The Explorations in the Arts series is a unique mix of performances created with a recipe of live performance, stirred together with a pinch of Q&A and a dash of audience participation. We strive to bring artists to Craven County from throughout North Carolina that represent the very best in performance.

Spanish dancers, male in all black and female with elaborate red ruffled dress and red flower piece in hair

Flamenco Vivo - Performance

Music and Dance
Saturday, October 28, 2023

2:30 p.m. - Orringer Auditorium
Tickets: Adults $25/Students $15
Video preview

The Art of Flamenco - Music and Dance

Founded in 1983 by Carlota Santana, Flamenco Vivo is one of America’s premier flamenco companies with home bases in New York City and Durham, NC. The company serves more than 40,000 people nationwide each year through far-reaching programs that entertain, educate, and empower. Their mission is to promote flamenco as a living art form and a vital part of Hispanic heritage, produce and perform high-quality dance works, provide arts education programs, and nurture the next generations of Spanish dance artists and educators. The universal spirit of Flamenco, with diverse influences from Arab, Jewish, Roma, Spanish, African, and Latin American cultures, gives this art form a unique power to build bridges between people.

Flamenco Vivo dancers and musicians will visit New Bern for a three-day residency that will include school performances, a lecture/demonstration event, and culminate with our Explorations in the Arts performance. We are grateful to our partner Atlantic Dance Theatre for taking the lead on organizing the school performances and assisting with all events.


Spanish actors on stage

The Art of Flamenco - History, Demonstration, Artists Reception

Music and Dance
Friday, October 27, 2023

6-8 p.m. - The Harrison Center, 311 Middle Street, New Bern
Event is free - Please RSVP
Video preview


Country singer Rhonda Vincent poses holding a mandolin on a fuchsia couch in front of patterned fuchsia wallpaper

Rhonda Vincent and the Rage

Sunday, February 11, 2024

3 p.m. - Grover C. Fields Performing Arts Center
Tickets: Adults $45/Students $30
Video preview

Grammy Award winner, Grand Ole Opry Member, and the "Queen of Bluegrass"

It was her pivotal bluegrass album Back Home Again that transformed Rhonda Vincent into the All American Bluegrass Girl, and crowned her the New Queen of Bluegrass by The Wall Street Journal in 2000.

Vincent is one of the most recognized female artists in Bluegrass today as winner of the 2017 Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album, an Entertainer of the Year Award in 2001, Song of the Year in 2004, and an unprecedented seven consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (IMBA) 2000 and 2006. She received an eighth win of IBMA Female Vocalist of the Year in 2015. Rhonda was officially inducted as a member of the Grand Ole Opry on February 6, 2021.

She is a formidable musician (mandolin, fiddle, guitar, and most anything else with strings) and a remarkable lead singer, able to deliver both overpowering up-tempo numbers and soulful introspective ballads. Her powerful vocal style transcends the boundaries of bluegrass music, as evidenced in her collaboration with Dolly Parton on the Elton John/Bernie Taupin Tribute Project Restoration in 2018.

The Lifetime Learning Center is very pleased to welcome Rhonda Vincent and the Rage to the stage on Sunday, February 11, for a matinée performance.


Four musicians of bluegrass group Molasses Creek

Molasses Creek

Concert - Folk/Americana
Friday, March 15, 2024

7:30 p.m. - Orringer Auditorium
Tickets: Adults $25/Students $15
Video preview

Our Favorite Ocracoke Musicians Return to New Bern!

For 30 years, Molasses Creek's high-energy performances and heartfelt songwriting has brought the love of their coastal home of Ocracoke Island to the stage. The band's elegant harmonies and arrangements, stellar songwriting, blazing instrumentals, and quirky sense of humor have won loyal followers throughout the US, around the world, and most especially in Eastern NC.

Molasses Creek has recorded 15 albums, reaching the #4 and #5 spots on the National Folk Radio DJ Charts. Their latest releases, Catch the Wind, Waterbound, and People Get Ready have received acclaim from audiences across the country.

As to defining their style, nobody puts Molasses Creek in a box. However it's described, their style has manifested in a 30-year run of unpredictable and delightful musical choices. Each member contributes ideas and original music. They move between whimsical and sincere in a way that makes you believe that balancing both might be the key to life. The four members of Molasses Creek are: Gary Mitchell - Guitar/Vocals, Fiddler Dave Tweedie - Fiddle/Vocals, Kim France - Bass/Guitar/Vocals, Gerald Hampton - Mandolin/Bass/Guitar.

Contact Information

Lifetime Learning Center
Brock Administration Building
New Bern Campus

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