The Durham Arts Council proudly presents the 40th Annual CenterFest Arts Festival on Sept. 20 and 21 featuring 140 juried fine artists and craftsmen from 16 states, music and entertainment on 6 stages from 70 performing groups, a Kids Zone, Beer Garden, great food, a showcase of over 40 non-profits, government services, and community organizations, and more.

The lineup of visual artists, performers and community is the largest CenterFest ever presented, and will entertain, delight and inspire a projected 25,000 visitors.  CenterFest is North Carolina’s longest running juried outdoor arts festival. Visitors can enjoy and purchase wonderful art, learn how to throw a pot on a pottery wheel, record their CenterFest experiences at the People’s Channel TV booth, enjoy face painting, kids rides and lots of make-and-take art activities.  CenterFest draws visitors from a broad region for a weekend of art enjoyment, shopping, entertainment, delicious food, and exploration of all the great things the newly revitalized downtown Durham has to offer.  Hours are Saturday 10 am – 6 pm, and Sunday 11 am – 5 pm, plus a Saturday evening after-party from 6 pm to 9 pm at the Herald-Sun Stage and Beer Garden.  CenterFest is located in the heart of downtown Durham on the City Center streets surrounding the Durham Arts Council at 120 Morris St., Durham, NC 27701. Admission is free, however a $5 suggested donation is welcomed to support the festival and the arts programs of the Durham Arts Council. More information is at or at 919-560-2787.

“To celebrate the 40th anniversary of CenterFest, we have included more artists and entertainment than ever before plus new arts participation activities for all ages,” said Sherry DeVries, Durham Arts Council Executive Director. “Visitors can enjoy and purchase wonderful art, get their hands into clay on a pottery wheel, record their CenterFest experiences and Durham memories on TV, join in the new History Hunt game, and enjoy a great weekend in downtown Durham.”

DAC Board President, Dan Ellison, stated  “I’ve been to almost all of the last 39 Centerfests in Downtown Durham.  This 40th Centerfest will be the best ever! It is always a great way to spend a late-summer weekend and the start of the Fall season.    I always look forward to buying a work of art at CenterFest.  This year will have more music, artists, and food than ever before.  It is the one annual arts event I never want to miss.”                                                                                                           

Visual Artists
A record number of excellent artist applications have resulted in the juried selection of 140 visual artists representing 16 states, and including 83 North Carolina artists and 20 Durham artists. This year’s Merit Award Judges will view the work of artists in Painting, Photography, Basket-Weaving, Clay, Drawing, Fiber, Glass, Leatherworking, Printmaking, Wood, Jewelry, Mixed Media, and Sculpture. This year’s Merit Judges are Jennifer Dolan, Manager of Cedar Creek Gallery; Kenneth Rodgers, Director of the NCCU Art Museum; and Gab Smith, Executive Director of CAM Raleigh (Contemporary Art Museum). The merit judges will select the winning artists and award cash prizes totaling $2,500 to Best In Show, First Place, Second and Third Place winning artists.

CenterFest 2014 Citizens Choice Award

Festival-goers are invited to pick their favorite CenterFest Visual Artist for a chance to win prizes in the CenterFest 2014 Citizens Choice Award contest, sponsored by Durham Coca-Cola. Voting/Entry Forms will be available at all CenterFest Information Booths and at CenterFest Visual Artist booths. The Citizens Choice Award will be presented to the winning artist at 4:00 p.m. on Sunday at the festival.

Performing Artists
CenterFest 2014 Entertainment Committee has selected a great line-up of 70 performing groups, providing continuous music, dance and entertainment on 6 stages.  Over 600 individual performers will be sharing their talents at CenterFest. This is the largest number of performing artists ever presented at CenterFest. Performing groups include Pinkerton Raid, The Chit Nasty Band, Dark Water Rising, Jasmé Kelly and the Konnections, Rissi Palmer, Durham Jazz Orchestra, the Bouncing Bulldogs, the Bulltown Strutters, Eric DiMarzio, Ricardo Diquez and the Tropic Orchestra, Wyatt Easterling and more. The 70 groups will be performing continuously on the following 6 stages.
Performer information:

* Fox50, Mix 101.5, WRAL-FM Main Music Stage – CCB Plaza
* Downtown Durham Inc. Dance Stage – CCB Plaza
* NC Songwriters’ Co-Op Stage – in the Self Help/Ninth St. Bakery area
* Five Points Stage
* The Herald-Sun Stage at Bull McCabe’s
* The Children’s Stage in the South Bank Parking Lot across from the Durham Arts Council

*SATURDAY EVENING PERFORMANCES:  CenterFest will be offering extended performance hours at the Herald-Sun Stage on Saturday night.  The CenterFest Herald-Sun Stage and Beer Garden at Bull McCabe’s will remain open on Saturday night for the enjoyment of downtown Durham visitors.  Bands will continue on the Herald-Sun Stage until 9:00 pm.

Additional Features
CenterFest is also featuring the return of the bike valet parking system, courtesy of the Durham Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission and Bike Durham.

The Bull City Connector is a fare-free, environmentally friendly service that features hybrid-electric buses.  The connector only runs on Saturday.  For up-to-date route and schedule information, visit

CenterFest visitors can make their experience mobile and interactive by participating in the Bull City BUCK$ CenterFest “Scan”venger hunt!  L for the Bull City BUCK$ QookR code at                                                        popular CenterFest sites such as stages, food zones, and last year’s Best in Show and Citizen’s Choice artist booths to gain BUCK$ to use at downtown Durham restaurants and businesses. Visitors can also participate in the new History Hunt game, produced in partnership with the Durham History Hub, to follow clues to historic buildings in the festival site, tweet “selfies” to #Centerfest, and win prizes.

Food and Beverage and CenterFest Beer Garden
CenterFest will feature a variety of classic festival foods and locally-sourced food from a variety of food vendors and food trucks sure to satisfy anyone’s appetite – from burgers, bratwursts and seafood to traditional roasted corn, gyros, ice cream and turkey legs. CenterFest will also feature a Beer Garden in partnership with Bull McCabe’s.  CenterFest will also have numerous Coca-Cola product booths, sponsored and donated by Durham Coca-Cola, to quench the thirst of festival goers of all ages.

Creative Kids Zone

The CenterFest Kids Zone includes fun, hands-on art activities, face painting by Paint Savvy, and the popular Bounce House, Slide and Trackless Train from F & M Entertainment. Hands-on, make and take art projects are free. Face painting and kids rides have nominal fees.  The Kids Zone Stage will feature family-friendly entertainment including musicians, magicians, storytellers, and more.

CenterFest Sponsors

CenterFest is presented and produced by the Durham Arts Council with support from official festival sponsors including presenting sponsors FOX 50,, Mix 101.5; platinum sponsor The Herald-Sun, gold sponsors Durham Coca-Cola, TROSA, Net Friends, and SciMed Solutions, plus Downtown Durham Inc., The Peoples Channel, DPAC, Guitar Center of Durham, No Regret Productions, WNCU 90.7, WUNC 91.5, Worksmart, Bull McCabes Irish Pub, Superior Healthcare, James Hardie Building Products, Spectacular Magazine, 300 Swift Durham Flats, “The Boxtrolls”, Bull City Buck$, Durham Magazine, Exotique, Measurement, Inc., Morgan Stanley, Ninth Street Bakery, the North Carolina Songwriters’ Co-Op, Parker and Otis, Quality Inn and Suites, Austin Lawrence Partners, Self Help Credit Union, Amtrak, and other partners.  CenterFest is also assisted by The City of Durham and the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau.

CenterFest information at, or call 919-560-ARTS.


About Durham Arts Council

Durham Arts Council, Inc. is a private, 501 (c )(3) non-profit organization that promotes excellence in and access to the creation, experience and active support of the arts for all people in our community. The Durham Arts Council, one of the oldest art councils in the United States and one of the largest in North Carolina, manages a historic City-owned building at 120 Morris St., a public facility in downtown Durham that attracts nearly 400,000 visitors a year. The Durham Arts Council has year-round programs including art exhibitions; classes in the performing and visual arts; artist residencies; advocacy and fundraising for the arts; grants for artists and arts organizations; the Durham Art Walk; and CenterFest. For more information, visit