Durham, N.C. — Graduates of the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham heard from N.C. Department of Natural and Cultural Resources Secretary Susan Kluttz Thursday about the crucial role the arts play in economic development.
Kluttz gave the commencement address for the institute's Class of 2016 at Carolina Theater.
“The arts are the reason why our communities are robust and our downtowns are vibrant,” said Kluttz, whose agency oversees 27 historic sites, seven history museums, two art museums, two science museums, three aquariums, 39 state parks and recreation areas and the N.C. Zoo.
Located at the American Tobacco Campus, The Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham features programs in, among other fields, graphic design, video game design and culinary arts, including The District, a student-run restaurant.
Prior to the graduation ceremony, graduates put their work on display for families and invited guests.
“Our school emphasizes both creativity and business acumen,” said school president Christopher Mesecar. “Sec. Kluttz knows better than anyone that this combination holds tremendous promise both for individual careers and for our communities.”