So Much to Do


When spring arrives in the mountains, not only are the hills alive with beautiful flowers, it is alive with beautiful music as well. For more than a quarter of a century, the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival has featured both favorite masterpieces and long-time festival guest artists along with new works and performers.

The world’s greatest music, internationally-known performers, beautifully intimate settings, the cool mountains, fine art and dining, film and theater, golf, shopping- make your plans now to join us for an unforgettable summer at the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival. Some of the artists regularly featured are the Alexander and Vega String Quartets, performing music ranging from Beethoven to John Adams; the Festival Woodwind Quintet, with the best from wind literature; and the popular Eroica Trio.

More information can be found at their website: or by calling 828-526-9060.


“Beautiful Singing” Celebrating over 15 years in Highlands, the Bel Canto recital has become known for living up to its name. The recital draws professional musicians to the Performing Arts Center stage. Although vocal talents change from year to year, the piano accompanist Stephen Dubberly has played for all previous seasons.

Tickets go fast for the annual event and include a post-recital gala at a local country club. The concert has raised money for the Bascom-Louise Gallery’s permanent collection as well as providing financial assistance to the music program at the Highlands School.


In the summer of 1938, a group of Highlanders presented a play for one performance in the Playhouse building. This production was “Dulcy”, a comedy by George S. Kaufman and Marc Connelly. Encouraged by the audience’s reception, the group formed the nonprofit Highlands Community Theatre, Inc. The theatre itself was built in 1931 as an auditorium for the Highlands School. When the present Highlands School was opened in 1952, the Town of Highlands acquired the auditorium building. It is rented to the Highlands Playhouse for $1 per year. Every summer since 1938, with the exception of two years during World War II, there has been a season of plays here at the Playhouse. Information of upcoming, current or past productions, as well as general information is available at


For 15 years, the Highlands Community Players has been bringing a variety of entertainment to delight all audiences. The theatre group produces plays mostly in the winter and spring when the Highlands Playhouse is closed.

In July of 1995, five people with a vision of a community theater in Highlands decided to act on that vision and started the Highlands Community Players (now known as Highlands Cashiers Players). Each put in $100 of their own money, sat down and chose three plays – Steel Magnolias, Dearly Departed and A Thurber Carnival – and wrote to get the rights to do them.

They then petitioned the Highlands Chamber of Commerce to let them rent the Conference Center to put on these three plays and set out to get some platforms built to use for a stage. For the next five years The Highlands Community Players continued to schedule a fall, winter and spring play with performances on Friday and Saturday nights and Sunday afternoons. The “Readers Theatre” has become a tradition during the Christmas season.

In the summer of 2008, the Highlands Community Players merged joined forces with folks in nearby Cashiers, NC to form Highlands Cashiers Players. The two communities’ cooperation is sure to heighten the success of HCP.

Playing permanently in the Martin-Lipscomb Performing Arts Center, you can obtain information about the season’s offerings by calling 828-526-8084 or visiting their website at


On a new 6 acre campus located at 323 Franklin Road in Highlands, The Bascom attracts artists from across the southeast. The Bascom art center provides audiences of all ages with stimulating, diverse exhibitions, studio art instruction and other cultural experiences. The new facility offers conference rooms, additional galleries, a shop, and storage for the permanent collections and exhibits. Three studios cater to artists: two in the main building for children’s and two-dimensional art in addition to the Crane barn’s 3-D studio.

You may contact them to receive a catalog at 828-526-4949 or visit their website at


When it comes to art, Highlands and Cashiers really know how to show off. Various galleries and art organizations give residents and visitors a taste of what local artists have to offer.

The shows includes the Art League’s summer and fall colors events. In addition, at these shows, the Art League strives to provide the youngest visitors with popular children’s art tables.

Local galleries make good use of the Village Square, located on Fifth Street between Pine and Oak streets for shows on holiday weekends throughout the summer. Summit One Gallery has a full schedule of exhibits and openings for various mediums through the season.


The Center for Life Enrichment offers something for everyone from June through September. Art, Music, Highlands History, Current Events, Computer Classes, Literature, Cooking, Gardening, Photography, and many more topics will keep you intellectually challenged.

The mission of CLE is “To enrich the lives of adults who have a mutual interest in intellectual stimulation and cultural enhancement.” The CLE brochure is available to members for the upcoming season in early April. To become a member of the Center and receive a brochure in the mail, please call 828-526-8811. The CLE website also gives a course curricular at