Posts Tagged ‘City of Durham’

Triangle Hidden Gem – Learn about Hayti Heritage Center’s arts spaces & programming

This article is part of a continuing series on creative resources in the Triangle that are either little known, or you may have heard of them, but may be unaware of the extent of the services and resources they offer. Have an idea for a future article? Let us know.

By Taryn Oesch

With all the new arts events, venues and groups popping up all over Durham, long-time arts organizations and events are often overlooked. Last weekend was the 29th Annual Bull Durham Blues Festival at the Performance Hall at Hayti Heritgage Center.  To find out more about the Organization behind this longstanding Durham arts event, we visited Hayti Heritage Center to learn more about its mission and programming.

Director, Angela Lee, in Hayti's historic 400 seat performance venue.

Director, Angela Lee, in Hayti’s historic 400 seat performance venue.

The center opened in 1975 under the management of the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation. It’s a cultural enrichment and arts education facility whose mission, according to executive director Angela Lee, is “to preserve historic Hayti and to promote the African American experience through arts programs and events that benefit the broader community.” Booker T. Washington called the historic Hayti district “Black Wall Street,” and the Hayti Heritage Center works to honor that legacy, along with using the arts to bring communities and races together.

The center itself is the former St. Joseph’s AME Church, a national historic landmark. The beautiful venue is available for rent, with over 35,000 square feet of available space, including an auditorium that seats up to 400, community and meeting rooms, and a dance studio. There’s even affordable small office space.

Community and class rooms at Hayti, such as this Dance Studio, are available for rent.

Community and class rooms at Hayti, such as this Dance Studio, are available for rent.

The Hayti Heritage Center celebrates multiple art forms. Members of the community can sign up for classes on dance and martial arts, some for as little as $5 per class. The center also shows local artists in its Lobby Gallery – in February, the center hosted a Black History Month exhibition. At the Jambalaya Soul Slam, a staple program since 2005, local poets compete for a cash prize and membership in the Bull City Slam Team, which competes in regional and national competition every summer. The Heritage Music Series and Heritage Film Festival add to the cultural offerings.

Hayti's Lobby Gallery

Hayti’s Lobby Gallery

There’s a variety of ways artists and arts supporters can get involved with the Hayti Heritage Center and help, in Lee’s words, “preserve the heritage and embrace the experience of the arts.” Take a class, try out for the Bull City Slam Team, come to an event, rent their facility, and, of course, follow them on Facebook and Twitter.  Stop by, see the art, tour the performance venue, meet the hard-working staff and thank them for their work to continue to impact of this longstanding venue on the Durham arts community.

Taryn Oesch is an editor, writer, and long-time Raleigh resident, graduating from Wakefield High School and Meredith College. She volunteers with local arts organizations and Miracle League of the Triangle. In her free time, she plays the piano, spoils her godchildren, and battles for apartment space with her uncontrollable collection of books. Website 

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Arts Advocacy Brings More Money to Arts Statewide – What that means for the Triangle

 

By Ella Fang

Hand drawing money, isolated on white background

You may have heard the news that the NC General Assembly increased the North Carolina Arts Council budget in its last session.  Specifically, the new budget included these changes:

  • The Biennium (2 year) budget included a total increase of $800,000 non-recurring funding, including a $500,000 increase in Grassroots Arts Funds
  • Allocation of $715,422 for A+ Schools.
  • Total arts funding in the 2015 – 2017 Biennium budget went up $1,515,422 – a 14% increase in funding for grants and programs at the North Carolina Arts Council.

But what does this mean for the Triangle?

 

More Grassroots Funding for Triangle arts organizations

The Grassroots Arts Program (GAP) provides per capita-based funding for arts programming to all 100 counties across North Carolina ensuring opportunities for citizens to experience the arts in their own communities.  Grassroots money helps local arts organizations provide a diverse menu of arts opportunities, such as festivals, classes and performances, and also supports arts in schools, administrative overhead, and sub-grants to community agencies.  Grassroots funds are distributed to a designated arts organization in each county, which uses the funds for local programs and also regrants part of the money out to other organizations.   “Counties with more than 60,000 population are required to sub-grant/re-grant 50% of these funds. For some arts organizations, Grassroots funding is their only source for operating funds” said Leigh Ann Wilder, Arts in Communities Director at NC Arts Council.

Cary - Diwali

The Diwali Festival in Cary. Hum Sub is a receipient of a grant from United Arts of Raleigh and Wake County.

In the Triangle, United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County, Chatham County Arts Council, Johnston County Arts Council, Orange County Arts Commission and Durham Arts Council distrubute Grassroots funds, often adding it to funding raised locally. “For us, it means we are able to provide nine more grants for the local arts community.” said Ragen Carlile, Vice President for Education and Community Programs at United Arts Council. This increased funding can make a real difference to the local arts organizations and artists that receive funding from their county arts councils. Click here for a listing of investments by county.  Read more about Grass roots Arts Funding here.

What are A+ Schools?

The A+ Schools Program “is a whole-school reform model that views the arts as fundamental to how teachers teach and students learn in all subjects.”  The program is creating and supporting a statewide network of A+ Schools – 50 so far – that have adopted the A+ philosophy and practice, and that make a commitment to participating in network activities. Learn more about the A+ Schools program here and find a list of the A+ Schools in your county here.

SmART Inititative

Another NC Arts Council program with a direct effect on the Triangle is the The SmART Initiative, which provides grants and leadership for municipal arts-driven economic development programs.  So far, four North Carolina municipalities have projects funded under this program, including Durham. The Durham project created, first, an Arts Vision plan to connect the downtown arts districts.  See that Arts Vision plan here.  Momentum from the initial SmART Initiative work has resulted in a successful NEA grant to continue this project. Read more about the NEA funded grant here.

Arts Advocacy works!

This funding increase is great proof that arts advocacy works! ArtsNC, the statewide advocacy organization for the arts, provided the leadership behind this successful effort. They organized advocacy events statewide to teach people how and why they need to fight for the arts and organized and led ARTS Day 2016, an annual two-day conference of art and action that draws hundreds of North Carolinians to their state capital to learn, network, celebrate, and speak with one voice on behalf of the arts. They also worked with local organizations to

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Triangle ArtWorks Director, Beth Yerxa, led part of the Wake County delegation at Arts Day, seen here meeting with Rep. Yvonne Holley.

engage arts supporters to advocate for the Arts and give them the training and tools they need to be effective advocates.

Triangle ArtWorks worked with Arts NC to host such a regional training event, “Give a Damn About the Arts” on April 13, 2016.  To get a snapshot of that event, check out this video by Justin Gartman.  Arts advocates from across the Triangle also participated in Arts Day, meeting with their local representatives and telling them stories about how the arts impact their cities and their lives.

How do I apply for grants?

Triangle ArtWorks has links to all local and statewide granting opportunities on our website. Each county, and sometimes individual municipalities, have granting programs for nonprofit arts organizations, individual artists and arts projects.  The North Carolina Arts Council also supports arts organizations, emerging artists and individual artists. Find more information and links to all of these grant programs here.

Ella Fang is a new Raleigh resident, graduating from Pennsylvania State University with a Master of Public Administration in Nonprofit Management. A strong believer that art works, she coordinates the International Festival of Raleigh, volunteers with local arts organizations, and fights for arts accessibility. In her free time, she loves painting, reading, and camping with her husband and their dog Smokie.

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