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DAC Partner + Grantee News
North Carolina Launches Music Friendly Communities Pilot Program
Durham Selected as One of Three Pilot Communities – Durham Arts Council and Sonic Pie Productions Partner to Lead Durham Project
Durham, NC – The Durham Arts Council and Sonic Pie Productions are excited to launch the “Music Friendly Communities” program in Durham as one of three North Carolina cities that have been chosen by the N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources to participate during the pilot program’s first year — Durham, Shelby and Elizabeth City. The N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources is partnering with Hometown Strong and consultancy firm Sound Diplomacy to develop the North Carolina Music Friendly Communities program. In Durham, the project will be led by Durham Arts Council and partner Tess Mangum of Sonic Pie Productions who will together organize and lead the process with a local steering committee of music industry professionals and will coordinate with the Governor’s “Hometown Strong” office, Sound Diplomacy, and the NC Department of Natural and Cultural Resources.
The Music Friendly Communities program is working with these three pilot cities to develop strategies that will help strengthen their music-based economies. In each of the cities, local partners will establish a committee to steer the program work, inventory local assets such as live music venues and music education programs, engage stakeholders, review relevant policies, and identify key recommendations for the most effective and impactful ways to support the local music economy. Sound Diplomacy, an international music policy consultancy and global expert in developing long-term and sustainable music strategies for cities, will help guide each community’s work.
The goal is for each city to be designated a North Carolina Music Friendly Community, certifying their commitment to support and develop the local music industry to boost job creation, tourism, and economic growth. They will join a global community of cities that work to promote and celebrate the music industry as part of their unique local culture and economy.
“Music is universal in North Carolina, regardless of where you live in the state,” said Mary Penny Kelley, director of North Carolina Hometown Strong. “A vibrant music industry can support job creation, attract culturally diverse talent, and enhance tourism across the state. The Music Friendly Communities Program aims to help North Carolina communities leverage their music-related assets for continued economic expansion.” (See the state press release here)
“Durham’s talented music community and amazing musical heritage are a driving force in making Durham a vibrant and exciting community,” said Durham Arts Council Executive Director Sherry DeVries. “Durham has numerous Grammy-winning and nominated musical artists, and the many music venues, musicians, songwriters, producers, promoters, educators, events, labels and studios create a diverse, top-caliber music industry in our town that also creates significant economic impact.”
"As a seventh-generation North Carolinian, musician's daughter and long-time Durham resident, I am very excited to help lead Durham in the pilot year of the Music Friendly Communities program, because this work will boost long-term, sustainable music tourism, creativity, collaboration and commerce,” said Tess Mangum, CEO, Sonic Pie Productions.
The “Music Friendly Communities” pilot program builds on the work of DNCR’s Come Hear NC program, established in 2019 to celebrate, support, and help sustain North Carolinians’ groundbreaking contributions to American music. Over 40,000 North Carolinians currently work in the music industry, and countless more enjoy the art that comes from that work.
About Hometown Strong
About Sound Diplomacy
About the North Carolina Department of Natural and Cultural Resources
About the Durham Arts Council
About Sonic Pie Productions
2022-2023 Artist Support Grant Recipients
Congratulations 2022-2023 Grantees!
Jennifer Cantwell: Amann, silver gelatin print
Ippis Halme: A Pond (detail)
Anja-Pirkko Halme, Visual Art
- Rahi Hasan, Film
- Jalen Jackson, Visual Art
- Christy King, Visual Art
- Allison Kirkland, Literature
Ingrid Nora Knight, Music
- Courtney Liu, Dance
- Gabi Mendick, Visual Art
- Kat Milberger, Literature
- Camila Moreiras-Vilaros, Film
Alyssa Noble and Chris Straus, Multidisciplinary Performing
- Beth Palmer, Multidisciplinary Performing
- Martha Paris, Visual Art
- Joanna Pearson, Literature
- Mary Piepmeier, Visual Art
Christopher Stamey, Music
- Luren Grotto, Music
Home by Ka Yan Cheung-Miaw
Mary Piepmeier, Stack of Mini Bowls
Thank you to the Artist Support Grant Review Panelists!
Chandra Guinn, DAC Board, Panel Chair
John Claude Bemis, Literature
Sarah Bryan, Literature
Jasmine Best, Visual Art
Jan-Ru Wan, Visual Art
Justin Cook, Photography/Film
Debbie Vu, Photography/Film
Damon Walker, Music
Zachary Gossett, Music
ShaLeigh Comerford, Dance/Performance
Asabi Howard, Dance/Performance
Funded by the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Natural and Cultural Resources, Durham Arts Council, local grants administrator and partner counties.
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As of November 1, 2022 - Masks are Welcome in the DAC Building but not required. We encourage you to wear a mask if you will be in close proximity (less than 6 feet) to other visitors, students, or employees.
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About the Durham Arts Council
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.
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