Local Arts

The coming season: Yes, ‘Hamilton’ casts a long shadow, but ... look around (and look for more here)

More from the series

Inside Charlotte’s ’18-19 arts season

Take a look at the upcoming arts season, through these stories and extensive calendar listings.

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If you got up at 5 a.m. Aug. 1 and logged into the virtual waiting room for “Hamilton” tickets (even if you did not find yourself 107,341st in line, as some of us did) – you know:

Charlotte is desperate to see this show.

With good reason, of course. The musical, arriving at the Blumenthal Oct. 10, is the biggest theater event to hit this city, and it’s won everything but a Super Bowl ring for poised and passionate creator/star Lin-Manuel Miranda. As it follows orphaned, penniless immigrant Alexander Hamilton battling his way through a Revolution, partisan politicking, a sex scandal and love in the face of tragedy, it asks keenly contemporary questions:

Who tells our stories? What does it take to prove our worth to our neighbors – and should we have to? How much control do any of us have? (And should we talk less? Smile more? Or neither of those?)

If you care about artists asking those questions, whether you scored “Hamilton” tickets or not, here’s good news: Lots of other art experiences in Charlotte this season will offer stabs at answers.

There will be plenty of rooms where it happens.

Find stories about many of them, plus videos and extensive listings, on the Observer’s Local Arts web page. And expect more through this season – more features, videos, profiles short and long, reviews, plus an invitation to you: Tell us about people in the arts we don’t know about and/or ask us what you’d like to know. Nervous about etiquette at a gallery opening? Curious about how museums decide to frame artwork? Wondering how a composer incorporates news into a piece? We’ll look for answers.

We’ve worked to make our arts stories easier to find, too, in a slew of ways:

Easiest way? Sign up for the free weekly e-newsletter “Inside Charlotte Arts” and get links delivered to your inbox.

Join the new Facebook Group called “Inside Charlotte Arts.” We’ll post stories and hope to hear from you there, and welcome you to post as well, adding questions, answers and comments (artfully civil, of course).

Bookmark the Local Arts page (you can also find it in the dropdown menu at the top left of our mobile home page, and across the top of the desktop home page). You can also search the Observer using author’s names or

You can also search the Observer website using author names to surface older stories. There, you’ll continue to find the stalwart Lawrence Toppman, who’s written about the arts for nearly four decades here, and newer additions Lia Newman and Grace Cote, who have helped point readers toward top visual arts experiences in town for the last three years. You’ll also see some newer names to our arts coverage, such as Emiene Wright and Vanessa Infanzon, and the occasional former Observer writer reconnecting (hey, Mark Washburn).

And figure out how to get to all the places you’ll go – and where you can park when you get there – with our interactive map.

Reach out to us online via comments on stories on the website, on the Facebook page, or share ideas or comments at arts@charlotteobserver.com. Prefer mail? Send to Arts, Helen Schwab, Charlotte Observer, 500 S. Caldwell St., Charlotte NC 28202.