Friday, January 30, 2015

Everyone wants to visit Durham in 2015 and so should you

Durham is a hot destination this year! With thriving arts, dining, and downtown scenes, it's no wonder that Durham is being recognized as one of the top destinations to visit in 2015.

First, Durham was recognized on Travel + Leisure's "Best Places to Travel in 2015," calling out Durham in its print publication out of 53 select destinations in the world to visit.

Durham was then recognized in Refinery29's article, "Why These 7 Cities Should Be On Your 2015 Travel List." Refinery29 called out Durham's "incredible food, a relaxed vibe, and cool warehouse buildings," along with its food truck scene.

Durham has also earned a #14 spot on Trivago's 2015 US Reputation Ranking, which examines global destinations to determine those with the most reputable hotels, based on their collective hotel ratings. Durham has top notch places to stay and it's always great to see them recognized.

Learn more about why Durham should not be missed in 2015. Request a free visitors guide or sign up to receive ideas for things to do and see right to your inbox, and follow Durham on Facebook and Twitter while paying special attention to posts tagged #DurhamFreshDaily.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Major Civil War Sesquicentennial Approaching in Durham

Consider this: 150 years ago right now, the Civil War's Campaign of the Carolina's was underway as the Union Army moved North and West through North Carolina to the effective end of the conflict at Bennett Place in Durham. A treaty was signed at a courthouse in Virginia, but in Durham the armies of Tennessee, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, and Florida were surrendered for a total of 89,270 soldiers relinquishing their arms.

In Durham, history is really coming alive in 2015.

A sesquicentennial (150th anniversary) is an important mark in time, especially at Durham's three state historic sites; more than any other city in NC. Those sites, Bennett Place, Duke Homestead, and Historic Stagville, are all producing events to showcase Durham in the time period before, during, and after the war as they welcome visitors and give them a window on this nation-shaping time in history.

Information about bout Durham's role in the conflict, these sites and their planned events, are all collected on this helpful Civil War website.

Durham saw  the last use of artillery, the last casualties, and is the site of the last fighting in North Carolina, There are major events throughout the upcoming months. Check this webpage, search the Durham Event Calendar for history events, and keep an eye on Durham's Facebook and Twitter accounts and follow the #Durham150 hashtag to keep up with all the Civil War related stories.

Friday, January 23, 2015

DCVB Launches New Public Relations Bootcamp

The continued success of Durham as a destination is due, in part, to the success of the businesses that make up the community. Durham is the very embodiment of the adage that the sum is greater than the whole of its parts.

"Durham is strong when we work together," said Shelly Green, President and CEO of the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau (DCVB).

To that end, DCVB is starting a Public Relations 101 seminar on January 29. The free, one-hour session will be held monthly at the Visitor Information Center at 101 E. Morgan Street in Downtown Durham, and will be an overview highlighting easy action steps that are accessible to everyone. "Public Relations can be a very complex business requiring serious counsel, but there are some entry-level things businesses can do to get started that fairly easy to grasp," said DCVB PR Director Sam Poley who will lead the sessions. "We want everyone to be putting their best foot forward, and we think this session can really help them do that." The session will provide an overview of what comprises public relations, how public relations plays a part in day-to-day business operations, and how to dig in to some specific things like media relations, PR in social media, and crisis communications.

Space is limited to 10 participants, and those interested in attending should email using the subject line PR Seminar 1/29 and list the names of those planning to attend, email addresses, and phone numbers for each to reserve space. Seating will be granted on a first come, first served basis. Additional sessions will be added to meet demand.

"With all that is happening in Durham including new hotels, major historical events, and more, businesses need to be shining," Poley said. "Good PR is key in that endeavor," Green added that she wants the community to benefit from the expertise within the organization. Future dates and times will be announced via social media and the Durham News Service.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Duke Names Chancellor for Health Affairs and CEO of Health System

Durham's Duke University has announced its choice for the top official over the Duke University Health System. This is another major milestone for Durham's continued reputation as a globally-recognized destination for those seeking medical care.

A. Eugene Washington, M.D., an internationally renowned clinical investigator, health-policy scholar and executive at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), will become Duke University’s next chancellor for health affairs and the president and chief executive officer of the Duke University Health System.

Washington, will begin his new role on April 1 and will oversee one of the world’s leading academic and health care systems, including Duke’s medical school, nursing school and extensive programs for patient care, biomedical research and community service.

Washington, 64, currently serves as vice chancellor for health sciences, dean of the David Geffen School of Medicine and chief executive officer of the UCLA Health System, where he is also a distinguished professor of gynecology and health policy and holds the Gerald S. Levey, M.D. Endowed Chair. At Duke, he will succeed Victor J. Dzau, M.D., who stepped down as the university’s senior medical officer on June 30 to become president of the Institute of Medicine (IOM) of the National Academy of Sciences.

Washington has been a national leader in assessing medical technologies, translating research into health policy and shaping health care practice. He helped spearhead efforts to change clinical practice and policy guidelines for prenatal genetics, cervical cancer screening and prevention, and reproduction-related infections. He also has been a national thought leader in calling for academic health systems to reconfigure broadly and to assume the lead in creating new models for research, education, clinical care and community engagement.

Learn all about Durham's legacy as the City of Medicine online.

Durham Seeks Public Art Committee Applicants

Durham residents with a love of art now have another opportunity to serve on the Durham Cultural Advisory Board Public Art Committee.

The Board, charged with advising the City Council on implementation of the Public Art Policy, is searching for three new members to fill Public Art Committee vacancies with two terms to expire on June 30, 2015 and one to expire on June 30, 2016. The Durham Cultural Advisory Board serves as an advisory body to the City Council and the City Administration. The Public Art Committee advises the Board and acts on behalf of the Board on matters relating to public art in the City of Durham.

The committee is charged with assisting the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development and advising on the implementation of the Public Art Policy. The committee also reviews proposals for public art projects brought to it by the City Administration and makes recommendations to the Durham Cultural Advisory Board regarding project approvals.

The committee meets on the third Wednesday of each month at 8:30 a.m. at the Durham Arts Council in downtown Durham. Members serve without compensation and must reside within the city or work within the city and actively contribute to the cultural and economic sectors. Priority in appointments will be given to city residents. The application deadline is 5 p.m. on Friday, February 13, 2015 and applications can be downloaded here.

Completed applications should be sent to Senior Economic Development Coordinator Peter Coyle with the City’s Office of Economic and Workforce Development at 807 East Main St., Suite 5-100, Durham, N.C. 27701. For more information, contact Coyle by email or by calling (919) 560-4965, ext. 15205.

Discover all of Durham's visual art galleries and exhibits and learn how to do #DurhamFreshDaily with the Durham Event Calendar.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Ponysaurus Brewing Co. expands brewery

Durham's stake in the adult beverage game is growing. The two liquor brands, and three stand-alone breweries in Durham are soon to get the company of another liquor brand, two distilleries...and another brewery.

Technically that last brewery is already in operation, but now it's getting its own home; Ponysaurus Brewing Company will no longer be a nanobrewery.

After humble beginnings a year ago as a tenant at The Cookery, Ponysaurus occupied the space above the front room entrance.  The brewing space was so small brewer Keil Jansen had to use a scissor lift to get to his work space.

Now, the brewery has outgrown that space and is moving into a home of its own at the corner of Hood Street and Ramseur Street. Production from the new location is anticipated to begin this spring.

The new facility, a 6,000 square foot warehouse east of the Durham Bulls Athletic Park, will expand the company’s brewing capacity from 180 barrels a year to 2,000 barrels a year, in addition to providing space for a taproom that is slated to open in the summer of 2015.
Ponysaurus brews can currently be found on draft at various Durham establishments such as Mateo, and Wine Authorities.  The new facility, which will include a canning line, will expand the list of retail shops and restaurants where Ponysaurus Brewing Co. will be available, in addition to the cans and specialty bottles that will be available in the taproom.

Learn more about Durham breweries and taprooms, and don't miss out on tastings by following the Durham Event's how you can experience #DurhamFreshDaily.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Master Sommelier Looks To Open Wine Bar in Durham

As Downtown Durham continually sees new businesses popping up, like 5 new hotels, numerous restaurants, retail shops, and more, other businesses are joining the fray and leveraging Durham attention on the national stage. In fact, it's hard to keep up as the place changes and offers opportunities for everyone to see how Durham delivers on its new campaign encouraging people to experience #DurhamFreshDaily. One new business-person is trying to make it easier on everyone.

Enter Fred Dexheimer.

Dexheimer, the only Master Sommelier in the Carolinas, came to Durham as part of the team that opened The Black House at Straw Valley on 15-501 at I-40. He has since left that project and is now, along with a carefully chosen team, working to open Rx Wine Lab, a wine bar that will be located in Downtown Durham. Dexheimer, with energy to spare, is wasting no time in making it easier for folks to keep up with him, and to get to know his concept. The title of Master Sommelier is reserved for the most knowledgeable in the field - only 186 people have earned the title worldwide; currently there are only 118 in North America. "Durham is filled with high profile professionals, and adding someone with Fred's credentials to the local food scene just further makes the point that Durham is a dining destination that contends on the national stage," said Sam Poley, Director of Public Relations for the Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Says Dexheimer, "I'm not just a guy who serves wine, and Rx Wine Lab is not just a wine bar." The business will incorporate some food service, but it's biggest differentiation is the focus on wine education - hence the name. "Labs are where people learn, and we want customers to learn and enjoy at the same time," Dexheimer added referring to the wine education he conducts.

Rx Wine Lab recently ran a very popular pop-up wine bar at Blue Coffee Cafe to test their concept as well as support owner Gwen Matthews' Kickstarter campaign to move her business over to Church St. at Main St. That went so well, according to Dexheimer that he and his team will repeat the effort this coming Saturday, December 6. They are also launching their own Kickstarter campaign to raise money for Rx Wine Lab in an effort to secure the funding necessary to build out a space in Downtown Durham. Details about the two events are below. Note that the Kickstarter event is only for those who RSVP; the pop-up wine bar is open to everyone.

Rx Wine Lab Kickstarter Wine Party!

    • Thursday, Dec. 4th - 6pm - 9pm
    • The Carrack Modern Art Gallery, 111 West Parrish Street, Durham
    • Cost: Free
    • RSVP:

Rx Wine Lab POP-UP Wine Bar

    • Saturday, Dec. 6th - 6pm - 12am
    • Blue Coffee CafĂ©, 202 North Corcoran Street, Durham 
    • Cost: $10 per glass, $12 per flight of 3 wines, $35 per bottle

Visit the Durham Event Calendar to learn about all the fun things to do here, and tag your social media posts with #DurhamFreshDaily when you share your experiences online.