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Durham art festival to take break, expand in 2012

Posted July 7, 2011

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— Durham's CenterFest Art Festival is taking a year off to get bigger and better.

The Durham Arts Council said Thursday it plans to expand the Bull City's outdoor arts festival next year to possibly include culinary arts, a brewery garden, a wine showcase, hands-on creative arts and showcases for design, gaming and technology arts.

"We envision building a major arts and entertainment festival that will draw amazing crowds to Durham to experience our revitalized, creative, welcoming city,” the Council's executive director, Sherry DeVries, said in a news release.

CenterFest started as the "Street Arts" festival in Durham in 1973 and was the first major art event in downtown. It is also the state's longest running outdoor arts festival.

Organizers hope that the expanded festival will become a major attraction for people across the Southeast.

"Today, we have a large arts and creative community, with much credit to Durham Arts Council for nurturing arts organizations and artists for 57 years," City Councilman Mike Woodard said. "We want to showcase our thriving arts and creative scene in new and bigger ways in an expanded festival.”

Woodard is also the vice president of programs, policy and planning on the Durham Arts Council's Board of Trustees.

In lieu of CenterFest in September, the Council will offer a larger Durham Art Walk event on Nov. 19-20. That will include grand-opening events for the Durham Convention Center, Carolina Theatre of Durham and Durham Arts Council buildings, all of which are undergoing major renovations.


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  • whatelseisnew Jul 7, 2011

    Oh no....... now I will not be able to not go to this festival.

  • working for deadbeats Jul 7, 2011

    Looks like fun. Ummm...not!

  • RB aka Spirit Warrior Woman Jul 7, 2011

    We have to understand we can no longer afford to pay for things like this as a whole.

    If folks want to do this, they need to get grants from charitable institutions to pay for them.

    The general taxpayer shouldn't have to pay for anything only a few enjoy.

    It's absurd!!!

  • gosime Jul 7, 2011

    @Saberage - unlike Chapel Hill's Apple Chill, there's not been any violence at CenterFest.

  • Vita Brevis Ars Longa Jul 7, 2011

    CenterFest is saving money to buy all of it's craftspeople and musicians bullet-proof vests for next year. Thank You Durham!

  • gosime Jul 7, 2011

    @turkeydance - no, there was no violence or anything like that (which is what ended Chapel Hill's Apple Chill). The Arts Council powers-that-be decided to move it several years ago to a big hot cracked parking lot. Not smart. Each year it's been smaller and smaller and less enjoyable. I imagine attendance has fallen off dramatically.

  • turkeydance Jul 7, 2011

    another speculation: same mess that happened to Apple Chill?

  • gosime Jul 7, 2011

    They started killing this wonderful Arts Festival a few years ago when they moved the whole festival to a big hot horrid asphalt parking lot. Ugh.

  • Relic Jul 7, 2011

    (Translation: No money this year.)