By Mary Karr

Art is undoubtedly beneficial for everyone because it allows developing our creativity and unleashing our imagination. For people who want to pursue an art career an art education or art program is beneficial or even necessary. It should be a well structured and well planned curriculum designed by experienced teachers. It comes as a great surprise to many to learn that North Carolina is the nation’s first state to support an arts conservatory making it a leader in the performing arts. Nick-named “The School of the Cool” it has been putting on epic productions in drama, music and film for over 50 years. It has been named as one of the greatest and most unique of all American conservatories.

The North Carolina School of the Arts is the conservatory for the arts of the University of North Carolina. It is dedicated entirely to the professional training of students possessing exceptional talents in the performing arts. Students emerge transformed, poised to become leaders and creators in their chosen fields. Students must audition and be interviewed for admission. The school is accredited to award the bachelor’s and master’s degrees. It is located on a beautiful campus in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.

The school is committed to the idea that art combines craft, imagination, passion, and intellect. The faculty is outstanding and works with students in a residential setting to create an educational community that is intimate, demanding, and performance centered. We are indeed fortunate to have such an institution in North Carolina that enhances the cultural life of its citizens. Bravo and good luck to all its students!

Here in the Hickory Nut Gorge and the town of Lake Lure our local artists continue to meet and thrive in our community. Their works are displayed in the Mountains Library, in many local restaurants, and in the Visual Art Gallery which is located in Lake Lure near the Flowering Bridge, which in itself is also a work of art. We appreciate the support of all our residents and visitors and hope they continue to do so as we, too, develop our talents to make this a special art community.