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120 Morris St. Downtown Durham

Creative Arts in Public & Private Schools

Creating meaningful arts experiences for all ages!

Established in 1972, Creative Arts in Public and Private Schools (CAPS) places professional artists to provide interactive arts programs in public and private classrooms and community settings throughout Durham, Granville, Orange, and Person counties. Our partners include community centers, schools, after-school programs, community festivals, and senior centers. Professional development arts workshops are also available for teachers and business teams. Through these partnerships, CAPS reaches over 27,000 students each year.

Programs include performances, workshops and residencies that use the arts to teach core curriculum subjects (such as math, science, writing, social studies), character education, and a variety of life skills.

Artist & Program Directory

Teaching artists and presenters on the Durham Arts Council CAPS roster are listed by discipline/ curriculum area.

CAPS Calendar

Program Types


In a performance, the artist or presenting ensemble performs for an audience composed of one or more classrooms for a single session lasting approximately one hour. Performances aim to entertain, educate, and cultivate student participation and appreciation for a particular art form.


In a workshop, the artist works with one classroom of students for a single session lasting approximately one hour. Workshops provide participating students and teachers with a brief, yet beneficial hands-on arts exposure and arts-integrated experience that support classroom curriculum. Up to 4-5 different classrooms can be scheduled in a day.


In a residency, the artist works with one classroom of students for multiple sessions over several days to broaden and reinforce core curriculum through the arts. Each session is approximately one hour. Up to 4-5 classrooms can be scheduled in a day and are often classrooms within the same grade level. 


Al Strong

Director of Creative Arts in Public + Private Schools


CAPS programs are fee-based arts experiences facilitated by professional teaching artists and preforming groups.
School District CAPS Funding

• Durham Public Schools partners with Durham Arts Council (CAPS) and provides each school with a CAPS budget based on enrollment ($2 per elementary/middle school student & $1 per high school student). Inquire to the CAPS office at (919) 560-2718 for budget or contact your school treasurer.

• Area school districts provide funding for CAPS programs – inquire to your school administrator or district about arts funding, Title 1 funding, 21st century grants and magnet funds available to support arts/curriculum integration.

• PTA’s support CAPS programs

Grant funding available for CAPS

• Durham Arts Council offers matching grant opportunities to schools through the CAPS office. Contact the CAPS office to inquire about available Grant funding (919) 560-2718

Community Organizations/Partners

• We strive to accommodate any budget

• If your organization is writing a grant or is in the process of locating a grant or sponsor to fund artist programs, contact the CAPS Director at (919) 560-2718.

Programs are funded through various sources. We aim to accommodate budgets of all sizes. Contact the CAPS office at (919) 560-2718 if you have any questions.

CAPS News + Updates