Art About 2019 Information & Application

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Accepting Applications for 2019-2020

Application deadline EXTENDED TO MIDNIGHT, JULY 15.


Aceptando ahora solicitudes para el 2019-2020.

El plazo para entregar solicitudes vence el 15 de julio.



This program provides grants to individuals and organizations who will bring temporary, creative, free of charge experiences to downtown Durham public spaces during the Third Friday Durham art walk, occurring every third Friday from 6-9 pm. Art About projects are interactive, educational, and playful. Think: sidewalk chalk workshop, “bang on a can” drum circle, pop-up free dinner party, life-size building blocks, silent discos.


De que se trata

Este programa otorga subvenciones a individuos y organizaciones que produzcan experiencias temporales, creativas y gratuitas en los espacios públicos del centro de Durham durante la Art Walk del Tercer viernes, que se realiza mensualmente en Durham cada tercer viernes de 6 a 9pm. Los proyectos de Art About son interactivos, educativos y lúdicos. Por ejemplo: taller de dibujar con tiza en la acera, círculo de tambores de "golpear una lata", cena pop-up gratuita, bloques de construcción de tamaño natural, discotecas silenciosas.

Important Dates

  • July 15, 2019 Applications due
  • July 29, 2019 Grantees notified of acceptance
  • June 30, 2020 All granted projects completed

Date and Time

Art About will occur quarterly during Durham’s Third Friday events which are the third Friday of every month starting at 6 p.m. and ending at 9 p.m.


DDI will fund 75% of project budget up to $2,000; applicants’ 25% contribution may be cash or in-kind contributions of time or materials. Eligible costs include fees for the creators/artists, installation and teardown, and as well as all costs related to the production and execution of the project. Funding may not cover food or alcohol.

Entry must be free of charge, but vending may occur at sole liability of applicant and with all necessary permits/licenses.


We define artists broadly. Chefs, graffiti artists, documentarians, aerialists, performance artists, musicians, installation artists, market organizers, poets, entrepreneurs, and more who live and/or work in Durham County and are over 18 years of age are eligible. We strongly encourage individuals who represent historically marginalized populations to apply.

Pre-Application Office Hours

June 3    8 - 9 a.m. Beyu Caffe

June 6    12 noon - 1 p.m. The Durham Hotel cafe

June 11   6 - 7 p.m. Cocoa Cinnamon (Geer St.)


Submit applications through the online portal linked below.

  • Incomplete applications will not be considered
  • The review committee will seek to select a wide variety of projects.
  • Decisions will be made by July 10.
  • Applicants may submit proposals for both Public Space Project and Art About. However, applicants must keep in mind the intended content of the Art About and Public Space Project programs (see About sections).

Application materials include:

  • Applicant resume(s): One per individual if applying as a group.
  • Work samples: images, audio, and video files accepted.
    • Evaluation criteria: demonstrated ability and commitment to execute proposed project
  • Proposal describing project (4,000 character limit including spaces): include which public space will be used and the time frame, the target audience, constraints of outdoor public space such as access, weather, and treatment of historic surfaces, etc.
    • Proposals will be evaluated based on the following criteria:
    • Engagement: Projects can demonstrate engagement a number of ways including offering hands-on opportunities to interact or learn; opportunities for the general public to participate in or create art; or propose a collaboration between different/complimentary artists or organizations.
    • Accessibility: Access is defined as the perceived and real ability for any person to appreciate and engage in a project regardless of age, ability, political belief, economic status, race, sex, gender expression, religion, language, etc.
  • Project budget: Download and fill out the below budget worksheet detailing all expenses (not to exceed $2,000) requested in order to execute Project as well as the 25% applicant match. Applicant match may include: volunteer hours, donated equipment or materials, or fundraising. If using funding beyond DDI contribution or if vending will occur as part of the project, include additional projected income in budget with documentation. DDI funding may not be used for food or alcohol.
    • Budget will be evaluated on whether it is reasonable, specific to the project, and compensates all collaborators fairly.
    • Download the budget worksheet.
  • Location: Applicants should consider the opportunities and constrains of various public spaces and have an idea of where they would like to locate their Art About. Eligible sites include but are not limited to: Alley 24, Alley 25/26, Holland Street, Health and Human Services plaza, Durham Transit Center, Five Points Plaza, Five Points Alley, and CCB Plaza. Applicants are encouraged to propose other public or publicly-accessible spaces downtown.
  • Dates: Indicate any and all dates for which you’d like to be considered
    • August 17, 2019
    • October 18, 2019
    • April 17, 2020
    • June 19, 2020

Artists' Roles/Responsibilities

  • Provide a W-9 to Downtown Durham, Inc. at least 4 weeks before first Art About payment
  • Provide narrative description of project to Downtown Durham, Inc. for marketing and sponsorship purposes
  • Identify and hire any collaborators and/or sub-contractors; create/execute signed contracts with subs.
  • Working with Downtown Durham, Inc. staff, provide list of needed materials, permits, and remuneration budget
  • Promote and publicize project using Downtown Durham, Inc. - created marketing materials and event pages
  • Attend one to two meetings as required and requested by Downtown Durham, Inc. to present ideas and progress
  • Provide final written plan at least 4 weeks prior to project date for a 3+ hour project that engages the public, is tailored to the site, and is in line with Art About goals. Plans should include: day-of play-by-play, spatial plan, installation/tear-down plan, and inclement weather plan.
  • Attend the entire Art About, and manage installation and teardown
  • Contribute to event summary discussion/report

Downtown Durham, Inc.'s Roles/Responsibilities

In addition to funding, DDI will support grantees by assisting with:

  • Guidance on spatial and property logistics including permitting
  • Facilitate neighborhood buy-in
  • Online and print media marketing + promotion
  • Day-of photo documentation and sandwich board signage


E-mail Rachel Wexler at [email protected]


Are you or your organization interested in sponsoring an Art About? Contact us at [email protected] to discuss opportunities.


For updates, please enter your email address here.

The Fine Print

  • Applicant may cancel up to three weeks before Art About date. Downtown Durham, Inc. will not reimburse any dollar amount spent if applicant cancels Art About.
  • Downtown Durham, Inc. may cancel Art About at any time if one or more of the following conditions exist:
    • The space is not usable due to external circumstances such as natural or other public emergency.
    • The actual project by grant recipient differs from the proposed and approved project proposal
    • Grant recipient violates any agreement with Downtown Durham, Inc.
    • Art About project is in violation of public laws or policies or is likely to cause damage to people or property
    • Downtown Durham, Inc.’s funding for Art About is revoked.
    • If Downtown Durham, Inc. cancels the project because of any of the above reasons, Downtown Durham, Inc. will not accept responsibility or liability for losses incurred by grant recipient or sub-contractors.
  • Downtown Durham, Inc. will disburse 50% of funding amount before the start of the Art About and the remainder by Art About completion. Payment plan may be adjustable upon request.
  • In case of inclement weather, projects will be moved indoors or rescheduled on a case-by-case basis.
  • Applicant retains the copyrights to the Art About and may present the work again elsewhere. However, Downtown Durham, Inc. retains the right to record/photograph any part of the project for archival and publicity purposes only.