Durham Cultural Roadmap

Durham Cultural Roadmap  Opens in new window

Shape the Future of Arts and Culture in Durham! 

For the most up to date information, visit the Durham Cultural Roadmap website.

The Durham Cultural Roadmap is a five-year plan that will guide future arts and cultural programming and investment to strengthen and preserve our vital cultural community. The City of Durham and Durham County invite residents to join this effort to develop a new cultural plan for the Durham community. 

In shaping the design of the Durham Cultural Roadmap development process, the City and County entrusted the Durham Cultural Advisory Board and others to craft a vision, mission and values statement to help Durham envision the attributes a new plan could embody. The Cultural Roadmap Planning Group was formed to broaden the Durham Cultural Advisory Board’s capacity to hear from and respond to the community during the planning process.


Community Input Session II 
Saturday, April 27, 2024 

Time: TBD
Location: TBD 

Sign-up to find out more about upcoming engagement opportunities, here.


CRM_Timeline_1-2024 (1)


On October 21, 2021 during a City Council Work Session, the Durham Cultural Advisory Board shared a presentation on the board’s engagement efforts and conversations with arts and cultural community workers throughout 2021. Based on their findings, the board requested that the Durham City Council and Durham County Board of Commissioners jointly support the development of a new cultural plan.  To watch the board’s presentation, visit: https://durham.granicus.com/player/clip/2760?meta_id=405122.  

The Durham City Council and the Durham County Board of Commissioners entered a joint agreement to govern the development of the new Cultural Roadmap on October 3, 2022. The Cultural Roadmap planning process will be led by Durham Cultural Advisory Board, with input from the Cultural Roadmap Planning Group. This 35-member volunteer group will be appointed by the Durham Cultural Advisory Board and reflect the diversity of the Durham community. 

The Cultural Roadmap’s purpose is to survey the Durham community and develop a plan to further enhance Durham’s cultural and arts landscape, maximize resources, and provide a coordinated vision and collaboration among a variety of community, cultural, civic, and business partners. In late 2023, the Cultural Roadmap will be presented to both the Durham City Council and the Durham County Board of Commissioners. 


The Cultural Roadmap Planning Group will help steer the Cultural Roadmap from the beginning of the planning process to the final recommended plan. The Cultural Roadmap Planning Group represents the public and private sector, philanthropy, neighborhoods, education, cultural groups, artists, cultural workers, and other creatives, in addition to young people.  The Cultural Roadmap Planning Group members were selected by the Durham Cultural Advisory Board through a robust application and review process.  All members of the group live and/or work in Durham.   

For more information, visit Durham Cultural Roadmap Planning Group.


The City issued a Request for Proposals on December 22, 2022 and received eight complete proposals for review and consideration. A review panel of six residents and representatives of both the City and County, made their recommendation to the City and County leadership that AMS Planning and Research be awarded the consultant contract. The recommendation was also endorsed by the Durham Cultural Advisory Board.  

The Request for Proposal submission deadline has passed.  

The Request for Proposals document is posted here: https://www.durhamnc.gov/bids.aspx?bidID=1540 

AMS Planning & Research Selected as Lead Consultant

AMS Planning and Research has been selected as the lead consultant with local artists, creative workers, and Creative Community Partners to collaborate on equitable engagement for the Durham Cultural Roadmap.

In late January 2023, a resident and staff panel reviewed eight proposals from consultant firms applying to lead the Durham community in a yearlong cultural planning process. Three firms were identified as finalists and participated in interviews. The resident and staff panel recommended AMS Planning and Research for the consultant contract for the Cultural Roadmap, which was also endorsed by the Durham Cultural Advisory Board. City Council approved AMS's contract on April 17, 2023. 

AMS Planning and Research’s proposal for Durham highlighted the firm’s commitment and experience in advancing equity, diversity, inclusion, and access; team members have extensive training and practice in working with marginalized communities. For the Cultural Roadmap, AMS Planning and Research has complimented the strengths of its team members with local partners who have experience and familiarity with the Durham Community.  

For more information, visit About AMS Planning and Research.

Creative Community Partners

The City and County are working with AMS Planning & Research (AMS), alongside the Cultural Roadmap Planning Group and Creative Community Partners, to develop the Durham Cultural Roadmap. The selected artist and/or creative worker have been contracted to work with AMS to develop and implement locally relevant and equitable community engagement opportunities that will inform the Durham Cultural Roadmap.

During September of 2023, AMS Planning & Research extended contracts to a team of five local artists to serve as Creative Community Partners for the Durham Cultural Roadmap. Learn more about the Team, here: Engagement - Durham Cultural Roadmap.

Budget, Background and Timeline for Creative Community Partners

The selected Creative Community Partners will be paid for their time as independent contractors at a livable wage of $32 an hour. The total budget for the Creative Community Partners' compensation is $20,000. The Durham Cultural Roadmap has additional budget available totaling $15,000 for supplies and materials for engagement events designed and implemented by all Creative Community. 

Call for Applicants (Closed)

Para obtener los detalles de la convocatoria para solicitantes, visite: Convocatoria para solictantes

Monday, July 3, 2023 - Applications open 
Tuesday, July 18, 2023 at 5:30 pm ET - Informational Meeting (Optional) 
Wednesday, August 2, 2023 by or before 11:59 pm ET - Deadline to submit Applications 
Friday, August 18, 2023 - Review Panel’s Final Selection 
Wednesday, August 23, 2023 - Creative Community Partner Orientation Meeting

Budget and Administration   

The Durham City Council and Durham County Commissioners have each appropriated $150,000 to fund this important planning process that will result in clear recommendations to maintain, support and grow the cultural community, both organizations and individual members, for the benefit of residents and visitors.   

In addition, Durham Cultural Advisory Board has solicited and received significant private donations from Durham’s philanthropic community in support of this effort. These funds will be used to support robust, interactive and creative community engagement and communications. City and County cultural and public art program staff will provide administrative support for the planning process. 

2004 Cultural Plan Background

The Durham Cultural Master Plan (PDF), was approved by the City Council and Board of County Commissioners to advance numerous goals and strategies for success to be accomplished over a fifteen year period spanning 2004 to 2019. 

Language Access  

Notice under the Language Access Plan Persons requiring language assistance to effectively participate in this event may contact the General Services Department at 919-560-4197, or [email protected] to request interpretation and/or translation services as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the event or deadline date. 

Aviso bajo el Plan de Acceso al Idioma Personas que requieran asistencia lingüística para participar efectivamente en este evento pueden comuncarse con el Departamento de Servicios Generales al 919-560-4197 or [email protected] para solicitar los servicios de interpretación y / o traducción tan pronto como sea posible pero no menos de 48 horas antes del evento o fecha límite. 

HOJA DE RUTA CULTURAL - Visión, misión y valores  



For information about the board and the application process, please contact the Cultural & Public Art Program staff here:  

Annette L. Smith 
Grants and Special Projects Analyst, Sr.
Arts, Culture, and Sustainable Communities Division 
City of Durham | General Services Department
Email: [email protected]
Phone: 919-560-4197 

Cultural Roadmap Partner Logos