Thursday, December 20, 2012

Durham Funds Public Art Grant

Durham has always been a vibrant and welcoming place for artists to create and show their work. That's why it should come as no surprise that the City of Durham would be giving its support to make art accessible to all through a public art project.

Passersby on Durham’s West Main Street will soon be enjoying a new Civil Rights mural thanks to a recent grant from the City of Durham to a renowned artist.

The City of Durham, in the scope of the Durham City and County Cultural Master Plan and in fulfillment of the purposes of the Public Art Grant Initiative Pilot Project, have awarded a grant to artist Brenda Miller Holmes to oversee the design, creation, and delivery of a mural to be located on the eastern exterior wall of a building located at 112 W. Main St.

According to Renee Leverty, chair of the Durham Cultural Advisory Board, this mural will honor not only an important part of Durham’s history, but also give an opportunity for true community participation. “The project includes many aspects that make it so appealing,” Leverty said. “The aesthetics of her work, a strong community and educational outreach, and a mentorship that will give a local artist the opportunity to gain expertise in the area of public art, which are all good things for Durham.”

Holmes will lead a process for public input into the design of a painted mural commemorating the history of the Civil Rights Movement in Durham. Project coordination will begin this month and continue through January 2013. Holmes is looking for 15 Durham youth (between 15-20 years old) and 15 Durham adults (age 21 and older) to participate in the creation of the project between February and June 2013. Applications to participate are available for interested residents and are due by January 15, 2013.

According to Holmes, there are several educational components that will be included in the mural creation, including four educational workshops, scheduled once weekly during February’s Black History Month, as well as six design workshops to be held between March and mid-April 2013.

About Brenda Miller Holmes 
Brenda Miller Holmes is a muralist and art educator that has been facilitating collaborative community mural projects throughout the San Francisco Bay Area and internationally for the last 10 years and has studied and worked with Master Muralist Susan Cervantes of Precita Eyes Muralists from 2005-2011. Holmes was trained in an artistic approach mirroring that of popular education, and her interest lies in the intersection of art, community empowerment, and social justice. She is passionate about sharing this unifying and transformative creative experience. Beyond mural making, her art teaching experience spans a variety of media and she has facilitated workshops with people of all ages, from toddlers through adults. Holmes can be reached by email at

About the Office of Economic & Workforce Development
Guided by the City’s Strategic Plan, the Office of Economic & Workforce Development helps ensure that Durham has a strong and diverse economy by increasing the city’s tax base through several revitalization initiatives, including new development efforts in the central city area. The department also plans and promotes cultural awareness and events, identifies and recruits target industries as well as assesses and trains Durham residents to fill new jobs. For more information go here, “like” on Facebook, or “follow” on Twitter.

To find out more about Durham's thriving art scene, click here. Fore more information about arts events in Durham, click here.

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