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Creating a Vibrant Community Through the Arts
Celebrating Black Artists of Durham
In honor of Black History Month, Durham Arts Council is delighted to highlight the work of Black artists and arts organizations of Durham. DAC is proud to work with these artists and organizations through its grant programs, as teaching artists, and through creative partnerships.
Willa Brigham, a DAC CAPS artist and camp instructor, is an avid writer of short stories, poetry and songs. She is the host and TV personality of the Emmy winning television show, “Smart Start Kids” produced by WRAL-TV and a nationally recognized inspirational speaker.
“My love of the arts has allowed me to grow as a person, artist, teacher and parent. I am a wide-open vessel of appreciation and acceptance, especially of the un-ordinary. The arts allow you to tap into unlimited possibilities. The Durham Arts Council has been instrumental over more than two decades in opening multiple doors of opportunity for my artistic growth as a multifaceted artist. Art is a communication tool which speaks in every language without saying a word.
“As a storyteller, the only boundaries to creativity and imagination are those that you impose on yourself. The hundreds of students I have taught at the Durham Arts Council have provided me so much joy and inspiration, that has profoundly impacted my growth as an artist. As a songwriter, my 6 CDs have been heard in homes, schools and highways across the country, as well as downloaded around the world on CdBaby. As a fabric artist, my creations have been viewed in multiple art galleries including the DAC. My love affair with the arts is not a beginning and end but a lifelong journey.”
Professional storyteller Donna Washington is an award-winning spoken word recording artist, award-winning published author recognized by the American Library Association, and CAPS Artist with the Durham Arts Council whose performances feature multicultural folklore, personal narratives, and literary stories. In addition to performing at thousands of venues, schools, and festivals across the world, Donna has a passion for uplifting her fellow artists and aspiring storytellers. HerblogLanguage, Literacy and Storytelling provides guidance for storytellers, marketing as an artist, developing literacy skills in young learners, and beyond.
Donna’s dedication to the storytelling community grew tremendously at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. It became clear in spring of 2020 that the livelihood of performing artists was threatened as live performances went dark across the world. Donna and storyteller Sheila Arnold leapt into action. In a few months of their first meeting,Artists Standing Strong Together (ASST)was born. ASST provides consistent paid work for storytellers, artist relief funds, public storytelling events and workshops, and operates a storytelling mentorship camp for youth. ASST continues to elevate the art of storytelling and even drew the attention of the Royal Entomological Society after a presenting a performance about bugs. “It’s a way to open up the art of storytelling to those who are unaware of it,” said Donna. Durham Arts Council supports ASST through its Season Grant Program.
Click hereto learn more about Donna and her work as she continues her legacy of excellence in storytelling and check out herbooks for young readers, including her newest book Boo Stew!
DAC School News
Registration for Spring Classes Begins on February 18!
CAPS Program Provides New Mural at Sandy Ridge Elementary School
CAPS Artists are busy at work this year partnering with students, teachers, and community members to provide interactive arts experiences for all ages. Thank you to school partners like Sandy Ridge Elementary School for welcoming CAPS Artist Delaney Susi to create a new mural in their school! If your school or community center is interested in booking a CAPS program, contact Aubrey Wellfare at email@example.com.
Arts News + Exhibits
SAVE THE DATE FOR BIG NIGHT IN FOR THE ARTS 2022, Presented by WRAL and Four Local Arts Organizations on March 10 FEATURING BEN FOLDS, NNENNA FREELON, HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER, MARK HEWITT, JAKI SHELTON GREEN AND JABU GRAYBEAL
In March 2021, 35,000 viewers tuned in to WRAL to celebrate the arts. With the help of 600 corporate sponsors and individual donors, our first Big Night In for the Arts raised more than $350,000 to help Triangle artists and arts organizations weather the pandemic.
"WRAL is proud to once again partner with the four area arts councils to show our support for the arts and shine a light on the important role they play in our communities,” said Joel Davis, Vice President and General Manager of WRAL-TV & FOX 50.
The arts have suffered disproportionately from the destructive impact of the pandemic. Although the arts community is slowly beginning to rebuild after a year and a half of closures and cancellations, there is still a great need to help the artists and arts organizations that are essential to the recovery of this region. Funds raised from this event will make the arts possible in each unique county and will go toward arts programming and artists/arts organizations.
“The arts are the heart of our community and bond us in our shared human experience. The arts speak a language that bridges differences and unites us, especially in these challenging times. We are asking the community to strengthen financial support so that local arts and culture not only survive but thrive in the future,” said Durham Arts Council Executive Director, Sherry DeVries.
Arts supporters can join the effort prior to the event as donors or as sponsors or donate live during the event. Audiences and arts enthusiasts who have enjoyed the arts across the Triangle for years can make a gift to benefit the four counties collectively or designate which specific county they would like to support.
Tune in to WRAL on March 10, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. and show your support of the arts! Find more information here.
About Big Night In for the Arts: Born out of a love and respect for the arts, Big Night In for the Arts is a regional fundraising event to help local artists and arts/cultural organizations continue their path to recovery and reentry after the pandemic has lifted. Arts councils from Chatham, Durham, Orange, and Wake Counties have joined together in support of a mutual cause. In partnership with WRAL-TV, the Chatham Arts Council, the Durham Arts Council, the Orange County Arts Commission, and the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County are working together to maximize efforts to rally robust financial support for artists and arts/cultural organizations on March 10. For more information, please visit the website.
New show alert! Pattern Lapping Pattern, featuring work from painter Debra Wuliger’s Harmonic Vibration Series, will be on view through February 28, 2022 in our Allenton Gallery. The exhibit explores the open-ended emotional resonance of interlocking pattern and color. These patterns tap into a deep desire we have as humans for order and the joy that order and vibrant color communicates. Pattern Lapping Pattern is a continuation of Debra Wuliger’s exhibit of the same name currently on view at the Durham Convention Center. Visitors are welcome to view that exhibit in the Durham Convention Center’s Pre-Function Corridor, 301 W Morgan St, through November 5, 2022.
See Pattern Lapping Pattern at the DAC during our open gallery hours 11 am – 5 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. No appointment sign up is required. All are also welcome to the Third Friday reception for the show on Friday, February 18, 6-8pm. The artist will be in attendance demonstrating her painting process. Guests will be screened before entering the DAC building and masks are required.
Members’ Showcase Exhibition at the Durham Arts Guild
Durham Art Guild’s 2022 Members’ Showcase Exhibition at SunTrust Gallery inside the Durham Arts Council building is on view January 20 - March 4, 2022. This annual exhibition is a submission-free and non-juried opportunity to showcase the work of our talented and valued member artists. This year’s exhibition features 100 artworks by 100 local/regional member artists working in a variety of mediums and styles.
UPDATED Timeline for DAC Season and Durham Arts Catalyst Grants
The timeline for the DAC Season and Durham Arts Catalyst Grants has been revised and the date for opening the applications will be later in the spring. The North Carolina Arts Council has successfully identified additional funding for grants to North Carolina arts nonprofits, however more time will be needed to clarify the requirements and criteria for funding. Durham Arts Council partners with the NC Arts Council to regrant these funds to support the arts sector in Durham.
DAC will offer an information session to explain the revisions in the application once the details are confirmed and applicants will get sufficient time to prepare for any changes in the application.
We thank the NC Arts Council for their continued work to find resources for the North Carolina arts sector.
Check out these upcoming events by DAC grant recipients!
Folktales, Fairytales And Social Justice, Feb. 19, 2 PM. Online Free
Mallarme Chamber Players
A Musical Affair, Sunday, Feb. 13, 3-4:40, Motorco, Ticketed
Bach and Forward, Friday, Feb. 25, 7:30-9, PSI Theatre, Durham Arts Council. Ticketed
Museum of Durham History:
Current exhibit: More Than Just A Game: The NCCU vs. NC A&T Football Rivalry
Curators Talkfor current exhibit – Dr. Charles D. Johnson, NCCU and Dr. Arwin Smallwood, NC A&T– February 17, 7 pm. Hayti Heritage Center. FREE
Durham Arts Council/Durham Art Guild: Exhibit Opening- Durham Art Guild Members Showcase, NCCU Visual Arts Student Exhibition, Pattern Lapping Pattern by Debra Wuliger, Friday, February 18, 6-8, Durham Arts Council building; FREE
Hayti Heritage Center:
The Jambalaya Soul Poetry Slam Team under the leadership of educator, community activist and author Dasan Ahanu performs every third Saturday each month at Hayti.
We currently have (3) 10’ x 20’ spaces available in our Main Studio with metal and wood artists nearby; a perfect space for anyone working in mediums not affected by dust and dirt. And low rent! Only $233/month.
If you’re interested in learning more, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a tour and for application information.
DAC is looking for teaching artists for our school break and summer camps to work with campers ages 5-17!
The Durham Arts Council is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit and local arts agency dedicated to supporting the arts in Durham and the entire Triangle Region in North Carolina and has served the community since 1954. Each year DAC serves over 400,000 visitors and program participants, over 2,000 artists, and more than 300 arts and cultural organizations through classes, artist residencies, exhibits, festivals, grants programs, technical support, creative economy initiatives, arts advocacy, and information services.
Durham Arts Council, Inc. is a catalyst in the cultural development of Durham - it leads, inspires, and promotes excellence in and access to the creation, experience, and active support of the arts for all the people of our community. For more information call 919.560.ARTS(2787) or visit our website at www.durhamarts.org.
You Shop. They Give.
Want to help make a difference while you shop in the Amazon app, at no extra cost to you? Simply follow the instructions below to select "Durham Arts Council Inc" as your charity and activate AmazonSmile in the app. They'll donate a portion of your eligible mobile app purchases to us.
How it works: 1. Open the Amazon app on your phone 2. Select the main menu (=) & tap on "AmazonSmile" within Programs & Features 3. Select "Durham Arts Council Inc" as your charity 4. Follow the on-screen instructions to activate AmazonSmile in the mobile app
Stay up-to-date with the latest opening information and resources related to COVID-19.
The Arts are involved COVID-19 research. Read more HERE.
COVID testing now available at DPAC located at 123 Vivian St. Durham, NC 27701. Go to curative.com to book an appointment.
Free Rapid COVID-19 Home Test Kits
Beginning Wednesday January 19th, you can order FREE rapid COVID-19 home test kits. A total of four test kits can be ordered per household. Go towww.covidtests.govor click the button below.