Durham is home to a variety of public art, including this Civil Rights Mural, which depicts scenes from Durham's history of activism and inclusion. The mural is located at 120 Morris St. in downtown, adjacent to the Durham Arts Council Building.
As the temperature drops, the activities heat up in Durham thanks to the start of a new school year at some of the best universities in the nation, beautiful foliage, and artistic performances. Here are four distinctly Durham ways to spend a fall weekend in the Bull City.
Blues musicians jammed at The Blue Note Grill on Sunday night, vying for a chance to compete in the 2016 Blues Foundation’s International Blues Challenge. The winners of last night's Triangle Blues Challenge were Good Rocking Sam and Ruth Wyand.
You can enjoy live blues, roots, and bluegrass music at The Blue Note Grill six nights a week, in addition to mouthwatering ribs and daily drink specials.
See more live music venues in Durham >>
The 2016 North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival (NCGLFF) will take place from August 12 through August 20. The festival features short, documentary, and feature films, including both independent and mainstream productions, that celebrate and investigate gay, lesbian, and transgender life. In addition, the festival includes screenings of classic films, a family day, and other events that offer a party-like atmosphere.
The festival dates back to 1995, when the NC Pride Parade approached the Carolina Theatre with the idea of hosting a gay and lesbian film festival in conjunction with Pride's annual parade and festival, which was (and still is) held in Durham.
“At the time there might have been a gay and lesbian film festival in San Francisco, Los Angeles, and other major cities, but the idea of a smaller city like Durham holding one was nonexistent,” said Jim Carl, senior director of the Carolina Theatre.
In its first year, the festival attracted a few hundred people, but now, 21 years later, the North Carolina Gay and Lesbian Film Festival attracts 15,000 people. "The lobbies are packed. The screenings are packed,” Carl said. “It's a fun event; it's not stodgy.”
Film Selections and Special EventsNCGLFF gives visitors a chance to see a variety of films that you most likely won't have the chance to see in a theater anywhere else. Screenings range from programs of short films and international films to screwball comedies, dramas, and more. Here’s a sampling of the can’t-miss events at the 2016 festival:
Deep Run (2015) | Aug. 14 and 17
NCGLFF showcases several North Carolina films this year, including the documentary Deep Run. Produced by Susan Sarandon, Deep Run is a portrait of a young trans man living in rural North Carolina, whose sense of humor and courage counter bigotry. The film was an official selection at the Woodstock Film Festival, CinemaQ Film Festival, and Out On Film, in addition to winner of Best Documentary at the Austin Gay & Lesbian International Film Festival.
Free Family Screening | Aug. 20
BASF presents a free screening of Babe (1995). The film screening starts at 10:45 a.m. in Fletcher Hall at Carolina Theatre, and families are welcome to stop by the main lobby beginning at 9 a.m. for face painting, activities, and giveaways.
The Funny Pages | Aug. 13, 19, and 20
A collection of 13 animated short films about the lives of gay, lesbian, and transgender individuals. These aren’t your traditional animated movies – many use stop motion, claymation, CGI, hand drawings, and puppets.
The Freedom to Marry (2016) | Aug. 16 and 20
Get an inside look at the marriage movement, the team behind the civil rights battle, and the climactic Supreme Court case. This epic documentary stars Evan Wolfson, the architect of the marriage movement, and Mary Bonauto, the legendary civil rights attorney.
View the NCGLFF website to learn about all the films and watch their trailers.
Where to Stay
When you come to NCGLFF, don't forget that the Carolina Theatre is situated in the heart of Downtown Durham, a walkable district with plenty of new things to see and do.
There are five hotels within a walking distance of the Carolina Theatre:
Durham Marriott City Center
Marriott City Center is connected to the Carolina Theatre, offering ease of access to festival activities.
21c Museum Hotel
Explore the hotel’s art collection and snag a selfie with the 21c mascot – a hot pink penguin (.1 miles from the Carolina Theatre).
A mid-century boutique hotel with a celebrated restaurant and rooftop bar (.2 miles from the Carolina Theatre).
Aloft Durham Downtown
Located near the American Tobacco Campus, Aloft offers a modern aesthetic, heated pool, and proximity to plenty of dining and entertainment options (.4 miles from the Carolina Theatre).
Residence Inn Durham McPherson/Duke University Medical Center Area
The newly constructed Residence Inn has apartment-style suites, heated pool, and fitness center near the Brightleaf District (.6 miles from the Carolina Theatre).