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Little Lights Everywhere ✨

by newsletter writer Jenna Duxbury

Hello, Carolina Muse community! My name is Jenna Duxbury, and I’m so pleased to be writing to you for the first time as the newsletter writer for Carolina Muse. As an artist with experience in a wide range of mediums, including music, theatre, creative writing, and visual art, I love trying new things and building a sense of community with other creatives. I’m originally from Michigan and moved to North Carolina with my husband in 2020. Though I’m a relatively recent transplant, I have fallen in love with the vibrant local arts scene and the ocean, the mountains, and the forests that bring so much natural beauty to this region. Lately, I primarily find artistic expression through music: I am the lead singer & keyboardist of an alt rock cover band based out of the Raleigh-Durham area called Skeleton Crew. I also sing in a community choir called Voices of Chapel Hill.

Living in this digital age, it’s easier than ever to share information and form connections with people all over the world. But, modern technology can also make us feel isolated. Maybe you find it easier to express yourself in online spaces rather than in physical ones. Or, perhaps you have a strong sense of local community and believe that online conversations feel more hollow and less “real.” Regardless of the medium you use to do so, connecting with others can lead to brilliant new possibilities for both your artistic life and your personal sense of belonging.


The Northern Lights touched down in the Carolinas on May 10th and 11th due to a large solar storm that brought the visibility of the lights further south than usual. Eager to catch a glimpse of those legendary washes of color, I stood near an open field with a group of strangers at one of Chapel Hill’s best stargazing locations (Maple Hill Creamery, for those in the area!).


But, when I looked up at the night sky with my naked eye, all I could see were eerily shifting shadows. That’s when someone next to me shared a piece of wisdom: “If you look at them through your phone camera in low-light mode, you can see the colors better.” I tried it… and it worked! I never would have thought to use my phone, but trying a tip from someone I had just met allowed me to engage in a richer experience. Suddenly, we were attending nature’s rock concert: several people pointed their tiny glowing rectangles upward to gaze in delight in those gorgeous hues of purple, pink, and green that we couldn’t see on our own.

Some questions to guide your creative process this month:

  • What does ‘community’ mean to you?

  • Are you part of both online artistic communities and in-person ones? How have these communities supported your creative work?

  • In what ways does and can technology enhance your artistic expression?

If you’re looking for a sign to form some new connections in the arts community this summer, this is your green light in the sky. Keep your eyes open to new possibilities because there are little lights everywhere. The person standing next to you in the proverbial field may be able to illuminate something magical ✨

Check out the latest issue!

Carolina Muse Volume IV, Issue II is available now! Go to our homepage to view this latest edition, which is full of paintings, photography, poetry, short stories, music, dance, and mixed-media submissions. We are proud to highlight these talented creators and their beautiful work in this edition. This issue shines bright with creative expression, and we hope it leads you to experience flashes of inspiration in your own creative work.

Order high-quality print copies of IV.II! These physical copies make for excellent additions to your personal library. Take them to the beach. Read them in a field of wildflowers. Buy a copy to share with patrons of your favorite local coffee shop. It’s a great way to support our work and spread the Carolina Muse love!

Want to be featured in our magazine? Submit your work to our next issue for the chance to get published! Our current submission period is open now through Thursday, August 15th, 2024.

Celebrating Pride Month

Carolina Muse is proud to celebrate our LGBTQIA+ creators & artists and provide a space for expression and exploration of topics of interest for the queer community. Here are two brilliant artists featured in the most recent issue of the magazine who identify as members of the queer community:

Sebastian Ellios (poetry)

Read Sebastian’s poem published in IV.II, “until August comes again”

In this featured interview, Sebastian shares insight about building community, embracing our roles in the natural ecosystem, and the Black women writers who have shaped his personal views and artistry.

Levi J. Mericle (music)

Listen to Levi’s song published in IV.II, “Whiskey Deep”

In this featured interview, Levi speaks candidly about his journey as a queer songwriter in the country music world and about the power of artistic expression to help us get through difficult times.

Carolina Muse also wishes to recognize our editorial team members who identify as part of the queer community: Rush Johnston (dance editor), Amanda Conover (poetry editor), and Jenna Duxbury (newsletter writer, yours truly!). The world is a better place when we create space for queer voices and art to be made, shared, and celebrated.

Arts Jam Recap


Speaking of communities that gather both online & IRL, Carolina Muse hosted our second annual Arts Jam event on Saturday, May 25th! Thank you so much to the artists & creators who came out to support us and participate in this rich celebration of arts in the Carolinas.

Support the magazine by sporting some fashionable Carolina Muse merch! We still have T-shirts available from Arts Jam in sizes small, medium, large, XL, and XXL. Order yours here.

Click here to view our highlight reel!

Arts Events in June

Do you know of a fantastic arts event happening in the Carolinas in June? Tag us on social media and let us know so we can help spread the word!

As always, we appreciate your feedback and are receptive to your thoughts & ideas. Please email us or DM us on social media to share.

  • View the online version of our most recent issue.

  • Secure your Arts Jam tickets for May 25th!

  • Purchase a print copy of our latest issue or an Arts Jam t-shirt! This is how you can best support our magazine at this time🤗

  • Apply for one of our open positions (we're in search of an ads manager).

Welcome to Our Monthly Musings

Thank you for subscribing! Your support means the world, and we hope you'll stick around for some monthly musings from our team.


Here's the lowdown: We have creative arts advice for all artistic mediums, local Carolina arts events, and creative inspiration from our talented team. See you next month!


Jenna Duxbury


Madison Foster

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