Arts, Culture, and Sustainable Communities

The Arts, Culture, and Sustainable Communities Division enhances the City’s rich cultural heritage and reinforces #DURM culture through support of a vibrant arts community and through the creation of a more livable and sustainable community.

This division partners with the City’s Cultural Advisory Board and Public Art Committee in furtherance of the Cultural Master Plan, management and oversight of Festivals + Events, and other adopted city initiatives. Additionally, this division is responsible for implementation of the City’s Sustainability Roadmap furthering the City’s long-standing commitment to environmental excellence, broadening the definition of sustainability to include economic, social and environmental well-being.

Cultural AND public art program

The City of Durham's Cultural and Public Art Program affirms Durham's rich cultural and arts community is a part of what make Durham neighborhoods thrive, attracts tourism, catalyzes business development, and brings residents together. The Program seeks to bring cultural and public art opportunities into the everyday experience of Durham residents through delivery of culturally relevant programming. Under the Arts, Culture, and Sustainable Communities Division within the General Services Department, the Program manages the City's public art collection, festivals and special events funding, and two public advisory bodies: the Durham Cultural Advisory Board and the Public Art Committee. Residents and artists interested in art-related opportunities can sign up for alerts through the Calls for Art mailing list.

Keep Durham Beautiful, Inc.

Keep Durham Beautiful (KDB) encourages community greening, litter prevention and waste reduction by fostering community awareness and resident involvement through educational and programmatic activities. KDB also functions as a 501(c)(3) non-profit volunteer-based organization whose mission is to engage and inspire individuals to take greater responsibility for their community environment. As a local affiliate of the national organization, Keep America Beautiful, KDB forms partnerships with businesses, organizations and individuals to leverage resources to enhance Durham’s appearance. KDB has many initiatives including cigarette litter prevention, tire recycling, tree planting, pollinator habitat preservation, organized litter cleanups including Big Sweep and Creek Week, waste reduction at special events, a community grants program, environmental education, other beautification activities.


Sustainability and Energy Management (SEM) oversees the City’s sustainability programs and projects, including the City’s Sustainability Roadmap and STAR Community Certification. Additionally, SEM works with Project Management on energy saving projects such as upgrading lighting, replacing HVAC systems with more efficient systems and other cost energy and cost saving measures. SEM works to expand the City’s use of renewable energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and improve the City’s resilience to the effects of climate change. SEM produces an annual Energy Report.

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