5 Free Things to do at Duke in February 2024

Enjoy nature, art, music and more at Duke this month

A collage of images including a garden tour, Nicholas Kristof, musicians, a painting and people in a museum.

Kavanah Anderson, center, leads a recent Midday Meander.

Feb. 1 – Duke Gardens’ Midday Meander

Sarah P. Duke Gardens Director of Learning and Community Engagement Kavanah Anderson leads an informal tour of the gardens meant to deepen participants’ relationship with plants and nature.

Described as a “conversational stroll,” the Midday Meander gives visitors a chance to use different senses to experience what’s happening in the gardens in mid-winter and have their plant-related questions answered.

The tour begins at 12:15 p.m. on February 1; registration is required.

Award-winning New York Times Columnist Nicholas Kristof.

Feb. 5 – Nicholas Kristof in Conversation

New York Times columnist and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner Nicholas Kristof will join Sanford School of Public Policy Professor Frank Bruni for a conversation about the 2024 election and other pressing issues facing the United States and the world.

The event, which takes place at 6 p.m. Monday, February 5 at Page Auditorium, is part of the 50th anniversary celebration of the DeWitt Wallace Center for Media and Democracy and is organized with help from the David M. Rubenstein Distinguished Lecture Series.

Tickets are free with a limit of four per order.

Later in the month, David M. Rubenstein Distinguished Lecture Series events at Page Auditorium will feature Nobel Peace Prize winner Maria Ressa on February 8 and Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson on February 22.

Blackspace will lead poetry and music activities at Nasher Family Day. Photo courtesy of the Nasher Museum of Art.

Feb. 11 – Nasher Family Day

Celebrate Black History Month at the Nasher Museum of Art with the latest edition of the museum’s popular Family Day events.

Part of a long-running monthly series designed to expose young minds to the arts, the Family Day event, which runs from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. Sunday, February 11, will feature the Blackspace crew for an afternoon of poetry, an instrumental beat set and a live cypher.

The event is open to families and children of all ages.

Admission to the Nasher Museum of Art is always free.

The Ciompi Quartet consists of, from left to right, Jonathan Bagg, Caroline Stinson, Eric Pritchard and Hsiao-mei Ku.

Feb. 17 – The Ciompi Quartet: Night Music

The Ciompi Quartet, an ensemble of Duke faculty members and acclaimed classical musicians, will take the Baldwin Auditorium stage for an evening of music celebrating the sounds and emotions of the night.

The performance will feature appearances by acclaimed mezzo soprano Jennifer Johnson Cano and pianist and Duke faculty member Ieva Jokubaviciute.

The show will consist of night-themed musical selections from composers Béla Bartók, Henri Dutilleux and Gabriel Fauré.

The roughly two-hour performance begins at 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17.

Painter Marc Chagall, seen in his 1913 work, Self-Portrait with Seven Fingers, was part of the modernist movement.

Feb. 28 – Mapping Jewish Modernism

The rapid pace of social, economic, technological and political change in the early 20th century led to the creation of the modernist movement in art and literature. In the Mapping Jewish Modernism exhibit in the Rubenstein Library’s Mary Duke Biddle Room, Duke undergraduate and graduate students have chosen materials from Duke University Libraries’ rare book collections to explore the contributions of Jewish authors and the role of Jewish identity in the modernist movement.

While the exhibit opens on February 9, a celebration of the unveiling will be held from 5-7 p.m. on February 28 in the Rubenstein Library’s Holsti-Anderson Family Room. The event will feature talks from the exhibit’s student organizers and Duke Kunshan University Assistant Professor of Humanities Yitzhak Lewis.

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