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120 Morris St. Downtown Durham

Who We Are

Who We Are
Who We Are
Who We Are


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.

DAC is a 501 (c) 3 not-for-profit organization funded by earned revenues, grants and contributions from corporations, foundations, individuals, and support from the City of Durham, Durham County, North Carolina Arts Council, and the National Endowment for the Arts.


We envision a community where creativity and the arts are highly valued, positive and transformative forces in Durham’s cultural, educational, and economic life. We envision an excellent and sustainable arts and cultural sector that is vital to quality of life in Durham.



· To increase participation in high-quality arts experiences throughout the community,
· To expand arts education both in and outside of schools,
· To build an environment for artists and arts organization so that they can create and present their work, and
· To be a resource to the community for advocating, planning, and developing Durham’s arts and cultural community, creative place-making and building the creative economy


Diversity, Equity, Access, Inclusion and Belonging (DEAI)

Durham Arts Council celebrates the unique creativity and spirit of every person and believes in creating a vibrant, diverse, equitable and inclusive community through the arts. 

DAC is committed at every level to developing, supporting, and celebrating diversity, equity, access, inclusion and belonging in our programming, services, audience, workforce, vendor relationships, board and governance as a reflection of the diverse communities we serve.

2023-24 DAC Board of Trustees


Headshot of a man in a suit and tie

Rick Grant

Board President

Vice President of Grid Operations, Duke Energy,

Who We Are

Tabitha Concepcion

1st Vice President, Programs, Policy, + Planning Committee

Truist Wealth
Picture waist up of a man in a button up and tie in front of a painting

Geraud Staton

2nd Vice President, Development Committee

Executive Director, Helius

Mike Woodard

Senator Mike Woodard

Secretary, Governing/Nominating Committee

Duke University


Emeric J. Jorgensen

Treasurer, Financial Operations Committee

CPA, Pless & Company

Who We Are

Dr. Constanza Gómez-Joines

Past Board President

Assistant VP & Executive Director, Center for the Global Learner, Durham Technical Community College


Who We Are

Adam Allegrini

Treasury Solutions Consultant, Truist


Susan Amey

President + CEO of Discover Durham

Headshot of a woman in a suit jacket

Lori Blake-Reid

Director of Facilities, North Carolina Central University
Who We Are

Ian Lee Brown

Vice President/Chief Employee Experience Officer
Duke University Health System
Headshot of woman in pink turtleneck smiling at camera. White background

Heidi Carter 

Durham County Board of Commissioners
Appointed by Durham County Commission
Who We Are

Jose Manuel Cruz

Artist/Photographer CEO cruzwearstudios/ Art Educators DPS
Daniel Ellison

Dan Ellison 

Who We Are

Chandra Guinn

Director, Mary Lou Williams Center for Black Culture at Duke University


Kenneth Hinton

Adjunct Instructor, Shaw University and NCCU; Artistic Director of the Agape Theatre Project

Who We Are

Mark-Anthony Middleton

Durham City Council Member

Appointed by Durham City Council


Who We Are

Marjorie Pierson

Visual Artist, Photography

Maryah Smith

Maryah Smith

Asst. Dean of Building, Engineering, and Skilled Trades, Durham Tech


Head shot of a man wearing a jacket and tie with a quirky tie clip

Wade Walcott

Director, City of Durham Parks + Recreation Department

 Appointed by City of Durham

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Elisabeth Wiener

Independent Marketing and Advertising Professional

Staff Directory


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Sherry L. DeVries

Executive Director


Who We Are

Laura Montgomery

Director of development & communications


Headshot of woman in black turtleneck in front of a cream wall

Margaret DeMott

Director of Artist Services
Who We Are

Colleen Scott

 Artist Services Manager
Who We Are

Denise Stroud 

 ARPA Grants Manager


thumbnail_A.Miller headshot

Amanda Miller

DAC School Director
Headshot of a woman standing in a garden in front of a building

Janet Bell

DAC School Manager + Registrar
Al Strong photo cropped

Al Strong

director of caps
Who We Are

Wendy Leigh

Arts Education Assistant Manager


A man in a red shirt stands in front of a purple wall

Anthony Zefiretto

Director of Facilities + Visitor Services

McKayla Walker

Assistant Manager of Facility Sales + Services
Who We Are

Rodney Smith

 Custodial/maintenance assistant manager
A gentleman in a white sweater stands in front of a tree

 Darriel Williams

 Maintenance Assistant



Financial Accounting

Neal, Bradsher + Taylor PA

Angela Yearby
Michael Clonch
Joe Sullivan

Theatre Technical Support

No Regret Productions

Kevin Esprella
Patrick Lillie

IT Management

Work Smart

Security Services

Durham County Sheriff Team

Team Lead: Deputy Derrick Neville


Founded in 1954 to promote and nurture the arts of Durham, Allied Arts was renamed Durham Arts Council, Inc. (DAC) in 1975 when it became what is now the second oldest arts council in the United States . Three years later, the Council moved in to the historic Central High School and City Hall building, which was constructed in 1906 at 120 Morris Street in downtown Durham. In the mid-1980’s, after a three-year renovation, the city-owned building became DAC’s long term home.

  • March 1954

    Allied Arts (the former name of Durham Arts Council) is incorporated as a nonprofit.

  • 1971

    Allied Arts begins its education program, offering its first classes in dance, craft, drama, music, photography and eurythmics.

  • 1974

    Allied Arts hosts the first annual two day Street Arts Celebration in Downtown Durham, which later developed into a two festival and was renamed CenterFest.

  • 1975

    Allied Arts changes its name to Durham Arts Council, Inc. as it is known today.

  • 1978

    DAC moves in to the historic Central High School and City Hall building, which was constructed in 1906.

  • 1979

    The Council for Creative Arts Program becomes a partnership program of DAC and Durham City and County Schools, changing its name to Creative Arts in Public Schools later called Creative Arts in Public/Private Schools.

  • 1984

    DAC develops the Emerging Artists Program and awards the first round of grants to local artists.

  • 1985-1988

    DAC runs a successful Capital Campaign, raising $5.3 million to renovate the city-owned building that it calls home. The ground-breaking is in 1986 and the staff return to the finished building in 1988.

  • 1999

    DAC’s clay studio moves offsite to accommodate the growing program. Eventually in 2011 the clay studio settled in its current Northgate Mall location.

  • 2006

    DAC accepts the responsibility of organizational leadership for the growing Art Walk program.

  • 2008-2011

    The DAC building undergoes a series of much needed “behind the scenes” updates, including HVAC system, flooring, storage areas, theater tech systems and more.

  • 2020

    DAC gets a complete makeover with a new logo, new signature colors, and a shiny new website!