Play Local · Uncategorized

21 Days of Local Arts – Durham Arts Council

Conventional wisdom advises that habits are ingrained after 21 days of repetition. If that theory holds true, then the eat~play~shop local habit requires time and effort to develop. Each month I’ll share “21 Days” of some event, place or organization in the Triangle, enabling (and I mean that in the most positive sense possible) your inner Localista to come out and join us. This month it’s all about local arts events and organizations, across many disciplines, visual and performing.


Around the corner from the Carolina Theatre in downtown Durham is a building with expansive ground to roof windows. Through those glass panes are the galleries, classrooms and performing arts theater of the Durham Arts Council. The building, sometimes called “The DAC” by Durhamites, has been home to the arts organization since the mid 1980s (prior to some renovations that’s where you would find Durham City Hall). The Durham Arts Council is more than a building however and they’ve been around Durham since 1954.

So what exactly is an “arts council” and what do they do for Durham? In short, the Durham Arts Council is your liaison to arts and culture in the Durham community. They assist artists (both professional and amateur) through services, access to facilities and exhibit space and financially via grants. They enable residents of any age to immerse themselves in arts focused classes, from dance to ceramics, photography and digital arts, fiber arts, drawing, painting, just about any artistic skill you wish to explore. Ever wanted to learn ukulele? There’s a class for that and a Summer Arts Camp for kids too. The Durham Arts Council is also the organizing force behind the two-day Spring and Holiday Art Walk Markets in downtown Durham, as well as CenterFest held each September. If you’ve attended any of those events you’ve reaped the benefits of their work.

When volunteering at the PSI theater during Full Frame I spent my down time perusing the exhibits in the galleries at DAC. You’ll find four exhibit spaces, two on the first floor and two on the second floor, always with something interesting and many times from artists based in the Triangle. The non profit organization gives so much to Durham, I try to give back when I’m paying a visit and drop a couple of extra dollars in the donation box. If you appreciate the work of the Durham Arts Council please let them know. And thank you for continuing to support arts and culture in all our Triangle communities in any and every way you can.


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