Volunteers Now Sought for New Cultural Roadmap Planning Group
The development of a new Durham Cultural Roadmap will soon be in the works to help create an updated strategic vision to guide and support the Bull City’s local arts and cultural ecosystem and the artists and creatives that make it vibrant.
The Durham City Council and the Durham County Board of Commissioners have approved entering into a joint agreement to govern the development of the new roadmap. Its purpose will be 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.
Led by the Durham Cultural Advisory Board (DCAB), development of the Cultural Roadmap will include input from a Cultural Roadmap Planning Group comprised of volunteers who reflect the diversity Durham, including young people and members of the cultural and business communities.
Principal and Global Cultural and Civic Practice Chair Zena Howard with Perkins & Will and former Durham City Council Mayor Steve Schewel will serve as Planning Group co-chairs. Durham County Board of Commissioners Chair Brenda Howerton and Durham City Council Mayor Pro Tempore Mark-Anthony Middleton will serve as honorary co-chairs.
“Durham is changing rapidly and we want to preserve the stories that make Durham unique and important while planning for expansion and growth in the arts and cultural sector,” Howard said. “Sustainability is critical as we explore ways to support our creative community in every way.”
DCAB and the Planning Group will now move forward with a county-wide assessment, engagement, and community-driven planning process to capture data and perspectives to inform a plan, and enable Durham to maintain, grow, and sustain the arts and culture community. According to Howard, this process will also apply an equity lens and incorporate authentic community engagement activities, ongoing analysis and refinement, and consensus building to ensure all residents benefit from Durham’s cultural resources and offerings.
"Durham's vibrancy and our incredible quality of life are driven by our creative community of cultural institutions, museums, libraries, cultural workers, artists, and audiences,” Schewel said. “This plan will help us ensure that the cultural sector has the support it needs to remain central to who we are as a community.”
According to Schewel, once completed the Cultural Roadmap will position Durham to strategically plan for its cultural investments, grow the economic impact of the arts and culture ecosystem, and promote cultural experiences that align with Durham goals and values to ultimately improve the quality of life for residents as well as the visitor experience.
The planning process will kick off in fall 2022, and is expected to be completed by December 2023. The City and County will split the cost of the development of the roadmap with each paying $150,000. For more information, or to volunteer for the Cultural Roadmap Planning Group, visit the City’s website or send an email.