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Why Waynesville’s Arts Scene is a Must-See


The arts have become a really important part of Waynesville’s culture. Not only have artists started to call our Smoky Mountain town home, but we’ve also consciously prioritized the growth of the arts here. Thanks to the Haywood County Arts Council, our arts scene has become an identifiable feature of Waynesville. Keep reading this blog to learn more about the different forms of art you can expect here and how to experience them.

An Inspired Community

Waynesville is home to a large community of spirited artists who chose to come here because our quiet and beautiful landscape was the inspirational subject of their best work. They’re a group that’s incredibly passionate about this community and they love sharing their works of art with visitors. You won’t have to travel far to find them; their galleries practically line the streets of downtown. With a backdrop as stunning as the Smoky Mountains, it’s no wonder many of their creations are celebrations of nature.

HART theater Waynesville
HART Theatre Waynesville

A Passion for Performing Arts

Our art forms aren’t limited to paintings, drawings, sculptures, and crafts: Waynesville is a surprising destination for performing arts, too. The Haywood Arts Regional Theatre was created to give our region a premier gathering place for performers and play-lovers. They have dozens of shows planned in the coming months—one almost every single weekend. Several of these shows are family-friendly performances produced by Kids at HART, the theater’s children and family-oriented youth drama program. It’s no surprise that people from all over the country come to Waynesville to watch a spectacular show at HART!


Folkmoot Dancers in the Street of Waynesville

A Small Town with Big Culture

We take being the “Gateway to the Smokies” very seriously: we know the best way to share our town is to open it up to the world. In fact, our annual Folkmoot Festival uses international displays of culture in the form of art to bring people together. Every summer, dancers from 10 different countries are invited to stay in Waynesville for several weeks to celebrate their heritage with us through a series of performances. This festival is a big deal to our little town!

waynesville mountain street dance

So, how can you experience all of this for yourself?

The best part about Waynesville’s art scene is that it’s accessible to everyone! No matter your interests, there’s a way for you to explore.

Come to our events

We often times shut down Main Street for a downtown festival, giving guests a chance to peruse the works in our galleries while live music fills the air. Two of our favorite street-wide art events are Art After Dark and Winter Arts Smokies Style. We also have day-long celebrations of arts & crafts that span several streets around Waynesville. And who doesn’t love a good old-fashioned hoe-down? A few times during the summer, we block off a corner of Main Street and the entire town comes out to enjoy our Mountain Street Dances.

Go see a show or movie

Film and play lovers rejoice! Catch a show at The Strand, one of the most iconic buildings in downtown Waynesville. It’s got a classic movie theatre style on the outside, with a new-age twist on the inside: here, you’ll find one of Waynesville’s best-kept foodie secrets. Before the show, you can get your ice cream or adult beverage fix at their concessions—and trust us, you won’t want to skip that part! For drama lovers, HART has two gorgeous performance venues on site to catch the best shows in the area.

Take in the sounds & tastes

Listening to a live band with a local craft beer in hand is a stress-free way to wind down after a long day. Lucky for you, we’ve got plenty of places to overload your senses with great tastes. Mad Anthony’s has a consistent lineup of exciting live music and events to enjoy year-round, plus they feature over 50 craft beers and ciders on tap. Every Friday and Saturday night, The Classic Wineseller has a live music performance and serves charcuterie, tapas, and small plates along with a wide selection of wine and craft beer.

Waynesville is full of locally-grown culture—and one of the best ways to learn about it is to get immersed. From live music to art galleries, you can spend countless hours finding a new take on our town.

To learn more about upcoming events, follow us on Facebook or stay tuned to our events calendar. Or you can sign up for our newsletter to be the first to learn about exciting things happening in Waynesville.

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