Mayor of Durham
Pick: Bull Durham Blues Festival (Sept. 7, St. Josephs Hayti Heritage Center, Durham. $25; hayti.org/music).
Because: The annual festival is an event that displays Durhams character, diversity and heritage. It has great traditional blues artists, such as Big Daddy Wilson and Jimmy Haggard this year, along with great food and crafts.
Director, Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University
Pick: N. C. Symphony concert with pianist Joyce Jang playing works by Franck and De Falla (Oct. 4-5, Meymandi Concert Hall, Raleigh. $18-$65; ncsymphony.org).
Because: I am excited to hear this gifted 26-year-old Korean pianist. Conductor Grant Llewellyns interpretive sensitivity, combined with her high-voltage stage presence, should create an unforgettable experience.
Artistic director of Theatre Raleigh and professional actress
Pick: Balanchines Rubies (Oct. 10-27; Carolina Ballet at Fletcher Opera Theater, Raleigh. $25-$68; carolinaballet.com).
Because: Ever since I performed with the company in December Songs, Im obsessed with seeing everything they do. The classic ballet form is so inspiring to me as a performer.
Director of Carolina Performing Arts series at UNC-Chapel Hill
Pick: Porsche by Design: Seducing Speed (Oct. 12-Jan. 20, N. C. Museum of Art, Raleigh. $12-$18; ncartmuseum.org).
Because: I applaud the museums decision to host its first major design exhibition. These automobiles are among the most iconic ever and have had lasting impact on the auto industry, politics, fashion, movies, business and culture.
General director of N.C. Opera
Pick: Kindertransport (Nov. 14-24; co-production by Burning Coal Theatre and Big Wig Productions, Raleigh. $10; burningcoal.org).
Because: I am eager to see this dramatization of the emotionally wrenching history of children sent to safety while their parents were left behind to face the Holocaust.
Mayor of Cary
Pick: A Christmas Story (Dec. 5-9, Cary Players, Cary Arts Center. $16-$18; caryplayers.org).
Because: Its always a blast to join Ralphie, his family and friends (plus a few Bumpus hounds) as they celebrate in their own unique ways. Just dont shoot your eye out!