Creative Arts in Public + Private Schools

Primarily a partnership between Durham Arts Council and Durham Public Schools, Creative Arts in Public and Private Schools (CAPS) is a 49-year active program that places professional artists in public/private classrooms and community settings throughout Durham, Granville, and Orange counties.

Placing artists in schools and the community to promote learning through the arts!

CAPS artists also work within the community providing programs in early childhood centers, preschools and after-schools. We serve seniors and adults groups, and provide professional development ‘ARTS’ workshops for teachers and business teams.

Programs are creative and interactive residencies, workshops and performances that teach core subjects (math, science, writing, social studies), character education and a variety of life skills through the arts. CAPS impacts the lives of over 27,000 students each year.

Artist + Program Directory

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

Program Types

CAPS offers three types of programs to schools and organizations seeking arts programming.


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. Through performances the artist entertains, educates, and cultivates 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. Up to 4-5 different classrooms can be scheduled in a day. Workshops provide participating students and teachers with a brief, yet beneficial arts exposure and/or arts-curriculum integrated experience.


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. Residencies sometimes culminate with a presentation.


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


Aubrey Wellfare

Director of Creative Arts in Public + Private Schools