Cameron Village Underground Photography Exhibit
The City of Raleigh Museum will officially open a new exhibit that highlights the golden days of Raleigh’s celebrated nightlife hotspot beneath Cameron Village. Titled “The Underground,” the exhibit will look at the clubs that were known as Raleigh Underground or the “Village Subway” due to the New York City subway-like entrance. The specially curated Underground exhibit is based on the documentary photographs of local photographer Chris Seward, who, in the late 1970s and early 1980s, took thousands of images of the music scene happening in these clubs, including famed jazz venue Frog and Nightgown. More than 200 photographs will be featured, along with show flyers, artifacts and videos from the heyday of Raleigh’s alternative music scene.
Back in the ’70s and ’80s, Raleigh Underground’s burgeoning club scene became a key stop for up-and-comers including REM, Barry Manilow, Bette Midler, The Captain & Tennille, Herbie Hancock and Chuck Mangione, as well as for top jazz greats. Since being shuttered in 1984, the space has remained vacant but largely intact underneath the present-day Fresh Market grocery and Wake County’s Cameron Village Regional Library within the Cameron Village shopping center. Many Raleigh newcomers today are not aware of the Underground’s existence or its significant cultural contribution to our region.