Downtown Durham Inc

join Downtown Durham, Inc.

Downtown Durham, Inc. is a private, nonprofit organization that envisions downtown as the diverse, unique and thriving heart of Durham that is welcoming to all. Our mission is to enhance the environment, economy and vitality of downtown Durham, while preserving and enriching its distinctive culture and strong sense of community.

Open Positions

Director of Creative Activations

Downtown Durham, Inc. is seeking a Director of Creative Activations. This critical position is responsible for developing and implementing placekeeping and events strategies for public spaces in downtown and collaborating with private stakeholders on creative engagement of privately owned but publicly accessible spaces. The successful candidate must align with our vision and mission as well as have placekeeping or public space activation and event management experience.


The ideal candidate has experience in visioning and managing public space activations, has a collaborative mindset and is committed to building community through the programming and activation of engaging public experiences. This position requires someone who is passionate about downtowns, placekeeping and creating public events and spaces that draw foot traffic and provide positive, memorable experiences for residents, property owners, workers and visitors.


The candidate must be outgoing, comfortable speaking and working with the public, corporate leaders, public officials, volunteers and vendors; able to work independently and as a member of our team; able to handle multiple projects at the same time; must have excellent written and verbal communication skills; and must be familiar with the Microsoft Office suite of software and comfortable learning new software and technology.


A Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communication, art, urban planning or a related field is preferred. The Director of Creative Activations reports to the President & CEO. This position is full time, with some evenings and weekends required.



  • Create a strategy for public space activation through events, lead event planning and manage all logistics including timeline, permits, budget, sponsorships, community partners, vendors and day-of activities. DDI’s current placekeeping events include the Holiday Lighting, Third Friday and The Mix at Durham Station.
  • Direct an overall strategy for placekeeping and activating the public realm (such as parks, sidewalks, plazas, gateways, alleys and other open spaces) through a variety of tools including, but not limited to: public art, live performances, lighting, landscaping, parklets, furnishings, wayfinding, recreation and signage.
  • Develop activation concepts, identify public and private partners, develop detailed project plans, implement concepts, track attendance and other relevant data, and manage volunteers, vendors and contractors.
  • Identify, apply for and administer additional funding sources for placekeeping initiatives (e.g., national, state, local government and philanthropic grant opportunities, collaborations with private entities and corporate sponsorships).
  • Establish and foster relationships with artists, designers, architects, designers, property owners, businesses and other stakeholders.
  • Conduct community outreach, seek feedback and build consensus for major projects, working closely with the city and other permitting agencies involved in approval processes.
  • Act as an information resource and connector for major downtown event producers, providing introductions to relevant personnel (city, county, corporate, etc.) and suggestions to help make those events successful. Stay in the know about major events happening downtown and adjacent, and determine DDI’s role (if any) in those events.
  • Work closely with DDI Marketing & Communication staff on event and activation branding, collateral materials and publicity.
  • Work closely with DDI Clean & Safe Operations and Director of Business Engagement on installation and maintenance of lighting, art, wayfinding, etc.
  • Stay up to date on trends and opportunities in event planning, placekeeping and public space activation.
  • Develop benchmarks and evaluate the success of placekeeping initiatives, modifying these strategies as necessary.


Qualifications and Experience 

  • Strong personal alignment with DDI’s vision and mission.
  • A minimum of five years of professional experience in events management and/or creative placemaking required. Experience with both preferred.
  • Business Improvement District experience a plus.
  • Demonstrated skill in managing complex events, and experience with both event planning and day-of execution.
  • Demonstrated strong written and verbal communication skills.
  • Detail oriented, well organized with strong follow-through behavior.
  • Ability to successfully manage multiple tasks and meet multiple deadlines is required.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative, be creative, actively learn and do what it takes to achieve desired results.
  • Photography experience and skill is a plus.
  • Demonstrated experience and comfort using and leaning digital technology. DDI currently uses Microsoft Office Suite, Salesforce, Adobe Creative Suite, WordPress and Constant Contact.
  • Bachelor’s degree in marketing, communication, art, urban planning or related field preferred.


COMPENSATION: $65,000-$70,000


BENEFITS: Vacation, holiday and sick leave, health insurance, retirement program, parking.


TO APPLY: Please forward your resume to, with the subject line: Director of Creative Activations. Include a brief description of why you are interested in the position and three references.

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