/9-10:  Little Explorers: Superhero Science – Cape Fear Museum

3/9-10:  Marching into Spring – Arboretum at New Hanover County Cooperative

3/10:  8th Annual Cape Fear Beer & Wine Festival – Wilmington Convention Center

3/10:  Best Foot Forward 2018 – CFCC / The Wilson Center

3/10:  Program for Jazz: Stories | Poems | Percussion – Thalian Hall

3/10:  Battleship Firepower Tour – Battleship North Carolina

3/10:  2018 Wrightsville Beach Biathlon – Blockade Runner Beach Resort

3/14:  2018 Wilmington Theatre Awards – Thalian Hall

3/14:  The Annex Songwriter Session #14 – Brooklyn Arts Center

3/15:  Daughtry – CFCC / The Wilson Center

3/16-18:  Badwater Cape Fear – Ultra Marathon Race – Old Baldy Lighthouse, Bald Head Island

3/16:  Playtime! Toy & Game Collection – Cape Fear Museum

3/16:  Tres Bleu Presents: Midnight in Mykonos a Fashion Show Fundraiser – Brooklyn Arts Center

3/16:  The National Symphony Orchestra of Cuba – Thalian Hall

3/16-17:  NHRMC: Wrightsville Beach Marathon Madness

3/17:  The Great Chowder Cook-off – High Tide Lounge on the North End Pier Carolina Beach

3/17:  US Open Fat Bike Championships – Wrightsville Beach

3/17, 18:  Peter Pan CFCC / The Wilson Center

3/17:  St. Patrick’s Day Festival & Parade – Downtown Wilmington

3/17:  The 14th Annual Steve Haydu St. Patrick’s Day Lo Tide Run – Carolina Beach Board Walk

3/18:  4th Annual Oyster Roast & Shrimp Boil Jamboree – Yacht Basin Eatery Southport

3/22 – 4/1:  Becoming Dr. Ruth – Thalian Hall

3/23:  HOU YING: TU TU (traditional Chinese classical dance)  – CFCC / The Wilson Center

3/23:  Fourth Fridays Gallery Walk – Downtown Wilmington

3/24, 30, 31:  Alligator Egg Hunt – NC Aquarium at Fort Fisher

3/24:  Southport Easter Egg Hunt – Franklin Square Park and Fort Johnston Garrison Lawn, Southport

3/24:  Chick Flicks Festival – Bourgie Nights Downtown Wilmington

3/24:  Bunny Dayz Easter Egg Hunt – Mulberry Park, Shallotte

3/24:  Mac & Cheese Fest – Good Hops Brewing in Carolina Beach

3/24:  Beer, Bourbon & BBQ Festival – The Shell

3/24:  Spectrum! A Tribute to Motown and R&B – CFCC / The Wilson Center

3/24:  Full Belly Feast 2018 – Brooklyn Arts Center

3/26:  Rockin’ Road to Dublin – CFCC / The Wilson Center

3/30-31:  Southport Spring Festival – Franklin Square Park, Southport

3/31 – 4/1:  Made in NC 2018 – Brooklyn Arts Center

February 2018 Area Events

2/1-3: 38th Annual North Carolina Jazz Festival – Wilmington Hilton Riverside

2/1-4,8-11, 15-18:  Who Am I This Time (& Other Conundrums of Love) – Cape Fear Playhouse

2/1:  UNCW Early Music Consort – Kenan Auditorium

2/2:  Birdland All Stars featuring Tommy Igoe – Thalian Hall

2/2, 9, 16, 23, 24: Little Explorers – Cape Fear Museum

2/2-4: Wine & Chocolate Festival – Coastline Conference and Event Center

2/2-3: Divine Divas Benefit Concert & Silent Auction – Hannah Block Historic USO Building

2/3: Brunsco Has It Business Expo – Sea Trail Resort in Sunset Beach

2/3: UNCW Day of Rhythm Concert – Beckwith Recital Hall

2/3: Sports City Presents: Corn Hole Classic – Brooklyn Arts Center

2/3: Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Presents: Polovtsian Dances – CFCC Wilson Center

2/3, 10, 17, 24: A Taste of Downtown Wilmington with Taste Carolina Gourmet Food Tours – 5-6 restaurants and bars

2/4: Talk: Hugh Morton’s Rise to His Photographic Peak  – Cape Fear Museum

2/6: Art Garfunkel – CFCC Wilson Center

2/8: Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Presents: Daphnis and Chloe – CFCC Wilson Center

2/8-11: East Coast Shag Classic – Holiday Inn Resort

2/8: Jazz at the CAM with Jo Gore – Cameron Art Museum

2/8: Martin-Loparits Duo (piano) – Kenan Auditorium

2/8: Mardi Gras Art Auction Fundraiser – SeaWitch

2/9-18: Thalian Association presents: Oliver! – Thalian Hall

2/10: Sweethearts Dance – Shallotte Moose Lodge

2/10:  UNCW String Day Recital – Beckwith Recital Hall

2/10: Laugh Your Sox Off – CFCC Wilson Center

2/10: Big and Small Family Ball – The Children’s Museum of Wilmington

2/10:  Hearts A Poppin’ Swing Dance – Hannah Block Historic USO Building

2/11: Heart & Soul Dinner Dance in Support of the Wilmington Boys Choir – St. Paul’s Episcopal Parish Hall

2/11: Discovery Lab: Engineering Challenge – Cape Fear Museum

2/12: UNCW Jazz Ensemble I – Kenan Auditorium

2/13: Paws-Ability Mardi Gras – Jink’s Creek Waterfront Grille, Ocean Isle Beach

2/13: Urban Bush Women: Hair & Other Stories – CFCC Wilson Center

2/14: Cape Fear Stage presents: La Bouche – CFCC Wilson Center

2/15-18 & 22-25: UNCW Department of Theatre presents: Dr. Faustus –

2/15: UNCW Community Music Academy Kenan Auditorium

2/15: An Evening of Valentines with Emile Pandolfi With Dana Russell – Thalian Hall

2/15: North Carolina Birding Trail Hike – Halyburton Park

2/15-19: Buyer and Cellar – Thalian Hall Cube Theater

2/16: Lunar New Year – Ingram Planetarium, Sunset Beach

2/17, 18: Art for All 2018 – Brooklyn Arts Center

2/17: Kure Beach 14th Annual Polar Plunge & 5K – Kure Beach Boardwalk

2/17: Run Oak Island Full & Half Marathon – 4602 E. Dolphin Dr.

2/17: Lego Mindstorm Robots – Cape Fear Museum

2/19: Barry David Salwen, piano / April Evans, soprano Beckwith Recital Hall

2/20-21:  Cape Fear Stage present: Cabaret – CFCC Wilson Center

2/20-21: Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox – CFCC Wilson Center

2/22: UNCW Symphonic Band Concert – Kenan Auditorium

2/23: Fourth Friday Gallery Walk – Downtown Wilmington

2/24:  68th Annual Camellia Show & Sale – New Hanover County Arboretum

2/24: The Best of Wilmington 2018 Encore Awards – Brooklyn Arts Center

2/25: Cape Fear Stage present: The Temptations and The Four Tops – CFCC Wilson Center

2/25: Chamber Music Wilmington presents Acronym – Beckwith Recital Hall

2/28: An Evening with The Celtic Tenors – CFCC Wilson Center

January 2018 Area Events

12/30 – 1/21: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert – Thalian Hall

1/1: Sunset Beach Day 1 Run – 5K & Polar Plunge – 1st and E. Main Sunset Beach

1/1:  Wrightsville Beach Polar Plunge – The Oceanic, Wrightsville Beach

1/2-27:  UNCW Men & Women’s  Basketball – Trask Coliseum

1/7:  Winter Bridal Expo – Wilmington Convention Center

1/12-14: Art & the Bloom – Blockade-runner Wrightsville Beach

1/12-13:  Jon Rineman Comedy – Dead Crow Comedy Room

1/13: An Evening with Bill Engvall – CFCC Wilson Center

1/14: NC Symphony: Pictures at an Exhibition – CFCC Wilson Center

1/14: In Conversation: ‘Created by Light’ – Cameron Art Museum

1/20: 9th Annual Cold Stroke Classic – Wrightsville Beach

1/19-20:  Ryan O’Flanagan Comedy – Dead Crow Comedy Room

1/19-28: A Year with Frog and Toad – Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center

1/21:  Shakespeare Brunch: Twelfth Night – TheartreNOW

1/22: Fundraiser: Wine Around Italy – Museum of Coastal Carolina Ingram Planetarium

1/23: Wilmington’s 2nd Annual Fashion Show – Brooklyn Arts Center

1/26: The Port City Ping Pong throw Down – Brooklyn Arts Center

1/26-27:  Langston Kerman Comedy – Dead Crow Comedy Room

1/27:  Amazing Grace – CFCC Wilson Center

1/27:  James Gregory: “The Funniest Man in America!” – Thalian Hall

1/28: Precious Metals Area’s finest artisans – Brooklyn Arts Center

1/28: Beethoven 15K and 5K – Brunswick Forest

December 2017 Area Events


11/20-12/31: Cape Fear Festival of Trees – North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

12/1: Island of Lights Christmas Parade – Lake Park Blvd, Carolina Beach

12/1-22: Enchanted Airlie – Airlie Gardens

12/1-3: The Holiday Flea at BAC – Brooklyn Arts Center

12/1-16: Star of Wonder, Star of Night – Poplar Grove Plantation

12/1-17: Every Christmas Story Ever Told (And Then Some!) – Cape Fear Playhouse

12/1,2: Ballet for Young Audiences/ The Nutcracker – Thalian Hall

12/1, 2, 3, 9, 10: Christmas Toy & Train Show – Grissettown Longwood Fire & Rescue, Ocean Isle Beach

12/2: Battleship Alive! – USS North Carolina Battleship

12/2-3: Old Wilmington by Candlelight Tour – Latimer House

12/2,3: A Carolina Nutcracker – CFCC / The Wilson Center

12/2: Island of Lights Christmas Flotilla – Snow’s Cut to Carolina Beach Boat Basin

12/2-1/7: Art of Illumination: Lanterns at CAM – Cameron Art Museum

12/2, 9, 16, 17, 23: Train & Light Spectacular – Wilmington Railroad Museum

12/2, 9, 16: Christmas by the Sea – Carolina Beach Boardwalk

12/2: The Shallotte Christmas Parade – Main Street and HWY 130

12/3: Wilmington Holiday Parade – Front & Water St. Downtown Wilmington

12/8-10, 15-17: A Christmas Story: The Musical – Thalian Hall

12/8-9: Holly Jolly Holiday Stroll – Downtown Wilmington

12/8: Greenfield Tree Lighting and Holiday Movie – Greenfield Lake Park at the Hugh Morton Amphitheater & Rotary Garden

12/9: 5K Jingle Bell Run – Wrightsville Beach Museum of History

12/9: Island of Lights Tour of Homes – Carolina & Kure Beach

12/9: A Christmas Stroll Through the Past – Bellamy Mansion, Burgwin-Wright House & St. James Episcopal Church

12/9: A Charlie Brown Christmas – CFCC / The Wilson Center

12/9-10: Poplar Grove Arts & Crafts Festival – Poplar Grove Plantation

12/10: CAM Floating Lantern Ceremony – Cameron Art Museum

12/14: Cherish the Ladies: Celtic Christmas – Thalian Hall

12/14-17: Ebenezer: A Christmas Carol – Kenan Auditorium, UNCW

12/16-17: Santa by the Sea – North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

12/16: Southport Ugly Sweater 5K – Waterfront Park, Southport

12/17, 28, 30: UNCW Men’s Basketball vs. Greensboro College – Trask Coliseum

12/20: The North Carolina Symphony: Holiday Pops – CFCC / The Wilson Center

12/22: Choral Concert: Christmas at St. Paul’s – St. Paul’s Episcopal Church

12/31: New Year’s Eve Gala – Thalian Hall

12/31: Children’s Museum New Year’s Noon – The Children’s Museum of Wilmington

12/31: Island of Lights 2017 New Year Celebration – Carolina Beach Boardwalk

12/31: New Year’s Eve Winner Party Boat Cruise – Royal Winner Princess II in Carolina Beach

12/31: New Year’s Eve 2017 Bacchanalia – TheatreNOW / Downtown Wilmington

12/31: Midnight in Paris – Le Catalan Café / Downtown Wilmington

1/1: Sunset Beach Day 1 Run – 5K & Polar Plunge – 1st and E. Main Sunset Beach

September 2017 Area Events

9/1, 15: Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series – Airlie Gardens 

9/1: Downtown Sundown Concert Series – Riverfront Park

9/1: Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast: – Cape Fear Blvd & Carolina Beach Ave N

9/1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11: The Sunshine Boys – Thalian Hall: Ruth and Bucky Stein Theatre

9/2: Oak Island Labor Day Surf Off – Ocean Crest Pier, Oak Island Oak Island’s Ocean Crest Pier

9/3: New Hanover County Resident Free Admission – Airlie Gardens

9/3, 17: Kure Beach: Boogie in the Park Concert Series Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

9/3: Nelly – The Shell Wilmington

9/5: Willie Nelson – The Shell Wilmington

9/5-10: Annual Pooch Plunge – Legion Stadium pool

9/7-24: The Hermit of Fort Fisher Cape Fear Playhouse / Big Dawg Productions

9/7: Pints for Preservation with Good Hops – Bellamy Mansion Museum

9/8-10: Wilmington Boat Show – Wilmington Convention Center, Port City Marina, Pier 33 & Battleship NC

9/9: Run Holden Beach – Under the Bridge on Jordan Blvd

9/9: Purple Feet FestivalSilver Coast WineryOcean Isle Beach

9/9: 5th Annual Heart of Hope Run – Main Stage Gazebo, Carolina Beach Boardwalk

9/9: 10th CBPD Bike Rodeo – Carolina Beach Rec Center

9/13, 20, 27: Hops & Talks – Wednesday’s at Airlie Gardens

  • 9/13: Butterfly Talk & Wilmington Brewing Company
  • 9/20: Plant Talk & Flytrap Brewing
  • 9/27: Imagine Exhibit Walk & Waterman’s Brewing Company

9/14: Jazz at the Mansion Concert Series – Bellamy Mansion\

9/16: Guided Architectural Walking Tours Temple Baptist Church

9/16: UNCW MarineQuest Youth Weekend Programs – UNCW Center for Marine Science

9/16-17: NC Shell Show – Cape Fear Museum

9/16: Wilmington Symphony Orchestra Presents: Ifetayo Ali-Landing, cello (2017 Sphinx Competition Winner) – CFCC Wilson Center

9/16 – 2/11: Created by Light – Cameron Art Museum

9/16-17: Carolina Beach Dragon Boat Regatta & Festival Carolina Beach Yacht Basin and Marina

9/16: Pier-2-Pier Open Water Swim Race Johnnie Mercer’s Pier

9/16-17: Summer Harvest Festival – Poplar Grove Plantation

9/16: WDFL East National Championship Game & Benefit Concert Event by World Developmental Football League  Legion Stadium

9/17: The Doobie Brothers – CFCC Wilson Center

9/17: Oakdale Cemetery Music & Mausoleums Tour – Oakdale Cemetery

9/18: UB40 Legends Ali, Astro & Mickey – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

9/21-24: ARTfall Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center

9/22: Fourth Friday Gallery Nights – Downtown Wilmington

9/22: Paramount’s Laser Spectacular-Music of Pink Floyd – Thalian Hall

9/23: American Craft Walk Downtown Wilmington

9/23-24: North Carolina Spot Festival – 14221 US-17, Hampstead, NC 28443

9/23: YMCA Wrightsville Beach Sprint Triathlon 2017 – Wrightsville Beach, NC

9/23: Cape Fear Roller Girls Season Finale Double Header – Jellybeans Family Skate Center

9/25: 6th Annual Brunswick County Golf Tournament – Cape Fear National

9/29-10/31: Carnevil in the Woods / Phobia Haunted Trail Cardinal Lanes Parking

9/30: 5th Annual Pleasure Island Day of Hope “Toes in the Sand” – CB Boardwalk Gazebo

9/30: Cape Fear Highland Games – 3400 Randall Parkway

August 2017 Events

August 2017 Events

Wilmington Sharks Baseball Home Games – 2149 Carolina Beach Rd, Wilmington

  • 8/2: Jaws-N-Paws – Fayetteville Swampdogs vs. Wilmington Sharks
  • 8/5: Hat Giveaway! – Morehead City Marlins vs. Wilmington Sharks
  • 8/7: Holly Springs Salamanders vs. Wilmington Sharks

8/2-20: South Pacific – Thalian Hall

8/2: 2nd Marine Aircraft Wing Band Concert – Franklin Square Park, Southport

8/3, 10,17, 24: Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast: – Cape Fear Blvd & Carolina Beach Ave N

8/3, 11, 18, 25, 31: Oak Island Summer Concert Series – Middleton Park Soccer Field

8/3, 10: WECT Sounds of Summer Concerts in the Park –  Wrightsville Beach Park

8/4, 11, 18, 25: Performing Arts Night – Carolina Beach Boardwalk Gazebo

8/4, 18: Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series – Airlie Gardens

8/4, 11, 18, 25: Downtown Sundown Concert Series – Riverfront Park

8/4, 11, 18, 25: Ocean Isle Summer Concert Series – across from the Museum of Coastal Carolina

8/4-6: National Lighthouse Weekend Celebration: Old Baldy’s 200th Birthday – Old Baldy Lighthouse, Bald Head Island

8/6, 13, 20, 27: Free Movie Night – Carolina Beach Lake Park

8/6, 13, 20, 27: Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace – Riverfront Park

8/6, 20: Kure Beach: Boogie in the Park Concert Series – Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

8/7, 14, 21, 28: Ocean Isle Beach Turtle Talks – The Museum of Coastal Carolina

8/9: Chris Robinson Brotherhood – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

8/10: Jazz at the Mansion Concert Series – Bellamy Mansion

8/10, 24: Southport Summer Concert Series – Franklin Square & Garrison Lawn

8/12-13: Wahine Classic – Wrightsville Beach

8/17: Donald Fagen and The Nightflyers – CFCC Wilson Center

8/18-20: O’Neill / Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest – Birmingham Street Wrightsville Beach

8/18: Tony Bennett – CFCC Wilson Center

8/19: Leland Under the Lights Car Show – Brunswick Forest, Leland

8/24: Brian Regan – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

8/24, 25, 26, 27, 31: The Sunshine Boys – Thalian Hall: Ruth and Bucky Stein Theatre

8/25: Fourth Friday Gallery Nights – Downtown Wilmington

8/25: Donavon Frankenreiter – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

8/27: Lumina Daze – Blockade Runner Resort

8/31: The Righteous Brothers: Bill Medley & Bucky Heard – CFCC Wilson Center

June 2017 Area Events

5/1 – 9/11: Waterfront Market – Ocean Isle Beach

6/1, 8, 15, 22, 29: Fireworks by the Sea & Boardwalk Blast: – Cape Fear Blvd & Carolina Beach Ave N

6/1: 98.3 & Huka Entertainment Presents Delta Rae – Throne Theater / Market Street

6/2 – 10/7: Carolina Beach Farmers Market – Carolina Beach Lake Park

6/2, 16: Airlie Gardens Summer Concert Series – Airlie Gardens

6/2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Downtown Sundown Concert Series – Riverfront Park

6/2, 9, 16, 23, 30: Ocean Isle Summer Concert Series – across from the Museum of Coastal Carolina

6/3, 10, 17, 24: Historic Downtown Wilmington Marketplace – Riverfront Park/ 5 N Water St.

6/3, 10, 17, 24: Shallotte Farmers Market – Mulberry Park

6/3: 32nd Annual Carolina Beach Music Festival – Boardwalk Downtown Carolina beach

6/4, 11, 18, 25: Free Movie Night – Carolina Beach Lake Park

6/4: Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

6/2, 9, 16, 23: Oak Island Summer Concert Series – Middleton Park Soccer Field

6/5, 12, 19, 26: Ocean Isle Beach Turtle Talks – The Museum of Coastal Carolina

6/7, 14: Sunset Beach Concert Series – The Village Park on Queen Anne, Sunset Beach

6/7-25: Jesus Christ Superstar / Opera House Theatre Company – Thalian Hall

6/8, 10, 16, 29: Southport Summer Concert Series – Franklin Square & Garrison Lawn

6/10: Shovels & Rope – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

6/11: Sleeping Beauty Ballet – CFCC The Wilson Center

6/17: Oakdale Cemetery Angel Walking Tour – Oakdale Cemetery

6/23: Whoopi Goldberg – CFCC / The Wilson Center

6/23: Fourth Friday Gallery Nights – Downtown Wilmington

6/4, 18: Kure Beach: Boogie in the Park Concert Series – Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

6/8: Jazz at the Mansion Concert Series – Bellamy Mansion

6/9, 23: Free Summer Concerts at Fort Fisher – Fort Fisher Air Force Recreation Area

6/ 15, 22, 29: WECT Sounds of Summer Concerts in the Park –  Wrightsville Beach Park

6/16: Huka Entertainment: Reel Big Fish + The Expendables – The Throne Theater

6/16-18: Airpower History Tour – Air Wilmington

6/23-25: Cape Fear Blues Festival – Various Venues in Wilmington

6/23-24: The Children’s Museum MUD DAY – 116 Orange Street, Wilmington

6/24: Carolina Beach Double Sprint Triathlon – Carolina Beach

6/25: The Pointer Sisters – CFCC / The Wilson Center

6/30: Travis Tritt – CFCC / The Wilson Center

Celebrate the Arts in January with AIW (Arts In Wilmington)

Saturday, January 28th at 6 pm, join AIW (Arts In Wilmington) for the first annual Wilmington Awards show at theArtWorks. This year’s celebration will honor four outstanding recipients from the area. Beer, wine, and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served. 12-20-aiw-awards-promotion-poster-final

Award recipients include:
Individual Artist:  Hiroshi Sueyoshi
Individual:  Jim & Betsy Knowles, Owners of theArtWorks
Arts in Education:  Gabriel Lovejoy
Organization:  DREAMS of Wilmington

AIW (Arts In Wilmington) connects artists, arts professionals, and arts advocates and includes Wilmington, Carolina & Kure Beaches, Wrightsville Beach, Hampstead, Surf City, Topsail Beach, Burgaw, Leland, Shallotte, Southport and Brunswick County Beaches.

To purchase tickets:

For more information:  Contact Craig Stinson at 910-524-2679 or


November Area Events

November Area Events Wilmington Wrightsville Beach Pleasure Island Ocean Isle10/19 – 11/6: It’s Only A Play – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

10/28 – 11/6: Cape Fear Fair & Expo – Wilmington International Airport

11/3 – 30: Shows for Days – Red Barn Studio Theatre, Thalian Hall

11/3 – 6: Big Dawg Productions / The Birds Attack – Cape Fear Playhouse

11/3: Space Place Grand Opening – Cape Fear Museum

11/4 – 6: NC Surf to Sound Challenge – Blockade Runner

11/4 – 6: Carolina Pine Music Festival #4 – Brooklyn Arts Center, Reggie’s 42nd Street Tavern, Waterline Brewery, Satellite Bar & Lounge, and Palate Bottle Shop in Wilmington, NC

11/4 – 6: Coastal Carolina Clay Guild Annual Holiday Show & Sale – Hannah Block USO/Community Arts Center

11/4: Sublime With Rome in Concert – Greenfield Lake Amphitheater

11/4: UNCW Writers’ Week – UNCW

11/4 – 6: FUNDRAISER: Willie Stargell Celebrity Golf Invitational, Auction, Dinner & Dance – Country Club of Landfall

11/5: Donald Sinta Quartet – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

11/5 – 6: Cape Fear Kite Festival – Fort Fisher State Recreation Area

11/5: Battleship Half Marathon, 10K & 5K – Downtown Wilmington

11/5: FUNDRAISER: Wilmington Fur Ball – Union Station at Cape Fear Community College

11/5: FUNDRAISER: Holiday Artisan Market – Carolina Beach Lake Park

11/5: Cape Fear Roller Girls Doubleheader – UNCW Schwartz Center

11/8: Anderson East: Devil In Me Tour – Brooklyn Arts Center at St. Andrews

11/9: The Octonauts and the Deep Sea Volcano Adventure – CFCC Wilson Center

11/9 – 13: Cucalorus Film Festival – Jengo Playhouse, Thalian Hall, City Stage, etc.

11/11 – 13: Mrs. World War II Wilmington: We Fell in Love at the USO – Hannah Block Historic USO/Community Arts Center

11/12: Schubert’s “Great” – CFCC Wilson Center

11/17: Holst’s The Planets – CFCC Wilson Center

11/18: The Drifters – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

11/19-26: Kure Beach Holiday Market – Kure Beach Ocean Front Park

11/19-20: Riverfest – Water Street from Cape Fear Community College to Chandlers Wharf

11/19: Shallotte Holiday Market – Mulberry Park

11/20: Annie – CFCC Wilson Center

11/21 – 12/4: Cape Fear Festival of Trees – North Carolina Aquarium at Fort Fisher

11/24: Wrightsville Beach Turkey Trot – The Loop at Wrightsville Beach

11/24: Gallop for the Gravy 5K – Starts and ends at YMCA

11/25: Ocean Isle Beach Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting – Ocean Isle Beach

11/25 – 26: 33rd Annual North Carolina Holiday Flotilla At Wrightsville Beach – Wrightsville Beach Town Park, Blockade Runner Resort & Intracoastal Waterway/Banks Channel

11/25 – 12/22: Enchanted Airlie – Airlie Gardens

11/25: Battleship HO HO HO – Battleship NORTH CAROLINA

11/25: Island of Lights – Lighting at the Lake & Pleasure Island of Lights Festival – Carolina Beach Lake Park

11/25: Fourth Friday Gallery Walk – Various art galleries in Wilmington.

11/25 – 12/17: Christmas by the Sea – Carolina Beach Boardwalk

11/25: Downtown Holiday Tree Lighting – Downtown Wilmington

11/26: Kure Beach Holiday Market – Ocean Front Park

11/26: Ocean Isle Beach Flotilla – From Inlet View Bar & Grill to Sharky’s Waterfront Restaurant & Marina

11/26: Turkey Trot 4 Mile Trail Run – Race begins at Carolina Beach State Park Marina

11/27: Historic Wilmington Foundation Post Thanksgiving Tour – Neil M. McEachern House

11/28: The Ultimate Christmas Show – Thalian Hall Center for Performing Arts

11/29: Mannheim Steamroller – CFCC Wilson Center

Agent Highlight: Craig Stinson: LIVE LOCAL, LIVE SMALL: Expanding the arts means expanding economic development

Recently, Encore Magazine did a feature on one of our agents, Craig Stinson:

ARTS MEETUP: Craig Stinson (far left) with the Thalian Association staff at a previous Arts in Wilmington meetup; the next one is Wed., Mar. 9 at Art in Bloom. Courtesy photo.

Craig Stinson smiles and gives a little head shake. We have been discussing his project, Arts In Wilmington, and veered into a conversation about what the arts can or can’t do to heal societal ills. It’s oddly refreshing to hear someone actually put forth the idea that one visit to an inner-city school by a dance troupe for a master class might not be the missing element in eliminating prejudice from the world. Maybe “ars gratia artis” (“art for art’s sake”) is the point.

But back to Craig Stinson.

He’s a quiet man with a big smile. More so, he seems genuinely interested in collaborative work and listens attentively to other people’s ideas. Stinson started Arts in Wilmington as a newsletter in February of 2014.

“I just thought it would be fun to send out a newsletter every week with arts events happening,” he says. “I literally had five people the first issue. Two were me, one was my wife,” he says with a smile. “I’m almost at 1,400 subscribers now—by word of mouth.”

So, is Stinson making a living from this? No, he sells real estate by day.

“I just want people to know about the broad spectrum of stuff happening in Pender, Brunswick and New Hanover countiesm” Stinson tells. “Wilmington has one of the best arts scenes for an area this size, and it’s all so community-driven, which I love.”

Stinson has embarked on an interesting journey back to home. He moved away a little over two decades ago and in the meantime worked in arts administration in Washington D.C. and South Carolina. He cites the museum studies concentration at George Washington University as the motivator for persuing his degree there. He also worked with The Smithsonian, The National Endowment for the Arts, the Library of Congress, The Alamo …

“Really?” I interrupt him. “The Alamo? Was your office in the fort?”

He nods and gives me a surprised look.

This segued to South Carolina where he worked as program director for eight years at the South Carolina Arts Commission. “But I wanted to be home—I always wanted to get back to Wilmington,” he explains.

Stinson popped up on my radar about the time he started the newsletter. He was working in the Cucalorus office and we seemed to orbit each other. Then he started organizing networking events with Arts in Wilmington.

“There’s a lot of activity in Wilmington,” he says. “People hear of each other but sometimes they don’t know each other. We started the meetups so people could make that happen.”

Stinson rotates the location of the meetups monthly. He has utilized Flytrap Brewery on 4th Street and TheatreNOW on 10th Street, as well as art galleries like Eclipse at Blue Moon on Racine Drive and Spectrum Art and Jewelry at The Forum.

“Every time we have people come who have said, ‘I’ve never been in here,’” he notes. “They meet the owners, artists, performers. I think a lot of getting people involved is giving them a reference for the amenities in town.” 

He says people then have a relationship with a venue and its location, including knowing where to park. It might sound minor, but it can actually be a pretty major hurdle for a business or venue.

About a month ago Stinson sent a notice seeking nominations for the first Arts in Wilmington Awards. My main inquiry for him was knowing how his newsletters and awards are any different from The Arts Council of WIlmington and New Hanover County. “I don’t give grants,” Stinson says. When Stinson decided to start the awards, rather than reinventing the wheel, he pretty much copied a model he has seen work: The South Carolina Arts Council’s Elizabeth O’Neill Verner Awards. “I want it to be as transparent as possible, [with judging that] has solid credentials behind it,” he explains.

Six categories will be covered in the awards: Arts in Education, Organization, Government, Business/Foundation, Individual, and Individual Artist. Stinson has tapped people from Mississippi, South Carolina, Florida, and DC to judge the nominations. “The plan is to have them reviewed by people outside of the area—who have really solid arts administration backgrounds and people who are not in Wilmington.”

Stinson is quick to point out the categories are open to interpretation. In “Government,” for example, a juror could be someone who is an elected official, or works in government or for a municipality. The “Individual” category presents questions about advocacy for arts, volunteering, fundraising, and arts administration. “They cast a wide net in very specific areas,” he notes.

Outside of joy of recognition for winning an award, Stinson says highlighting exceptional individuals and businesses leads to awareness beyond Wilmington. “Ultimately the arts serve as an ambassador for the town itself,” he says. “From my perspective, it’s an issue of awareness and recognition. [W]e’ve had a long history of community theatre and visual arts. Wilmington has always been an arts city.”

Stinson constantly hears from colleagues in other parts of the country who are surprised at how much happens in Wilmington. His job as a real estate agent makes him think about why people would move here. He says obvious reasons like climate and proximity to the beach and having a cool downtown are one. “But arts is one component of that,” he notes.As we veer toward a conversation about how to measure economic value of the arts in a community, Stinson surprises me again.

“Some people just know they can take classes or get involved in the theatre scene,” he says. “I think if you package the arts well, the economic implications become obvious. If you start from the economic issue of the arts, to me, it takes away from the intrinsic creative value and bravery that the arts engender They show bravery. People don’t understand how . . . intimidating it would be to get up onstage and put yourselves out there in front of people. That translates into all kinds of other aspects of people’s lives (be it starting businesses). You want to talk about economic development? Talk about people who stand on a stage or create a 2D or 3D piece of work, and put it out there for everybody.” 

Stinson says Wilmington could call itself the “live-theatre capital of the East Coast.” He’s right. We have five to seven shows playing any given weekend. “So when you have a concentration of arts or arts activity, it ends up being the vanguard of economic development, in the sense that restaurants and retail pop up around it,” he continues. “Thus, housing values go up and people take pride locally and really reinforces sense of place.”


To nominate someone for an Arts in Wilmington Award, log onto The nomination deadline is April 29.

Arts in Wilmington Meetup
Art in Bloom • 210 Princess Street
March 9, 5:30 p.m. • Free
First 10 people get Art in Bloom T-shirt