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The Ava Gardner Museum is home to an incredible collection including original scripts, photos, costumes, and personal effects of screen legend Ava Gardner—a true Hollywood “Cinderella” story.

Experience her rise from a local country girl to one of Hollywood’s film goddesses. Born near Smithfield, Ava’s friends and co-stars included Mickey Rooney, Clark Gable, Frank Sinatra, and Gregory Peck. Her grave site is located in nearby Sunset Memorial Gardens, approximately two miles from the museum. Merchandise is available for purchase.

Wheelchair accessible, public restrooms. Free parking along street and rear lots. Admission: $10 adults; $9 seniors, military, groups of 15 or more, teens; $6 children ages 3-12 are free.

Hours: Monday- Saturday 9am- 5pm, Sunday 2pm- 5pm

325 E. Market St.
Smithfield, NC 27577



The campus where Frank Creech spent some two decades teaching painting, drawing, sculpture and photography is now home to an art gallery in his memory. In December 2010, the Frank Creech Art Gallery debuted in the Arts Building at Johnston Community College in Smithfield. The opening marked the culmination of a community effort to recognize the late artist's contributions to arts programs at the college, in Johnston County and beyond.

The 1,500-square-foot gallery was a collaborative project among the JCC Foundation, the Johnston County Arts Council and faculty in the college's Department of Fine Arts and Graphic Design.


The gallery contains state-of-the-art exhibition space and a 750-foot reception area that will be used for the public sale of art. The gallery interior is equipped with museum-quality lighting, climate-control, hanging and security systems. Its gray, hand-finished concrete floors, contemporary white walls and distinct crown molding are designed to balance a modern feel with traditional Southern architecture.

245 College Rd.
PO Box 2350
Smithfield, NC 27577


Neuse Little Theatre has been a vital part of the cultural heritage in Smithfield since 1974, bringing such shows as Wizard of Oz, Grease, and Cinderella to Smithfield. This community theatre produces five plays each year - check their website for upcoming show dates and times.

209 S. Front St.
PO Box 1832
Smithfield, NC 27577



Throughout the year, enjoy the Performing Arts Concert series, Johnston County Chorale and the CMS - 'Where Stars Get Their Start.'

Paul A. Johnston Auditorium presents a rich array of culturally diverse performing arts programming for Johnston County and the eastern central North Carolina corridor in order to educate, enlighten, enrich and entertain citizens and patrons of all ages.

The Paul A. Johnston Auditorium boasts an intimate 1,000-seat facility with state-of-the-art sound and lighting. The auditorium is conveniently located off Interstate 95 on the main campus of Johnston Community College in Smithfield. Throughout the year, patrons enjoy the Performing Arts Concert Series and the long running CMS - 'Where Stars Get Their Start'. Available for meetings and private events, the auditorium offers ample, free on-site parking. Call for tickets or rental information.

245 College Rd.
Smithfield, NC 27577



Throughout the Town of Smithfield, visitors will find public art installations to enjoy. Some examples include the work of the late Frank Creech, like the The Reader, located at the corner of Market and Second Streets.

Frank Creech

A graduate of Duke and Florida State universities, Creech was known for distinct sculptures and paintings that reflected his passion for visual expression. Creech taught and later led the art department at Johnston Community College. His artwork is in private and public collections and in museums throughout the United States. His cast bronze and aluminum sculptures are displayed on the campuses of Duke, Yale, Delaware, Penn State and Francis Marion universities. Other public commissioned works include "The Story Teller" at the Gaston County Public Library and "The Reader" at the Public Library of Johnston County and Smithfield. Creech's "The Rescue" is at the entrance of the Paul A. Johnston Auditorium on the JCC campus.



235-A East Market Street
Smithfield, North Carolina 27577

tel 919.989.8687  |  fax 919.989.6295
toll free 1.800.441.7829


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