Many of the people who move to Durham do so because Durham is a place where self-expression is the norm. As such, it's become something of a haven for the arts. But you don't have to live here to take part in the arts scene - there are always opportunities to view new works, take part in interesting events, and more.
The arts are celebrated in Durham almost as a matter of routine. Monthly gatherings such as Third Friday encourage visitors and locals to browse galleries, museums, and art spaces around Durham. Major events promote local artists throughout the year, including the semiannual Art Walk and annual CenterFest, the longest-running outdoor culture and arts festival in North Carolina.
In addition to its landscape of adaptively reused industrial buildings that beckon to artists, Durham is home to many arts amenities. Art is displayed in a variety of settings, from the world-class Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University, to the Golden Belt arts complex, with its large gallery space surrounded by dozens of artists' studios. There are also more than 50 other galleries and studios county-wide, as well as art displays at many of Durham's businesses, restaurants, and public spaces.
Durham also delivers great art thanks to the public's support. Public art abounds in Durham, much of it supported by public funds. Examples can be seen in Parrish Street's historical markers and the statue of Dr. Shepard on campus at NCCU. The Bull City Sculpture show added even more art to the downtown landscape. Visitors should also see the sculptures at CCB Plaza in the heart of Downtown Durham, as well as displays in nearby Durham Central Park.
Local arts centers keep the core of Durham's arts scene thriving. The Durham Arts Council serves more than 60 arts organizations and more than 600 artists through classes, exhibits, and more. Beloved sustainable arts center The Scrap Exchange promotes creativity through material reuse and environmental awareness. The DURTY Durham Arts Collective and the Carrack Modern Art, advance original artwork by nontraditional or up-and-coming artists.
When looked at as a whole, it's no wonder that Durham has a reputation as a creative hub.
Check out the visual arts section to browse all of the arts organizations.
Hear about the dedication that was needed to start the Carrack, a zero-commission gallery, and the community support that keeps it running. Read More