Duke Arts Presents: New Name, Big Goals

Expanded Duke Performances program connects with Duke Arts’ academic and community efforts

Duke Arts Present logo, with photos of performances by the Charles Mingus Band, Cirque de Soleil and Mummerschantz

For example: during Duke Arts Opening Week in early September, playwright Jeremy O. Harris, author of the acclaimed “Slave Play,” will come to campus at the request of the English department to meet faculty and students there. There will also be a free, public screening of the film Zola, which Harris co-wrote, followed by a Q&A.

“To align with our educational mission, we want artists who resonate with our faculty, students and communities,” Brown said. “Artists who are at the top of their fields. And we are coordinating with our faculty to create residency activities for people at Duke, in Durham and beyond.”

In fact, several Duke faculty members will be among the performers under the Duke Arts Presents banner in 2023-24. The full season slate, to be announced August 22, will include work by faculty members Gabriel Richard, Anne-Gaëlle Saliot and Felwine Sarr, each from Romance studies; Michael Kliën from the dance program; English professor Tsitsi Ella Jaji; and a pair of concerts with The Ciompi Quartet from the music department, continuing a long-running Duke Performances partnership.

Along with hosting artists on campus, Duke Arts Presents plans to resume partnerships in future seasons with off-campus venues, including the Carolina Theatre and Motorco Music Hall, to bring these artists into the Durham community.

And the shows won’t all be exclusive to Durham, either. Last fall, Duke Arts took a show on the road, bringing the Mingus Big Band to Duke – where it performed and held masterclasses with jazz ensembles from Duke and North Carolina Central University – and also to Charlotte. In Charlotte, the band performed and held events in Charlotte-Mecklenberg Public Schools. With these types of engagements, Duke Arts seeks to extend opportunities for more communities to engage with the arts and deepen Duke’s impact beyond the immediate region.

The public is invited to celebrate the launch of Duke Arts Presents during Duke Arts Opening Week Sept. 6-10, when an array of events on campus and in the broader community will be presented. More information is available at dukearts.org.

Members of the Mingus Big Band talk about their experience working with Duke students and statewide groups during their 2022 residency.