Durham Launches New Cultural Roadmap Planning Process

The City and County have launched the Durham Cultural Roadmap planning process to meet the present day needs and aspirations of its arts and cultural community.  

Cultural Roadmap_webpage header

Charging Durham, 2017 by Frank Kreacic. Located at 101 City Hall Plaza in downtown Durham. 


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. 


Durham Cultural Advisory Board has developed a vision, mission, and values to guide the Cultural Roadmap planning process. To learn more about the Vision, Mission and Values, visit: 

Cultural Roadmap Vision & Values 

Hoja de Ruta Cultural - Visión, misión y valores  


We envision a thriving arts and culture sector in Durham. We celebrate the cultural practices, histories, institutions, and individuals that define Durham’s art and culture sector. We work towards the preservation of Durham’s cultural heritage, the protection of cultural assets and the equitable distribution of resources to artists, cultural workers, and organizations in the arts and culture sector for the benefit of all Durham residents. We welcome new stories and strive to embrace and extend Durham’s cultural community to all residents and visitors of Durham. 


Our mission is to create a five-year plan through inclusive, accessible, and equitable county-wide engagement processes that will maintain, grow, and sustain the arts and culture sector in Durham for the next decade and beyond. 


The Cultural Roadmap Planning Group will help steer the Cultural Roadmap from the beginning of the planning process to the final recommended plan. The Planning Group will represent a wide cross section of the community, representing the public and private sector, philanthropy, neighborhoods, education, cultural groups, artists, cultural workers, and other creatives, in addition to young people. Planning Group members will be selected by the Durham Cultural Advisory Board.  

The Planning Group will meet regularly over the next year and will report to the DCAB on their work.  Responsibilities include: 

  • Inform development of the plan consultant scope of work and selection process; 
  • Shape and participate in the community engagement process; 
  • Advise on plan development, identify priorities, evaluation strategy, and plan outcomes; 
  • Monitor the plan as it develops, including risks and timelines; 
  • Recommend refinements to the planning process where needed; and 
  • Present the plan residents and elected officials. 

To learn more about the Durham Cultural Roadmap Planning Group, visit:  

Durham Cultural Roadmap Planning Group

Grupo de Planeación de la Hoja de Ruta Cultural 

The Cultural Roadmap Planning Group application process opened in early October of 2022, with the Durham Cultural Advisory Board receiving 89 applications from the community. DCAB recommended during the board's November, December and January meetings to appoint 41 members to the Planning Group. The members represent large and small cultural organizations, large and small businesses, individual artists, philanthropy, youth, recreation and the humanities.  All members of the group live and/or work in Durham.   

The Cultural Roadmap Planning Group is led by Co-Chairs Steve Schewel, former Mayor of the City of Durham and Zena Howard, Principal & Managing Director at Perkins & Will, along side the Honorary Co-Chairs, Mayor Pro Tempore Mark Anthony Middleton and Chair of the County Commissioners Brenda Howerton.  

Cultural Roadmap Planning Group Chairs

Mark-Anthony Middleton
Honorary Chair

Mayor Pro Tempore,
City of Durham
Brenda Howerton,
Honorary Chair

Chair, Durham County Commissioners
Zena Howard

Principal and Managing Director, Perkins & Will
Steve Schewel,

Former Mayor of Durham

Cultural Roadmap Planning Group Members

Antonio Alanis,
Artist, Board Members Diamante Arts & Cultural Center
Susan Amey,
President/CEO of Discover Durham
John Brown,
Artist, Vice Provost for the Arts at Duke University
JB Buxton,
President of Durham Technical Community College
Javiera Caballero,
Durham City Council
E'Vonne Coleman,
Cultural Leader,
Retired Consultant
Chelsea Contreras,
Latino Community Credit Union
Lightsey Darst,
Artist, Development Program Director for the Arts and Humanities at Duke University
Lois Deloatch,
Non-profit Advisor
Kathryn Desplanque,
Artist, Art History Professor at
UNC - Chapel Hill
Sherry DeVries,
Executive Director of the
Durham Arts Council
Rodrigo Dorfman,
Akiva Fox,
Artist, Bulldog Ensemble Theatre
Oscar Garcia,
Engagement Specialist and Interpreter with Durham County Public Health
Lana Garland,
Artist, Self-Employed,
Insibah Media
Chandra Guinn,
Executive Director for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, McKinney
Carrie Heinonen,
CEO of the Museum of 
Life and Science,
Durham Rotary
Denise Hester
Small Business Owner,
 Phoenix Fest, Durham Business and Professional Chain Representative
Lilyn Hester, 
Head of Southeast External Affairs and Government Relations, Google, Board Member of Durham Chamber of Commerce
Joseph Jordan,
Vice Provost for Academic and Community Engagement at
UNC - Chapel Hill,
DCAB Representative
Barbara Lau,
Executive Director,
Pauli Murray Center
Angela Lee,
Executive and Artistic Director, Hayti Heritage Center
Girija Mahajan,
Recreation and Advisory Commission
Nori McDuffie,
Durham Office on Youth
Patrick Mucklow,
Executive Director,
Museum of Durham History
Britney Nava Munoz,
Youth Representative,
Changed by Youth Organization
Jodee Nimerichter,
Executive Director,
American Dance Festival
Mimi O'Brien,
Executive Director,
Mary Duke Biddle Foundation
David Young Oh,
Owner, Radical Healing, 
Program Volunteer for OUTSOUTH: Queer Film Festival
Steven Pearson,
Corporate Social Responsibility at IBM
Kym Register,
Owner, Pinhook
Pilar Rocha-Goldberg,
President/CEO of El Centro Hispano, Inc.
Laura Ritchie,
Self-Employed, Pop Box Gallery, Curator, Public Art Committee Representative
Aya Shabu,
Artist, Village of Wisdom/Whistle Stop Tours
Casey Steinbacher,
Executive Director,
Made in Durham
Nicole Thompson,
President/CEO of
Downtown Durham Inc.
Bettina Umstead,
Chair, Durham Public Schools Board of Education
Andre Vann,
Archivist and Historian,
Public History Professor at
North Carolina Central University
Quay Weston,
Business Owner, Designer with community non-profits

Volunteer Opportunities 

The volunteer application for the Cultural Roadmap Planning Group has closed. The City and County will be calling upon volunteers to serve on special topic sub-committees during the planning process. Please sign up for the Cultural Roadmap email updates at the bottom of this page. 


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. 


Cultural Roadmap timeline ending late 2023

The anticipated timeline will involve a year of research, data collection, engagement, analysis, feedback and plan development. By late 2023, the Cultural Roadmap will be presented to residents, as well the Durham City Council and the Durham County Board of Commissioners. 

Request for Proposals (RFP) Cultural Planning Consultant

The Request for Proposal submission deadline has passed.  

The City of Durham is seeking a Consultant or Consultant Team with experience in cultural planning to lead community-wide equitable engagement and planning resulting in a five-year cultural plan (Cultural Roadmap) for the community.  The Cultural Roadmap will build off of the successes from the previous Cultural Master Plan, adopted by both City Council and the Durham County Commissioners in 2004.  The Durham Cultural Advisory Board, appointed by City Council and County Commissioners, will oversee the planning process via its Cultural Roadmap Planning Group. Both the City Council and County Commissioners have appropriated funds for the development of the Cultural Roadmap.  In addition, Durham Cultural Advisory Board has raised funds through local philanthropic organizations to support a local creative and equitable engagement team. The planning process should culminate with the City Council and County Commissioners adoption of the new Cultural Roadmap by December 31, 2023.    


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


RFP Opens 
December 22, 2022 

Pre-submittal Meeting – Questions and Answers deadline
January 5, 2023 at 3:00 p.m. EST 

All questions must be received in writing via email to [email protected]
January 6, 2023, 2023 by 5:00 p.m. 

Addendum posted to the RFP
January 11, 2023 by 5:00 p.m.  

RFP Closes/Proposals deadline
January 26, 2023 by or before 3:00 p.m. 

Proposal Evaluation 
January 30 - February 1, 2023

Virtual Presentations by Finalists  
February 2 - 3, 2023 

Finalist Selections 
February 3, 2023  

Contract Finalization 
February 3 - 9, 2023 

City Council Authorization, Contract Execution and Notice to Proceed
March 20 - 24, 2023  

Community Engagement, Data Collection and Report Generation
April – October 2023  

Final Presentations to Public, DCAB, City Council and County Commissioners
November – December 2023 


Please email the City’s project manager, Annette Smith, with any questions regarding this RFP at [email protected]   

Background on 2004 Cultural Plan

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  


Sign up for email ALerts 

To be notified about upcoming events and activities for the Cultural Roadmap, sign-up here:



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

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

Cultural Roadmap Partner Logos