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A Lesson on Culture in the Triangle Area

With all the talk of budget cuts that have been flying around, saving money has become even more of a priority for college students. A lot of times the less money we have means the less chance we have of going out and having fun with friends.

Not anymore. Stop watching reruns of “Grey’s Anatomy” on a Friday night or complaining to your friends that you are too broke to do anything, and go out and drink up some Triangle culture.

There are plenty of ways to get a dose of culture here in the Research Triangle that are inexpensive or even better, free.

One way to change up your typical weekend is to go to an art gallery.
 

On the first Friday of every month Raleigh hosts First Friday, which is a collection of galleries in Downtown Raleigh that open themselves up to the public. Oftentimes they serve free appetizers, wine and beer to visitors. Raleigh has also gotten restaurants and other stores involved, having them offer discounts on anything from a free appetizer to discounts at salons. From past experience, I have discovered that planning out the night is best. The galleries are spread throughout Raleigh, and in 30-degree weather, nobody wants to be traipsing around aimlessly. First Night’s website is the best way to plan ahead. It not only lists the galleries that participate in the event, but also shows the store and restaurant deals for the night. So get out and share a night on the town with yours friends or significant other. http://www.godowntownraleigh.com/firstfriday/index.htm.
 
If you are looking for something a little closer to UNC-CH, Chapel Hill and Carrboro have plenty of galleries to go to. A simple Google search can bring up locations, times and types of galleries in the area, and the best part is that they are free!
 
Opening receptions are fun times to go to galleries because they have free food and sometimes music to add to the night.
 

The art show “Local Histories: The Ground We Walk On” just opened down on Franklin Street. Many students from UNC-CH, both past and present are showcasing their work there. The opening reception is Friday, February 11, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. At this show you will not only get out and have fun, but you also will support members of the UNC-CH family.
 
If art is not really your thing then try attending some of the concerts and performances that are coming to the area this year.
 
Check out the performances at Memorial Hall. Just in the month of February there are seven alone. One performance I have heard great things about is Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. This is not your typical dance performance. These dancers fuse modern dance with African American cultural dance to create something truly unique. From multiple people I have talked to about this, it is going to be a performance you do not want to miss. If you cannot make it to this show, then search Memorial Hall’s website. Whatever you go to will be amazing; and with tickets at only 10 dollars, you can’t afford not to go.
 

Chapel Hill and Carrboro have great venues for concerts. Both the Local 506 and Cat’s Cradle bring in performers from all over the world from a variety of different genres. So check out their websites and see if any of your favorite bands are headed this way.
 
The Triangle area has loads of culture, and oftentimes it is cheap or even free! All you have to do is get out there and look. Ask around. Chances are other students know of more places that you can go to. So kiss McDreamy goodnight and go out and have a (cheap) culture-rich night on the town.
 

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