DURHAM NORTH CAROLINA IS A TOWN OR 233,000 PEOPLE, IT IS NOT A HUGE TOWN, BUT THEY DO ART IN A BIG WAY.
WHY DO SOME TOWNS DO ART BIG TIME AND OTHERS NOT AT ALL? WHAT MAKES A CITY OR COMMUNITY CHOOSE TO HIGHLIGHT THE ARTS? THIS IS A QUESTION WORTH OUR ATTENTION AND CONSIDERATION, WHY INDEED DOES A COMMUNITY CHOOSE TO FOCUS ON ART AND ARTISTS, HOW DOES IT HELP THE TOWN, AND WHAT DOES IT DO FOR THE COMMUNITY ITSELF?
One thing we do know about Durham is it is closely associated and influenced by a large university and that university is Duke. We also know Durham is in what is called the research triangle of Raleigh, Chapel Hill, and Durham. There are large numbers of people with advanced education and a wide swath of peoples from other cultures additionally. We also know Durham was a town with old unused factory building that were badly in need of use and repair. There may be other factors in the history of the area I do not know, but this recipe alone who be one ripe for artist to choose to seek out studio space and receive support from a diverse community. The university art program would produce young artists seeking to further their careers and in need of cheap studio space. So unused buildings, architecturally interesting, bit spaces, cheap, and a interested community built a town that supports the arts and artists. Then galleries pop up, cafes, interesting shops begin, and now it is not hard to see how art influences a community economically and enriches it culturally. Durham you have done a good thing!
In the next post I will talk about three of the artist we met along the way. None of the three had art backgrounds!