Caldwell County is home to a remarkable range of cultural and artistic resources including museums, galleries, music, dance and theatrical performances, community festivals and street fairs. A stroll through downtown Lenoir, Caldwell’s largest city, is an art lover’s dream. An assortment of public art including statues and mosaics line the streets adding visual interest and style to the historic area. The Caldwell Arts Council promotes the arts through a wide variety of programs including monthly gallery exhibits, artists-in-schools programs, community concerts, classes, workshops and literary and sculpture competitions. Through the annual Sculpture Celebration, the Caldwell Arts Council has placed more than 77 pieces of public sculpture on display throughout Caldwell County.
A variety of fine theatrical performances are produced by the Foothills Performing Arts Community Theatre and the Hudson Uptown Building (HUB) Auditorium and Events Center, which also hosts special events upon request. The JE Broyhill Civic Center hosts a full entertainment schedule with an extensive national performing artist series and is available for conferences, seminars, training sessions, business meetings and other special events. The Lenoir High School Foundation supports the James C. Harper School of Performing Arts which provides a variety of musical classes for all ages and hosts regular performances.
Caldwell County is also blessed with a rich musical heritage. Legendary folk and bluegrass singer/songwriter, Doc Watson, began his career singing on the streets of the Hog Waller trading community, which is now downtown Lenoir. Each year, The Chapel of Rest Preservation Society hosts a concert series at the historic chapel.
There are great events each year, such as the Happy Valley Fiddlers’ Convention and the Caldwell Traditional Musicians Showcase. Carl Story, known as the father of bluegrass gospel and member of The Bluegrass Hall of Fame, is a favorite son of Caldwell County.