Friday, January 28, 2011

2011 Annual Tribute Luncheon Tickets Now On Sale

Durham's Annual Tribute Luncheon is an annual celebration of an aspect of Durham's unique sense of place...and Durham has a lot to celebrate.  Beyond all the accolades Durham has collected in recent months, Durham is home to amazing dance and the birth place of great music.

Years past have seen chefs, architects and civic leaders honored.  This year The African American Dance Ensemble, The American Dance Festival and The Bull Durham Blues Festival are taking the stage.  The theme is Great Rhythm and Great Blues which ties directly into the dance and blues that make such an impact on Durham each year.

Being held at Bay 7 on April 27th, 2011 at 11:30 AM, the luncheon is a going to hold a few surprises when compared to years past.  Like any good marketer would, Durham's official marketing agency, the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau, is building a little suspense and anticipation.  Those with tickets will get to enjoy the event first hand and be part of one of Durham's great events at which to be seen every year.  They are on sale here. Those interested in sponsoring the event can email for more information.

Durham Companies Recognized

In 2010, Durham’s The King’s Daughters Inn was recognized as Green Plus’ Sustainable Enterprise of the Year in the national contest recognizing organizations for the examples they set in advancing triple bottom line sustainability. Can Durham claim the winning company two years in a row? It is possible with Durham's Counter Culture Coffee as a finalist for the 2011 award.

Also up for awards this year are Bull City Forward and The Scrap Exchange in the Green Plus Non-Profit or Social Enterprise of the Year category. Winners will be announced February 25 at the North Carolina Research Triangle Park Foundation headquarters in Durham.

In addition to these Green Plus finalists, Durham’s Washington Duke Inn and Golf Club was awarded the 2010 Model Diversity Campaign Award given by the United Way of the Greater Triangle. This award is given to a company that best effectively addresses the company’s diverse employee population.

These recognitions are just one more indication that Durham is home to an innovative and entrepreneurial community of businesses and citizens.

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau was the first organization of its type in the nation to be certified Green Plus and just the second in Durham.

Friday, January 21, 2011

15 Durham Restaurants Featured in Triangle Restaurant Week

Want to experience what The New York Times, Our State Magazine, Bon App├ętit, Serious Eats, Southern Living, and other prestigious media outlets are buzzing about in Durham? Now’s the time. Close the kitchen for a week and sample some of the best food Durham has to offer at budget-friendly prices by taking part in the 2011 Triangle Restaurant Week, January 24-30.

For $15 at lunch or $25 at dinner, diners can choose from a restaurant's prix-fixe menu and enjoy a three-course meal from popular eateries in Durham as well as Wake and Orange counties. This year there are 15 Durham restaurants participating; a list of restaurants, menus and more information can be found online.

Tell others where you ate and how it was on Facebook,

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Reynolds Price, 77, Noted Durham Author

From our colleagues at Duke University, to whom we extend our condolences…


Note to editors: A special website about Reynolds Price, including photos, is available at

DURHAM, N.C. -- Reynolds Price, the celebrated writer of fiction, poetry, memoirs, essays and plays who turned a three-year teaching appointment into more than 50 years on the faculty at Duke University, died Thursday afternoon. He was 77.

Price, the James B. Duke Professor of English at Duke, his alma matter, had a major heart attack early Sunday.

“With a poet’s deep appreciation for language, Reynolds Price taught generations of students to understand and love literature,” said Duke President Richard H. Brodhead. “Reynolds was a part of the soul of Duke; he loved this university and always wanted to make it better. We can scarcely imagine Duke without Reynolds Price.”

A native of Macon, N.C., Price graduated summa cum laude from Duke in 1955, where he studied creative writing under influential professor William Blackburn, whose other Duke students included noted authors William Styron ’47 and Anne Tyler ’61.

Price was a Rhodes Scholar and studied in Oxford, England, with W.H. Auden and Lord David Cecil. He returned to the United States and took a teaching job at Duke in 1958. The letter offering Price that job warned that the position was a three-year appointment -- with no chance of being extended.

“That seemed a little discouraging, but I thought, ‘Well, three years is three years,’” Price recalled in a 2008 interview. During those three years he wrote his first novel and was asked to stay on. He remained a Duke faculty member for the next 53 years.

In 1962, his novel “A Long and Happy Life” received the William Faulkner Award for a notable first novel. Price published numerous books after that, including the novel “Kate Vaiden,” which received the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1986.

In his early days as a published writer, Price took offense at reviewers labeling him as the heir to Faulkner. “The search for influences in a novelist's work is doomed to trivial results,” Price wrote in a 1966 piece for The New York Times. “A serious novelist’s work is his effort to make from the chaos of all life, his life, strong though all-but-futile weapons, as beautiful, entire, true but finally helpless as the shield of Achilles itself.”

Price became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and received the John Tyler Caldwell Award for the Humanities from the North Carolina Humanities Council. In 1987, Price received the University Medal for Distinguished Meritorious Service at Duke, the university’s highest honor, and the Distinguished Alumni Award. A professorship in creative writing honoring Price was established at Duke in 2008.

He had a commanding presence in the classroom, using his deep, rich voice to convey the beauty of the English language. For many years, Price taught courses on creative writing and the work of 17th-century English poet John Milton, as well as a course on the gospels in which students wrote their own version of a gospel story. Price’s Halloween reading of ghost stories and poems became a tradition on campus that lasted more than a decade.

Price said he experienced two main rewards as a professor: reading and teaching great writing by other people, and getting to know his students, who included Tyler, writer Josephine Humphreys and actress Annabeth Gish.

In a fiery Founders’ Day speech in 1992, Price took aim at what he deemed a lack of intellectualism at Duke, describing students as enthusiastic about partying but marred by a “prevailing cloud of indifference, of frequent hostility, to a thoughtful life,” reported Duke Magazine. Some university officials cited that speech as an impetus for a greater emphasis on recruiting more intellectual students to Duke, according to the magazine article.

Price, who considered himself an “outlaw” Christian, wove his faith into his writings. His 2007 book “Letter to a Godchild,” for example, was a christening gift to his godson, intended as a brief guide for the child’s spiritual future. He also published two biblical translations: “A Palpable God” (1978) and “The Three Gospels” (1996).

Price became confined to a wheelchair in 1984 when a cancerous tumor affecting his spinal cord left him paralyzed from the waist down. A 2006 article in The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C., noted that Price had pondered and accepted the truths articulated in the Book of Job: that God’s ways are often beyond understanding or finding out.

“The fact that my legs were subsequently paralyzed by 25 X-ray treatments ... was a mere complexity in the ongoing narrative which God intended me to make of my life," he said. Price’s account of cancer survival is captured in his 2003 book, “A Whole New Life: An Illness and a Healing.”

Price’s third volume of memoir, “Ardent Spirits: Leaving Home, Coming Back,” was published in the spring of 2009. The book explores six crucial years in Price’s life, from leaving home in 1955 to attend Oxford University to his return to North Carolina and the start of his career as a university teacher.

According to Price’s wishes, there will be no public funeral. Duke University has not yet announced plans to honor Price.

CONTACT: Keith Lawrence
(919) 681-8059 (o); (919) 724-3418 (c)

Neighborhood Recognized for Historic Significance

Durham’s storied past has once again been honored with the recent announcement from Preservation Durham and the Historic Preservation Office of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources that the Stokesdale Historic District has been entered in the National Register of Historic Places as of December 28, 2010.

The Stokesdale Historic District centers on Hayti, Durham’s largest historic African-American community, and it stands as the only intact historic neighborhood that remains of Hayti. The residential historic district is located south of Downtown Durham and is roughly bound by Umstead, Lincoln, Lawson, and Concord Streets.

Listing in the National Register gives recognition that the properties have historic, architectural, or archaeological significance within the context of the community, state, or nation. Benefits include state and federal tax benefits for historic building rehabilitations as well as some protection against adverse action by state and federal agencies.

Holding a significant place in African-American history, Durham is a diverse and entrepreneurial place with a community culture that paved the way for Durham to be home to Black Wall Street with two African-American owned and operated banks and the largest African-American owned insurance company in the country. This designation again solidifies Durham’s position of importance in African-American history.

Interested in finding out more about Durham’s African-American history? Download Durham’s African-American Heritage Guide here or pick up a copy at the official Durham Visitor Information Center in Downtown.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

“Nose to Tail” Triangle Foodie Tweetup Kicks Off 2011

One of the greatest advantages of technology is its ability to bring people of similar interests together. That’s exactly the purpose of a “tweetup.” Named tweetup because they are real-life meetings organized on the social networking site Twitter, these events are happening all around, whether you know it or not. Luckily, you do not have to be on twitter to attend!

In Durham, there is a particularly active foodie group on Twitter and this group gathers on occasion to mix, mingle, and enjoy good food. The first Triangle Foodie Tweetup of 2011 will be held on February 20 at Four Square Restaurant.

Not usually open on Sunday, Four Square will open its doors to serve an assortment of pig from “nose to tail.” Here is a sample of the menu (subject to change):

Crispy Ears with gribiche sauce

Pig Head Terrine with horseradish

Confit Shoulder Rillette

Loin Porchetta

Lardo and Olive Crostini

Pork Butt braised in coconut milk and banana leaf with Thai garnishes

Trotters stuffed with house Italian sausage

Roasted Tail, (Since there is only one, we may raffle it off for charity!)

Crispy Belly with mustard and pickles

Tickets for the event are only $8.17 and a cash bar will be available. For more information and to purchase tickets click here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

New Funds for Small Business Loans

Governor Beverly Perdue announced that North Carolina will receive $46.1 million in federal funds for the N.C. Capital Access Program (NC-CAP). The money, allocated through the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, will allow community banks to help leverage more than $800 million in credit for North Carolina small businesses.

All businesses located in North Carolina with 500 or fewer employees are eligible for these loans. The maximum loan amount is $5 million and can be used to finance the acquisition of land, construction or renovation of buildings, purchase of equipment and working capital. Through the program, lenders are able to provide eligible small businesses with flexible terms, minimal additional paperwork and quick turnaround on loans.

Visit the North Carolina Rural Economic Development Center, Inc. website for more information.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Freeze Your Balls Off...really, it's going to be fun!

Yup...that's what they're saying because that's the actual name of the event.  Freeze Your Balls Off is a scooter rally that starts today and runs through the weekend.  Take a look at the website for the organization and at the itinerary for the event and a clearer picture emerges.

Organized by The Incriminators, a local scooter club that meets every other Sunday at Parker and Otis, the events are really meant for all comers...especially those on two wheeled vehicles. So, if scooters are a passion, or hanging out at some of Durham's hot spots with those who ride them is, then make your plans accordingly and be at The Green Room tonight at 8:00. The rally also has stops at Fullsteam Brewery and Tyler's Taproom over the weekend.

Oh, and dress warmly - the event is so named for good reason. It's supposed to be about 25 degrees tonight.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Celebrate Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Celebrate Durham

Durham has a special connection with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. As a city of open, welcoming, and community-spirited citizens, Durham welcomed Dr. King on many occasions. According to books like Parting the Waters and Origins of the Civil Rights Movement, immediately following the sit-in at a Woolworth’s counter in Greensboro, Dr. King launched a new battle cry in Durham in his “Fill The Jails” speech given at White Rock Baptist Church in Durham.

So, this weekend, be proud of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and be proud of Durham at one of these events including:

January 15, 2011

Annual Martin Luther King Jr. Day Parade
Named "One of the Top 20 Events in the Southeast," by the Southeast Tourism Society, the Durham MLK Parade provides a wholesome, family-oriented, multi-cultural event featuring floats, marching bands, steppers, horses, motorcycles, school groups, and more. The event is free and open to all. Beginng at 12pm the parade will start at Hillside High School.

Durham Symphony Orchestra Martin Luther King Concert
The program consists of music by Beethoven: Symphony No. 9 and Curry: Eulogy For a Dream. Tickets are $15 or $5 for students with ID and the concert will begin at 7pm at the Durham Armory.

Martin Luther King, Jr. Raise-a-Reader Fair
Featuring educational and entertaining activities for all ages, emphasizing Dr. King's legacy. The event is designed to promote literacy and is an excellent opportunity to add a book to your child's library. Admission is free and the event runs from 12-3pm at the Hayti Heritage Center.

January 16, 2011

Duke University Martin Luther King Jr. Commemoration
Social Justice Advocate Randall Robinson will speak at 3pm. The event is open to the public in Duke University Chapel.

January 17, 2011

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration Prayer Breakfast
Greetings and remarks by state and local officials including The Honorable William V. Bell, Mayor of Durham; The Honorable Charles C. Meeker, Mayor of Raleigh; and Dr. Irma McClaurin, President of Shaw University. This event is free and open to the public. For schedule of events, visit website. Doors open 7:15am. First come, first served at the Sheraton Imperial Hotel & Convention Center.

Great news, the weather looks to be thawing out for the weekend events so enjoy getting out of the house, visiting with neighbors, and celebrating the values and visions of the great Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Co Op Advertising Opportunities

The Durham Convention & Visitors Bureau is the official marketing agency for Durham, and as such is charged with getting Durham on the list of consideration for leisure and business visitors alike. With the economy as it has been, marketing dollars for DCVB and private sector businesses have been scarce, so every dollar spent needed to be a home run, so to speak. 

Creativity is a strong brand value in Durham, entrepreneurial is another. To that end, DCVB is moving forward by looking backward to a program it employed years ago: cooperative advertising where multiple stakeholders purchase small portions of advertising space.   This type of advertising allows those with limited budgets to advertise in publications they might not otherwise be able to afford to do so. Think of it in the same vein as membership clubs where a club buys in bulk and then sells portions to members at a discount.

These opportunities will take form beyond print and move into some creative online options, too, including some location-based gaming options that are costly to initiate but will be economical to buy into.

Stakeholders with an interest in knowing more can email Sam Poley, Director of Marketing and Communications.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Getting Loud in Durham

Durham is home to a long history of taking hold of opportunities and squeezing greatness from them. Just look at the tobacco, textile, health care, and biotech industries for examples. Coming on strong in the last decade have been creative industries like culinary arts, design, advertising, and more recently, the music industry.

Already home to Merge Records and ReverbNation, Durham has welcomed two live music venues in the last half of 2010. Both Casbah and Motorco Music Hall have hit the scene as stops on the independent music circuit that are garnering serious attention and praise from touring artists and local bands alike.

With the Grammy Awards coming up on February 13, Durham has four opportunities to show the music world it’s serious about being a community where great music happens.

Arcade Fire, a Merge Records band, has been nominated for three Grammy awards including Album of the Year for its album “The Suburbs.” Signed onto Merge Records in 2001, Arcade Fire was previously nominated for its 2007 album “Neon Bible” but a win on February 13 will be the first for the group and for Merge Records, a Durham based company which is emerging as a hard hitting independent record label.

In addition to Merge Records' success, Durham’s own, Carolina Chocolate Drops, are up for an award in the Best Traditional Folk Album category for their major-label debut “Genuine Negro Jig.” Formed in 2005, the Carolina Chocolate Drops are a string band who expose more listeners to traditional string music. Their style, described by Rolling Stone Magazine as “dirt-floor-dance electricity,” will be on tour through the United States starting in New York, New York in February.

Durham has been moving to the music ever since it “birthed the Piedmont Blues” and with such talented record labels, music groups, and live music venues, Durham will continue to move forward as a leader in the industry.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

NYT selects Durham as one of the top 41 places in the world to visit in 2011

What do Iceland, Milan, London and Durham all have in common? They all made the New York Times list of the top 41 places to go to in 2011.

As one of only six U.S. destinations on the list, Durham was touted for it's revitalized Downtown, entrepreneurship and crop of standout restaurants and cafes.

Read the full article here.