Arts

Evan Nicole Bell: Documenting through photography

By Corin Hemphill

April 20, 2018

  Through the exhibit “Faith in Color: A Photographic Exploration of Race, Religion, and America in Tribute to C. Eric Lincoln,” a Duke senior aims to change people’s perceptions. The exhibit is on display in the Duke University Chapel until May 1. Evan Nicole Bell is from Columbia, Maryland,  a planned community founded by Jim […]

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The Scrap Exchange celebrates 27th birthday; Reuse Arts District grows

By Marissa O'Neill

April 11, 2018

  On Earth Day weekend, April 20-21, the Scrap Exchange will celebrate both its 27th birthday and the grand opening of its new store, Scrap Thrift. It will also host its second DIY (Do It Yourself) Fest for the Durham community. The Scrap Exchange, founded in 1991, bought its current space, a formerly abandoned church, […]

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Black History: Artists’ Perspectives Exhibition at Hayti

By Lamel Batts

March 29, 2018

  During February, the Hayti Heritage Center hosted its annual Black History: Artists’ Perspectives exhibition with powerful art by various artists. The free exhibition was curated by Willie R. Bigelow, who is also an artist featured in the exhibit. Bigelow started the exhibit in 2016, hoping to feature African American artists and showcase their artwork […]

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Art in the name of science

By Antony Nganga

March 28, 2018

  Like some other artists with studios in Golden Belt, Christine Hager-Braun, arrived at art through an unlikely path. She holds a doctorate degree and is a biochemist who has had her share of runs in the lab and in class. She has pored over microscopes searching for an HIV vaccine.  Some wonder why she […]

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Hillside alumna leads Dance Company to be named best overall in dance festival

By Zayrha Rodriguez

Back in 2006 the Durham native, Valencia Lipscomb, was the second freshman in the history of Hillside High School to make it to Company—one of two dance groups in Hillside Dance Company. Twelve years later, Lipscomb is the teacher for the Hillside Dance Company, which includes the two dance groups called Company and Sting, as well […]

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Welcome to Wakanda: What Black Panther means to us

By Corin Hemphill

March 18, 2018

Online fundraisers with the hashtag #BlackPantherChallenge are trending. Teenagers in Durham get to see the first black comic book superhero on the big screen. Black Panther is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name. The latest blockbuster in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is helmed by a black […]

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Durham’s new trail will add color and connect communities

By Tessa Platek

February 28, 2018

In busy urban areas, sometimes there’s nothing better than escaping the city to enjoy nature. An addition to the West Ellerbee Creek Trail is making it easier to do for more of Durham’s residents. “It’s going to connect people to parts of Durham they haven’t seen before,” said Jessica Kemp, Durham senior project manager in […]

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Hillside drama teacher changes lives through international theatre

By Kenzie Cook

For the last 31 years, North Carolina Central University graduate Wendell Tabb, 55, has headed the theatre program at Hillside High School. In this time, he has transformed the humble high school stage to something more akin to professional theatre. Since 1995, Tabb has directed the International Professional-Student Theatre Exchange Program allowing drama students to […]

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ZenSoFly talks music and how RDU receives it

By Baleigh Johnson

  ZenSoFly is a Raleigh-based rapper, DJ, radio personality on 92.1, and producer. With her different forms of expression, ZenSoFly has many people paying attention. Her talents reach out to a variety of people and environments like festivals, club venues, and museums, but most of her performances are in Durham. “Durham has been really supportive […]

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Durham Arts Council displays “America Wants” by Owen Daniels

By Kelcie Frye

February 14, 2018

Turning photos into powerful messages, Owens Daniels is using photography and digital art to make a statement about relevant social issues of the moment. Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Daniels considers himself a “hybrid North Carolinian.” A retired military veteran, Daniels got his start in photography at the U.S. Army Photographic School of Cartography. He is […]

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Durham artists take on national issues with “DREAMers” art exhibit

By Katie Rice

When Cornelio Campos arrived in the United States in 1989, he knew no English and next to no one, but he held onto his childhood dream of being an artist. Nearly three decades later, he finds himself confronting the same issues he saw as a new immigrant, but now he can control the conversation. In […]

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Durham teens compete to perform at international slam poetry competition

By Ramishah Maruf

Durham School of the Arts sophomore Uche Nwogalanya strode up the small church stage. She took a deep breath, flipped her hair back and let the words flow out. “You are no monster, just a black boy,” Nwogalanya said. “To the son I may one day have.” Nwogalanya shared the stage with six other high […]

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Hayti Heritage Center hosts black perspectives exhibit

By Caroline Bowyer

Artist Willie Bigelow considers himself a Durham native, even though he hasn’t lived here his whole life. Born in Greensboro, Bigelow moved to Durham at age 8 so his father could be the pastor at Greater Saint Paul Baptist Church. Bigelow, now 70, has dabbled in the arts since he was a child. “My uncle […]

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Interactive exhibit challenges Durham to explore racism through art

By Marissa O'Neill

  The dynamic creation “Buy My Soul and Call It Art” engaged the Durham arts community in an essential conversation about the experiences of black artists through a series of performances the weekends of Jan. 26 and Feb. 2. Monét Noelle Marshall, of east Durham, is the creator of this project, which she refers to […]

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Scrap Exchange expands from renovating materials to renovating communities

By Tessa Platek

January 31, 2018

“One man’s trash is another man’s treasure” may seem like the perfect slogan, but it falls short of what the Scrap Exchange actually does. The Scrap Exchange takes one man’s trash and spins it into treasure for the whole community. The Scrap Exchange has been reducing waste and fostering creative visions since its opening in […]

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Kidznotes Bucket Band promotes music for Durham youth

By Kelcie Frye

Sweet music fills the halls of the Holton Career and Resource Center in Northeast Central Durham every Saturday morning. From orchestra classes to ensemble choirs, Kidznotes aims to make the arts accessible to children. One of the biggest issues in music education is a lack of access to musical instruments. Teacher Rosendo Peña is combating […]

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White Rock Baptist Church celebrates its rich faith through film

By Liz Chen

Just down Fayettville St. from the Chicken Hut and Food Lion stands a 152-year-old church that has fostered a community of devoted supporters and faithful followers of Jesus Christ in the Hayti District. White Rock Baptist Church was founded in 1866 by Margaret Faucette and is one of the oldest community service oriented churches in […]

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African heritage dance class uplifts and energizes

By Tiayana Ford

December 6, 2017

  Every Monday night, for just $5 a session, dance enthusiasts gather for the African heritage dance class at the Hayti Heritage Center. The class, with live drummers, starts off with stretching, and deep breathing. On a recent Monday the substitute instructor, McDaniel Roberts, explained the importance of breathing through the muscles and building up […]

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Teacher by day, rapper by night

By Autavius Smith and Daija Graves

  Durham Public Schools kindergarten teacher Antonio Cowart sticks to his morals even when not around his students. After working for a moving company for a short time, the bubbly 27-year-old found his voice in rapping by using age-appropriate lyrics for children. Most people who hear his music consider him a “Christian rapper.” However, Cowart […]

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Give it up for the poet, not the points: Jambalaya Soul’s Annual Women’s Slam

By Allen Longstreet

November 27, 2017

  Saturday nights typically warrant going out. Whether that be to dinner, a nightclub or a movie —  the city of Durham offers a wide variety of options. But this Saturday, on the quiet corner of Lakewood Avenue and Fayetteville Street, inside the Hayti Heritage Center was a collection of voices. Voices that were passionate […]

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No Limitz to what this dance company can do

By Elle Kehres

November 26, 2017

When Miss Mo founded No Limitz Dance Company in 2012, she only had four students—but those days are long gone. Stretching on the floor, just one of her dance groups, affectionately named the “Glamour Girls,” warms up to practice their routine for the Durham holiday parade on December 2. With Santa Clause is Coming to […]

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Iron Pour means art is hot in Durham

By David Fee

Half of Durham Central Park was roped off a week ago for Liberty Arts’ 2nd annual Iron Pour where 2,000 pounds of molten iron was cast into sculptures. “We’re getting ready for the first pour, the molds are lined up, the artists are suited up in leathers,” said Carol McLaurin, vice president of the board […]

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Hobbyists, full-time artists come together at Durham Art-a-Thon

By Alex Zietlow

When members of the Durham art community — creators and appreciators alike — stepped into the Durham Art Guild on Morris street on a recent weekend, their voices lowered to a whisper. A soft hum of chatter layered under the sound of acoustic ukulele strings. The artists stood at their respective tables and touched up […]

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Darius Quarles, dynamic artist and community member

By Gabby Bulgarelli

Darius Quarles is a storyteller. He is also one of the founding members of Durham’s Pleiades Gallery on East Chapel Hill Street, an artist-driven organization that was founded in 2013. Earlier this year Pleiades completed its transition into the nonprofit realm, with lofty goals for Durham’s artistic future. Pleiades Gallery is softly lit and unassuming, […]

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Unify dynamic community districts through art – the first major public art work of the Durham SmART Vision Plan

By Yizhou Jiang

November 8, 2017

  Durham Arts Council hosted a “Meet the Artist Open House & Discussion” on Friday in its art gallery at 120 Morris Street in downtown Durham where the artist selected to create the monumental Art Wrap for the Corcoran Street Garage was invited to talk about his concept designs and artistic vision for this project. The Corcoran […]

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Hayti offers classes and rental opportunities

By Daija Graves

October 26, 2017

The Hayti Heritage Center is a Durham landmark – one of few remaining buildings from Durham’s Hayti District. As a cultural arts education center, it has been offering events and activities since 1975. What many people may not know is that they also rent their facilities to host community initiated classes, weddings, dances, and anything […]

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Liberty Arts hosts open studio and sale

By David Fee

October 18, 2017

The furnaces were fired up, and beer flowed steadily Saturday for the Liberty Arts open studio tour and sale. Liberty Arts has over a dozen artists working in its studio space on Pearl Street in Northeast Central Durham, working in a variety of mediums such as wood, metal, glass, printing, and textile media. The studio […]

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Threehouse Studios opens early to say “Somos Juntos”

By Gabby Bulgarelli

Some of Durham’s creatives and small business owners nestled into a small parking lot just off of Durham/Chapel Hill Boulevard on Sunday. They were there with a mission: to raise money in solidarity with Puerto Rico. Organizers Courtney OM, Autumn Nicholas, and Josephine McCrann have been working locally for some time, and knew they would […]

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Joe’s Comedy Corner brings laughs to Angier Avenue

By Allison Tate

October 17, 2017

For Joe Bushfan, laughter is important during hard times. That’s why the entrepreneur and community leader started up Joe’s Comedy Corner on Angier Avenue. Now with two successful shows under its belt, it looks like Bushfan and the community are thinking alike. “I think laughter is good for the soul–especially with all these tumultuous times […]

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Samson’s New Fate

By Carl Smith

October 5, 2017

  Golden Belt artist Christine Amory Long painted a different ending for Samson’s story; a choice that seems to mirror how she has chosen to change her own life by going from a career in nursing to a career in painting. Although Christine Amory Long began painting at age 10, she didn’t study it seriously […]

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Poetry, Spoken Word and Art: Connecting the Corners of the Triangle

By Allen Longstreet

October 4, 2017

Smells of curries wafted around the open courtyard outside of Vimala’s Curryblossom Café. A DJ was setting up the sound equipment, along with the organizers of the open mic event finalizing the list of performers. The message to the crowd was simple. If you have anything to say – whether it be poetry, song or […]

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Is Durham hip-hop in renaissance?

By Gabby Bulgarelli

With a highly successful Kickstarter Campaign, and sponsorship from companies like Toyota and Bull Durham Beer under its belt, Beats ’N’ Bars hit the ground running to produce something special in its second year. The festival took over the section of Main Street along Corcoran Avenue on Sept. 22-23, occupying the Pinhook, Parking Lot #20, […]

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Documentary film on VOICE work trip to Ocracoke wins top honor

By Yizhou Jiang

September 20, 2017

  Joseph Cabosky received the Best Overall Film Award for his feature documentary, “Writing My Own Happy Ending”, on the Marquee on Main Film Festival in downtown Washington, North Carolina, earlier this month. Cabosky, an assistant professor at School of Media and Journalism of UNC-Chapel Hill, focuses on diversifying and disrupting strategic communication, public relations […]

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Musical duo Meek Noise brings joy to senior center

By Avery Rodriguez

April 19, 2017

  For almost six years, Durham residents and close friends Noah Goyette, 40, and Sloan Meek, 29, have entertained seniors at the Durham Center for Senior Life. Meek and Goyette arrive every Tuesday and Friday at noon to play a variety of instruments for onlookers. “Noah jokes that we’ve outlasted three center directors and seen […]

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Drama director Wendell Tabb sets the stage for Hillside students

By Mckenna Lea

April 5, 2017

What is your dream job? Is it to be a world-renowned chef, actor or maybe the CEO of a Fortune 500 company? Wendell Tabb has been living his dream for the past 30 years helping others reach their full potential. As Hillside High School’s, Drama Director Tabb has cultivated a thriving theater program, helping the […]

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Poise and passion: celebrating black women in performance

By Catherine O'Neill

Ajua Arnette may only be 7 years old, but give her a microphone and a costume and she commands the stage. A first-grader at Sandy Ridge Elementary, Ajua was one of the many performers at Hayti Heritage Center in Durham for Wimmin@Work 2017—an afternoon of artistic performances in honor of “Wimmin’s History Month” celebrated on […]

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Majestic Angels senior dancers focus on faith, finding strength

By Avery Rodriguez

The women of the Majestic Angels, a dance troupe for senior citizens in Durham, have served as examples of the power of faith and dance since 2015. Durham resident Vanessa Dunston, 62, started the eight-person dance team after more than 30 years of military service. “After I retired in 2011, I didn’t know what I […]

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West African music event brings song and dance to Durham library

By Elise Clouser

March 1, 2017

A library’s basement meeting room, with its white walls and harsh fluorescent lighting, seems like an unlikely place to find a celebration of any kind, let alone one of African song and dance. Yet in such a room last Friday morning, traditional West African dancing, singing and drumming brought the place to life. Kwabena Osei […]

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The Scrap Exchange plans a reuse arts district

By Elise Clouser

February 15, 2017

In one room of the massive warehouse that houses The Scrap Exchange in Durham, blue barrels brim over with paint swatches in every color and buttons of every shape. In another section, shaky shelves are piled high with fabric bundles and scrapbook paper. The walls of a snaking hallway display the art of professionals and amateurs alike. […]

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Mural documentary depicts a rich Durham Civil Rights history

By Alexis Allston

More than a year after its completion, the Durham Civil Rights Mural at 120 Morris St. lives on through Rodrigo Dorfman’s artful documentary about the designing and painting of the mural. The documentary premiered on Saturday, Feb. 11 at the Hayti Heritage Center at 804 Old Fayetteville St., and is now available for free online. Dorfman […]

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Golden Belt Studios showcase diversity in art

By Molly Smith

The Golden Belt Art Studios in Durham house more than just traditional artists; they create an unlikely home for two scientists as well. J’Nai Willingham, a jeweler, and Chieko Murasugi, an abstract painter, both have scientific backgrounds. Willingham is an anatomy and physiology professor at Durham Technical Community College, and Murasugi has degrees in psychology […]

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Durham youth center, Blackspace, teaches skills and self-expression

By Avery Rodriguez

Blackspace, a makerspace and youth center, combines art, activism and computer science in a space for young artists in the Durham area to express themselves. Pierce Freelon opened the first Blackspace workshop in 2014 in Chapel Hill. With it, he said, he hoped to provide a free, Afro-centric workshop to help disadvantaged youth in the […]

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Business owner picks Durham and its youth to help It grow

By Nafisa Shah

February 10, 2017

  Whether for a Valentine’s Day or a birthday gift, natural beauty is in right now, but sometimes looking for pure and all-natural ingredients can be hard. It’s part of the reason local entrepreneur Elisabeth Chadbourne decided to start her small business. She created Lo & Behold Natural Body Care and its 100 percent natural […]

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Downtown Durham main library closed for renovations

By Diamond Gwynn

February 6, 2017

  On January 15th, the Durham County’s Main Library on Roxboro St. temporarily closed for renovations. With construction projects visible all over downtown and the city’s growing reputation as a modern, tourist hot spot, it seems fitting that the main branch of the public library takes a new turn. The library will undergo a complete […]

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Kidznotes inspires Durham students through music, community

By Elise Clouser

February 1, 2017

Within the wide hallways of the Holton Career and Resource Center, musical melodies and rhythms float through the air on a Saturday morning. In one classroom, a loud, clear choir of children’s voices sings a hymn, “Of the Father’s Love Begotten.” In another room, a trio of young musicians practices “Hot Cross Buns” on child-sized […]

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Walltown Children’s Theatre dazzles with the “Durham Nutcracker”

By Brenna Elmore

November 28, 2016

In this updated version of “The Nutcracker,” hip-hop, Bollywood and African dance replace the traditional types while a diverse cast of children perform new and different roles. In Act One, we follow Sarah Tucker through the highs and lows of being a dancer as she takes on an updated version of Clara, and in Act […]

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Young artist excels in small business

By Prescious Blackwell

November 13, 2016

  Moments after Megan George, of Raleigh, uploaded a picture of a single terrarium she created, someone wanted to buy it. That’s all it took for her to begin to develop her online business. Her success has allowed her to evolve to a storefront: Zen Succulent on Parrish Street in downtown Durham. Durham became a […]

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Fashion designer inspired by Durham’s strong sense of community

By Riley Turner

November 9, 2016

If you ask Donta Belvin where he got his hat – he’ll gladly tell you the story behind it and build a new connection with you through the process. Durham native Belvin uses inspiration from everyday things and the surrounding Durham community to create one-of-a-kind five-panel hats. What started as a shirt printing business idea with […]

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