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Durham art festival to take break, expand in 2012

Durham's CenterFest Art Festival is taking a year off to get bigger and better, organizers said Thursday.

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DURHAM, N.C. — 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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