Festivals and Special Events Request for Proposals

The City of Durham recognizes that festivals, parades, and other celebrations play an important role in fostering community well-being, creating local identity, and in contributing to an improved quality of life of Durham residents and visitors. Community-based festivals and events reflect the vibrant, distinct and diverse character of Durham and its residents while offering opportunities to create economic, social, health and community benefits. 

The goals of the FY2020 Festival and Special Events Funding are: 

  • Encourages awareness of art, history and/or culture
  • Creates vibrancy for Durham’s communities.
  • Promotes equity, diversity, inclusion and accessibility. 
  • Benefits Durham’s economy and communities. 
  • Demonstrates organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

The City may support festivals, events, parades, and other celebrations in the circumstances where economic and social benefits are provided for the community and the eligibility criteria are met.  The level of support by the City of Durham will be determined by:

  • Available funding and other demands on the City's annual budget
  • The Economic and Social benefits of the Event to the community
  • The Durham community's support of the Event
  • The level of Community support of previous Events held in the proposed location or organized by the same organization
  • Expressions of interest received by the City of Durham in providing other festivals/events.


Tuesday, July 2, 2019Announcement to Public
Tuesday, July 2 – Friday, August 2, 2019Application Process Open
Monday, July 15, 2019, 4:00 - 5:00 p.m. ESTRFP Overview Workshop
Friday, July 19, 2019 by 3:00 p.m. ESTDeadline to submit questions about the RFP in writing

Friday, August 2, 2019 by 3:00 p.m. EST 

Deadline to submit Application Packet

August 12 - 21, 2019        Cultural Advisory Board review and score applications  
September 2019    Submit recommendations to City Administration
October - November 2019Submit recommended funding request to City Council 


Please review the Request for Proposals (RFP) and the Quick Applicant Guide for proposal requirements and eligibility. All necessary documents are available below. The application form must be completed and submitted in the online form provided.

Request for Proposals

Quick Applicant Guide

Application Form

Review Criteria

Adobe Reader DC or higher can be used to review the documents. To download the latest version of Adobe Reader, click here: https://get.adobe.com/reader/


Application packets must be submitted through the online application portal and through the mail. 

Online Application Portal is located here:  Application Form

The online application portal outlines the process to submit attachments. The outlined attachments must be emailed to durhampublicart@gmail.com by the established deadline. 

Three hard copy of the complete RFP packet must be mailed to the City’s General Services Department: 

Attention Cultural Festivals RFP
2011 Fay Street
Durham, N.C. 27704. 

For technical questions on the RFP and submission process, please email the Cultural and Public Art Program Analyst Rebecca Brown with the Arts, Culture, and Sustainable Communities Division of City’s General Services Department at Rebecca.Brown@durhamNC.gov

RFP Overview Workshop

City staff will host a RFP Overview Workshop for interested applicants to review the RFP process and application. The workshop will be held at the City of Durham's General Services Department building located at 2011 Fay Street, Durham, N.C. 27704, in Room 141, on: 

Monday, July 15, 2019 from 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. EST