Durham 150 Closing Celebration 1600x590
Mon, Aug 12

Durham 150th Closing Ceremony at DPAC On November 2, 2019

Celebrating Durham and 150 Years of Innovation

Durham 150 Closing Ceremony

Presented by Duke University and Duke Health


November 2, 2019



August 12, 2019 (Durham, NC)The Durham 150 Closing Ceremony Presented by Duke University and Duke Health will take place on Saturday, November 2 at DPAC. This will be a culminating event of Durham 150, the official yearlong commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the City of Durham’s incorporation. The Closing Ceremony will explore the history of Durham through narration, video, live performance and music.


Tickets go on sale Thursday, August 15 at 10:00 AM:

  • Online at DPACnc.com
  • Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina - Ticket Center at DPAC: 919.680.2787, 123 Vivian Street, Durham, NC
  • Ticketmaster.com

To ensure the production is an accessible community event, there will also be a lottery established for $5 tickets. The lottery registration period will open closer to the event date. More details about the lottery will be announced soon. 


“We are honored to be the host venue for The Durham 150 Closing Ceremony,” said Bob Klaus, General Manager at DPAC.  “It is a privilege to be part of such a diverse and vibrant community, and we look forward to helping commemorate Durham’s rich history.”


“We have many goals for Durham 150, including inspiring continued appreciation for the community spirit that is uniquely Durham, and its rich history,” said Patrick Mucklow, executive director of the Museum of Durham History and co-chair of Durham 150. “The Durham 150 Closing Ceremony will cover and achieve so much in one evening. I know both newcomers and long-time residents will leave entertained, while also having learned more about the community they call home. It is an event not to be missed.”


The production will open with remarks from Mayor Steve Schewel, along with a welcome from Occaneechi Tribal Chairman, Tony Hayes. The Ocaneechi and Eno Native American tribes were the area’s earliest settlers. From there, the production will recount pivotal moments of the last 150 years in Durham while spotlighting the work and accomplishments of 29 individuals identified by the Sesquicentennial Honors Commission as heroes and change-makers. The Sesquicentennial Honors Commission, separate from the Durham 150 Convening Committee, was elected by City Council at the beginning of the year and charged with nominating people from Durham’s past to officially recognize during the anniversary year.


“We pulled together a diverse, all-star creative team to get this done,” said Steve Martin, former executive director of the Carolina Theatre and producer of the Durham 150 Closing Ceremony. “The Closing Ceremony event will blend the work of some of Durham’s best historical minds and present-day artistic talents to honor influential people that helped shape our past, by looking to their future.”


Throughout the Closing Ceremony, three large video walls will feature historical visual materials compiled by FireStream Media, while narration written by historian Jim Wise and recorded by long-time WUNC, 91.5 FM host Frank Stasio walk the audience through time. There will also be live and recorded music throughout from the John Brown Little Big Band. Live actors will lend perspective in transitional scenes created by Durham playwright Howard Craft and directed by JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell, artistic director of Durham’s Black Ops Theatre Company. A light-hearted video that playfully envisions Durham’s next 50 years will then be shown to the audience. It has been created, produced and narrated by Durham middle and high school students under the direction of David Stein, a Senior Educational PepsiCo Program Coordinator at Duke University with the Office of Durham & Regional Affairs. The students worked with professional animators, Rick Melges, a Duke University video producer, and Hannah Darrah, a Durham native who operates Berlin Studios in Philadelphia. The program will conclude with a live performance of a new Durham anthem composed by Gavin Williams, Joshua Gunn and Phil Cook for the sesquicentennial commemoration. 


The City of Durham is the presenting sponsor of the Durham 150 year of celebration, which is also supported by Discover Durham, the Museum of Durham History and the generous contributions of Durham residents, businesses, and organizations. Durham County has also provided a major contribution. The Durham 150 Closing Ceremony is presented by Duke University and Duke Health. The production is also supported by Nederlander & PFM, a gold sponsor of the Closing Ceremony and VIP Reception, and SunTrust Bank, a bronze sponsor of the Closing Ceremony. To find out how to make an individual or corporate contribution to Durham 150, please visit the Museum of Durham History’s website.


For more information about Durham 150, visit www.Durham150.org.