Sometime this month, Durham City Council will take up a vote that has the potential to shape the future of local art. If you want to see it thrive and you live in Durham, now you can sign and share a petition to make your voice heard.   

In December, we reported on a proposal from a coalition of Durham artists for the city to budget $1.3 million for a grant program that would give $1.2 million (the difference covers administrative costs) to independent artists and organizations that struggle to live and work in the city they culturally enrich.

Since then, the final version of the proposal has been updated with feedback from local citizens and the Durham Cultural Advisory Board and sent to Durham City Council for a vote.

“Durham is changing very fast,” writes petition poster Monica Byrne, who spearheaded the action. “As a result, its famous indie arts scene is in danger—especially the community of artists of color and POC-serving organizations that made the city such a desirable place to live in the first place.”

With endorsements from the Hayti Heritage Center and the Durham Arts Council (which would administer the grants), a unanimous recommendation from DCAB, a nod from Mayor Steve Schewel, and growing support on the council, the winds of change seem to be blowing favorably. But the outcome is far from decided. Sign it today. 

Contact arts and culture editor Brian Howe at 

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