Welcome to the Supporters of Durham 150 newsletter, designed to keep those interested in Durham’s sesquicentennial updated on all the planning activities surrounding the yearlong event.

Save the Date: The Durham 150 Opening Celebration Presented by Aetna on April 13

We’re excited to share more details about The Durham 150 Opening Celebration Presented by Aetna, planned for Saturday, April 13 from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. at the American Tobacco Campus (ATC). Mayor Steve Schewel will lead off the official recognition and fanfare, inviting everyone to enjoy complimentary birthday cake and what makes Durham such a dynamic community.

The Opening Celebration will highlight the four themes of Durham 150 (history and education, innovation and entrepreneurship, social equity and robust democracy, as well as arts and leisure) as everyone will be encouraged to visit themed ‘neighborhoods’ throughout ATC. Each neighborhood will feature local experts, artists, and community leaders hosting exhibits, crafts, mini-classes and demonstrations.

There will be live entertainment throughout the Opening Celebration on the main stage with The African American Dance Ensemble, Bouncing Bulldogs, Kidznotes, storyteller Willa Briagm, and others performing. Stop by and add your picture to a photo mosaic mural, record and add your story to Durham’s historical archives at a story kiosk, and be one of the first to claim a floatable rubber ducky (made in the likeness of a bull), to participate in our very own “Running of the Bulls” down the river at ATC.

The event is free and open to the public. Bring friends and the whole family for a fun-filled, engaging experience. Whether you’re among the proudest, most knowledgeable Durhamites or new to the Triangle area, we’re excited to share the day with you. We know that you will walk away having learned something new while gaining appreciation for this place we call home.

First Durham 150 Grants Awarded

Did you know that we have a grant program to assist individuals and organizations planning events or projects that align with one of the four themes and the mission of Durham 150? Grant applications are accepted on a rolling deadline on 15th of every month between February and July 2019. From the applications submitted before the February deadline, there were a total of 26 grants awarded ranging from $250 to $2,000. More information about the awarded projects and the grant program is included in this press release.

The grant program is sponsored by the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, Rotary Clubs of Durham and Wexford Science + Technology. We look forward to seeing these projects come to fruition, helping to celebrate Durham’s diverse community, rich history, and promising future.

Taking a Moment to Thank our Sponsors

You hopefully know by now that this year marks the 150th anniversary of the incorporation of the City of Durham. What you might not know is that the City of Durham was the first and biggest sponsor of Durham 150, contributing funds needed to get the yearlong commemoration up off the ground and running.

Durham County also immediately jumped in, stepping up as Durham 150’s Bartlett Durham sponsor and contributing funds needed to achieve our mission and vision.

As noted in the name of the Durham 150 Opening Celebration Presented by Aetna, we’re pleased to have Aetna on board as the official birthday party’s naming sponsor. Aetna will have an exhibit at the event to promote healthy lifestyles at the American Tobacco Campus.

We are excited there are several other sponsors on board for key Durham 150 events and activations, and we look forward to introducing them in coming issues of this newsletter.

For everyone’s continued support, we thank you.


"The Best of Enemies" Durham Special Screening, a Durham 150 Signature Event

It was so very thrilling to see the outpouring of support and interest surrounding ticket sales for "The Best of Enemies" Durham Special Screening at The Carolina Theatre of Durham occurring on March 19. The tickets were sold out in 30 minutes!

Durham 150 collaborated with "The Best of Enemies" Premiere Committee with the generous support of The Forest at Duke, who helped sponsor the VIP reception and expenses associated with a special Durham Public School screening of the film earlier in the day. The special screening is a signature event of Durham 150 and will spur important conversations surrounding our history and education and social equity and robust democracy themes as Durham’s civil rights history is brought to national attention. There will also be a screening and panel discussion at Duke on March 20 (also sold out), before the film premieres nationwide on April 5.

Join Us at a Public Event to Learn More About Durham 150

We will be out in the community to spread the message about Durham 150 and to encourage involvement. Below are dates and locations where we’ll be providing information about the project and how to lend support.

  • March 28  5:30-6:30 p.m.
    Join us at Stanford L. Warren Library to learn more about the Durham 150 project to brainstorm about event activation and project ideas, and to learn more about available grants.
    1201 Fayetteville Street
    Durham, NC 27707
    * Please RSVP to attend the above event by sending an email to contact@durham150.org.

Upcoming Durham 150 Events

The Annual Black History: Artists' Perspectives Exhibition 2019
February 1 — April 30
St. Joseph's Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center
804 Old Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27701
M-F 10 a.m.-5 p.m., Sat 10 a.m.-3 p.m.

Panel Series: Tobacco and the African American Experience
March 9, March 23
Duke Homestead State Historic Site
2828 Duke Homestead Rd., Durham, NC 27705
2 p.m.

"Portraits of Durham" Exhibit at the Durham Arts Council
Durham Arts Council
120 Morris St., Durham, NC 27701
March 15th Reception: 6pm
Gallery Hours: 9 a.m.-9 p.m. M-Sat, 1 p.m.-6 p.m. Sun

Pop-up Exhibit: Drawing Democracy
March 15th
Museum of Durham History / History Hub
500 W. Main St., Durham, NC 27701

Premiere: "The Best of Enemies"
*Special Durham Screening*
Carolina Theater
309 W. Morgan St., Durham, NC 27701

"The Gospel According to André"
March 17, 2019
St. Joseph's Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center
804 Old Fayetteville St., Durham, NC 27701
2:30-5:30 p.m.

Neighborhoods Hike
March 30, 2019
Across from White Star Laundry
Ninth and Green Streets, Durham, NC 27705
10 a.m.

Find a listing of all events here.

Historical Fact

Moving forward, we’re planning to share with you a historical tidbit or story from Durham’s past. As we enter March Madness, we thought this newsletter would be a great time to recognize “The Secret Game.” This year marks the 75th anniversary of the first interracial basketball game in the Jim Crow South, played between NC Central and Duke University. The Secret Game was pivotal to the evolution of basketball and civil rights, inspiring Scott Ellsworth to author the nonfiction book “The Secret Game: A Wartime Story of Courage, Change, and Basketball’s Lost Triumph” and national praise for sparking large scale social change.

Donate Now!
Your involvement is needed to help plan and execute a dynamic, yearlong observance that includes everything from a community-wide family reunion and series of events, to celebrations of our roots and all that lies ahead.

Visit www.durham150.org/donate-now to donate to help make the Durham 150 vision a reality!


Shelly Green & Patrick Mucklow
Co-Chairs, Durham 150

Discover Durham
212 W Main St Suite 101 Durham NC 27701
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