A Classic Experience

The German poet Johann Wolfgang von Goethe once wrote “One ought every day at least to hear a little song, read a good poem, see a fine picture, and, if it were possible, to speak a few reasonable words.” That perfectly sums up the value residents of Carmel place on fine arts.

Residents are proud of the plans for a designated arts and design district, concentrated in the Old Town section along Main Street and Range Line Road. During the next few years, this area will support a mix of upscale boutiques and restaurants, high-end antique and furniture stores, designers and fine-art galleries.

City planners intend for the Arts and Design District to also be the home for community gatherings and festivals celebrating the arts – and with an acoustically perfect performing arts center (surrounded by an outdoor amphitheater, an ice-skating rink and a hotel) in the blueprint stage, there is good reason to be excited by this news.

The Carmel Arts Council, a volunteer organization whose mission to increase awareness and encourage interest in the performing and visual arts, has helped fan public interest and generate excitement in the arts.

It will be a crowning touch to a city that already boasts its own symphony, community theater and museums like the World’s Smallest Children’s Art Gallery (which is listed in the Guinness Book of Records). Summer just wouldn’t be the same without the annual concert series at the gazebo, where the line-up includes everything from a tribute to the Beatles to cool jazz and barbershop harmonies.

And for those who want to enjoy a good book, the award-winning Carmel Clay Public Library offers thousands of titles within its 116,000-square feet — and hosts clubs that discuss selected works. Even the two-story building’s design is impressive. Inside those walls, research assistants can help you navigate through the shelving space for 300,000 books, 46,000 audiovisual items, 665 periodicals and 131 public computer work stations.

Make plans for the annual July Carmelfest, a three-day patriotic event so special that it’s kicked off with a ball at the Ritz Charles. There’s something for everyone during the fest at Carmel Civic Square, whether you participate in the official T-shirt design contest, ride a float in the parade, or simply kick back and watch the star-spangled fireworks show and listen to the beautiful music of the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.

Every September, Carmel Civic Square hosts the International Arts Festival to honor the performing, visual, discovery and culinary arts. Entertainment ranges from classical to pop music to Japanese folk dancing and martial arts workshops. There are plenty of hands-on learning opportunities available, so it’s an opportunity to give ballet a whirl or grab a pair of scissors and learn to cut a silhouette.

Artists from around the United States participate in the juried art show during this weekend celebration as well.


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