Events & Outreach

fain alley music series

Join us for free live performances on the
1st Friday of the month at 6pm
downtown Murphy, NC in Fain Alley
April through October

Fain Alley
apr – Oct

Come out to hear the area’s top talented musical artists for FREE performances!

Located in Historic Downtown Murphy’s Fain Alley on the 1st Fridays of the month.

Shows start at 6PM.

Rainy day venue will be across the street at the Cherokee County Arts Council (CCAC).

Charlie Beck
Apr 7

Charlie Beck plays traditional and original old time, bluegrass, country, blues and swing. He dazzles on banjo, guitar, fiddle and voice with compelling feeling and rhythm. Originally from Indiana ,Charlie Beck recently moved with his family to Murphy, NC from Seattle, WA. He has been performing solo and in bands such as Squirrel Butter and The Tallboys since 2003. He has played many concerts, festivals, dances and more including The Prairie Home Companion, The Festival Of American Fiddle Tunes, Wintergrass, Bumbershoot, and Pickathon.

Jim Lloyd & JAM
May 5

Musical eclectic, singer, old-time banjo great, public radio host, music teacher, bluegrass rhythm guitarist, storyteller, banjo museum curator, and barber of Rural Retreat, VA, Jim Lloyd puts his mountain guitar expertise front and center on Play Guitar in 7 Days. From jazz standards to traditional tunes to humor, gospel, and even the 1960s pop hits,” Jim suggests the breadth of his interests. Solo, accompanying banjo genius Carl Johnson, and in string bands such as the acclaimed Konnarock Critters, Lloyd has established himself as a towering figure in Appalachian music today.

Resonant Rogues
Jun 2

The Resonant Rogues’ dark Appalachian folk paints a picture of their lives in the mountains of Western North Carolina and on the road. Anchored by the songwriting duo of Sparrow (banjo, accordion) and Keith Smith (guitar), they’ve traveled the byways and highways of America and crossed the oceans with instruments in tow. From riding freight trains to building their own homestead, the pair are no strangers to blazing unconventional trails. At once rooted and adventurous, each song tells a story of real experiences, friendships, and challenges. The Rogues just wrapped up a record in Nashville.

the Liden sisters
jul 7

Emolyn and Annie Fain Liden are a close sister duo hailing from Brasstown, NC.  They play music in bands of their own, but really enjoy the chance to collaborate together.  Emolyn on fiddle and voice is an accomplished percussive dancer, knits MANY hats and is recent graduate of the metals program at Haywood Community College.  Annie Fain Barralon is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and dancer, has a paint-to-print business of her watercolor originals and teaches book arts.  These sisters sing, play music, and over-all have a good time together through music.

Heidi Holton
aug 4

Following in the footsteps of guitar-slingers like Memphis Minnie and Reverend Gary Davis, Heidi Holton is making a name for herself in the international blues community. She bought her first guitar at age 15, then, when an opportunity to study with a pro arose a decade later, Holton strapped an acoustic guitar to the back of her motorcycle and headed north from New Orleans to Ohio. She found her mentor quickly became an accomplished finger picker and slide guitar player. With her musical skills on a new level, Holton recorded her darkly seductive debut album, “Mockingbird Blues” in 2016.

zach kilmer
Sep 1

Zach Kilmer has played and toured with many bands over the years as a multi-instrumentalist with acts such as the Harmed Brothers, Andrew Chastain Band, and Wyatt Espalin and the Riverstones. You may have seen him playing electric guitar, upright bass or the pedal steel guitar, but his favorite instrument has always been the acoustic guitar. Currently, “bandless” Zach has embraced a new outlet in songwriting as a way to express himself in these times. Zach plays acoustic music, originals, and covers inspired by the artists that speak to his heart and musical sensibilities.

frank lee
oct 6

Having made a name for himself as the syncopated, melodic player in old time string band The Freight Hoppers, Frank is a national treasure when it comes to clawhammer banjo. He has an instructional DVD on Homespun and released four albums with The Freight Hoppers, with whom he toured North America and Europe. His ability to match a fiddler note-for-note particularly unique. In the duo with his wife Allie, Frank plays not only steel string banjo but also a low-pitched nylon string, fretless banjo.

annual events

Annual events are an important way of sharing varied art experiences with the community
while providing a closer look at specific kinds of art.

Art Walk

Visit downtown Murphy to talk with local and regional artists and to purchase their work, patronize local businesses and restaurants and keep our dollars local. The CCAC is proud to have continuously served as a major supporter for this wonderful First Friday event created by and organized by the members of the Valley River Arts Guild.

Date: the first Friday of the month, May-Dec

Time: 5 – 8 pm

Location: downtown Murphy, NC

Cost: free

Black History Month

Every February, the Arts Council celebrates and recognizes the importance of African Americans’ heritage and contributions to Appalachian culture.

Literary arts, visual arts, or dramatic presentations take place in the gallery and within the community.

Date: Feb 1 – 28

Location: CCAC Gallery

Cost: free

Spring Student Art Show

Each year, we open our gallery for middle and high school students to display their art and compete for medals and prize money.

This allows students to present their work to the public and helps the arts council to recognize the contributions of our art teachers who help students develop their artistic skills.

Date: Apr 1 – 31

Location: CCAC Gallery

Cost: free

Silver Arts Exhibit for NC Senior Games

NC is the only state to include an artistic section of their senior games: the silver arts competition.

Age 55+ compete for medals locally and the right to compete at the state level. Categories include, fine arts, traditional crafts, and literature.

Date: May 1 – 30

Location: CCAC Gallery

Cost: free

Not Your Grandma's Quilt Show

In October, our gallery is taken over by members of the local chapter of the Modern Appalachian Quilt Guild.

The walls are transformed into quilted surfaces showcasing modern sewing techniques and modern designs from abstract to whimsy to new interpretations of old patterns.

Date: Oct 1 – 31

Location: CCAC Gallery

Cost: free

Fashioned in Clay

The annual pottery show has proven to the public that clay artists can show you not just pots and plates, but also fishing reels, pipe wrenches, banjos, and Birkenstock sandals, all made from clay.

Showing that amazing variety is why we recognize potters every year.

Date: Nov. 1 – 30

Location: CCAC Gallery

Cost: free

special events

Less frequently, the CCAC hosts special out-of-town guest
performances and workshops to schools and the public.

John Brown
Jazz Orchestra

Funded by NC Arts and Education Grant and coordinated by the CCAC, the John Brown Jazz Orchestra visits our region to provide access to this special program where students learn more about band. Cherokee and Clay Co. students are also privilege to an exciting performance.

National Danish Performance Team

In Denmark, gymnastics is much more than a sport, it’s a way of life. The CCAC is always excited to host the National Danish Performance Team, who provide school workshops, along with a spectacular public performance. Keep an eye out for their next trip to Cherokee Co, NC in 2025.

Brasstown Morris Dancers

In collaboration with the John C. Campbell Folk School, the CCAC has coordinated field trips with schools to have an audience with our local Morris teams, performing in the tradition of English folk and country dances on stage at the Folk School’s Festival Barn.

Danish Senior

This team of retired gymnasts from Denmark comes to the region, with the coordination of the CCAC and John C. Campbell Folk School, to offer performances in schools along with talks on living a healthful lifestyle, followed by a fun, energetic public performance.

Berea College
Country Dancers

On rare occasions, folk dancers from Berea College in Berea, KY, tour the region to offer public performances showcasing a wide array of traditional English dance. Sponsored in part by the CCAC, they also provide school workshops with student instruction around the community.

Flamenco Vivo
Carlotta Santana

Based in New York City, Flamenco Vivo Carlotta Santana visits the area to provide day-long school workshops on history, art, and literature, along with an evening performance open to the public at the Peacock Playhouse in Hayesville, NC.

school programs

The CCAC partners regional artists with local schools
to enhance arts education and accessibility.

resident artists
in the classroom

The CCAC hires regional artists to work with classroom teachers 1-2 hours per day, 3-4 days per week, in 1+ classes in a school.

Artists are selected by the CCAC and partnered with a school (elementary, middle, and high school).

For more info, contact David Vowell at the CCAC at


Teachers are invited to bring their class to see our own exhibits and meet the artists whose work is being featured.

This opportunity is available year-round, for all ages, and at no cost.

For more info, contact Geraud Barralon at the CCAC at

week long
art gala

The CCAC coordinates a full week of varied classes (am & pm) with a show and tell event on Friday. We offer 12 classes in 4-5 forms of art that can include painting, paper arts, dance, and pottery.

This opportunity is open to all grade levels at no cost through CCAC funding. Schools selected for this program are determined by the CCAC.

youth programs

The CCAC offers extra curricular activities
in an artistic atmosphere.

chess club

The CCAC facilitates chess club for kids ages 6-13 that focuses on the fun of learning the game in a non-competitive environment.

Chess sets and instruction are provided at no cost.

The group meets Mondays 3:30-5:00pm in the CCAC gallery.

showcase your work

Make use of our gallery space,
sell or perform at events,
and get involved with the community. 

Students engaged in arts learning have higher GPAs, standardized test scores,
and college-going rates
as well as lower drop out rates
all across the socio-economic strata.