City of Durham, City Manager's Report, Thomas J. Bonfield, Durham City Manager

May 3, 2019 | Volume 12, No. 13

Note from Tom

Celebrating 50 Years of Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival on May 18

This year marks the 50th anniversary of the nationally-recognized Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival, a family-friendly event that celebrates African and African-American history, culture, arts, and traditions. The event was established in 1969 to honor the West African festival of harvest and celebration, a time when villages would gather to give thanks through dance, praise, and feasting.

Much like Durham, Bimbé has grown and expanded over the years under the guidance of Durham Parks and Recreation, welcoming as many as 15,000 attendees. The first event took place at Duke Gardens, and has moved to various locations in the city including Hillside Park, the North Carolina Central University campus, Durham Athletic Park, CCB Plaza, and now Rock Quarry Park, one of the city’s largest parks.

In 2019, the year of Durham’s 150th anniversary and Bimbe’s 50th anniversary, it's a great time to support this longstanding, community festival that has grown into much more. The event highlights local talent and resources, including this year’s locally-designed logo, while also bringing in headliners like Juvenile and Dru Hill. We hope to see you there for live music, family fun, arts and crafts, ethnic food, and a great time.

Learn more about the 50th Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival on Saturday, May 18.

City of Durham News

Collage of project types including school laptops and park improvements

Vote Now: Durham Seeks Resident Input on Participatory Budgeting Projects

Online and in-person voting available May 1-31

More than 500 ideas have been narrowed down to 40 projects and the City of Durham is asking residents to vote to help select the winning projects to be implemented over the next three fiscal years. In 2018, Durham City Council allocated $2.4 million dollars which will be used to fund the projects selected by the community. The three City Council wards will each have up to $800,000 for use towards these one-time projects. Learn more.

SBA Offers Assistance to Small Businesses in North Carolina Affected by Gas Leak Explosion

Low-interest loans are available from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) for small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small aquaculture businesses and private nonprofit organizations affected by the gas leak explosion on April 10, 2019. The loans were made available in response to Gov. Roy Cooper's request for a disaster declaration by the SBA. A Business Recovery Center has been set up in the Durham Tech Small Business Center at the Chesterfield to provide assistance (701 W. Main St.). Economic injury applications should be submitted by Jan. 30, 2020.  Learn more.

Durham Joins NLC Initiative to Mitigate Negative Impacts of Municipal Fines and Fees on Residents

The six-city technical assistance initiative is designed to help cities assess and reform their use of local fines and fees and develop equitable collections strategies. Learn more.

Deadline Extended to May 31 for Durham Police Summer Camp

Space is still available in the July and August sessions. Campers will take daily field trips, and engage in recreational, educational, and social activities with police officers and other campers. Learn more.

Photo Highlight

Group photo of the City of Durham Fleet Department staff

Fleet Management Team Named a Top 50 Leading Fleet for 2019

Congratulations to the City of Durham Fleet Management Department for being recognized among the top fleets in the country. The award, given by Government Fleet magazine, recognizes operations that are performing at a high level in various areas including leadership, competitiveness and efficiency, planning for the future, and overcoming challenges. Learn more.

Upcoming Events

Canine Field Day

Saturday, May 4, 10–11:30 a.m.
Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Drive

Enjoy a day in the park with your furry friend! Join us for Canine Field Day, where you and your dog will have an opportunity to watch and participate in activities and competitions. Learn more.

2nd Annual Y.E. Smith Play Street

Saturday, May 4, 10:30 a.m.–1:30 p.m.
Y.E. Smith Elementary, 2410 E. Main Street

Join our Neighborhood Improvement Services Department and their partners for their 2nd Annual YE Smith Play Street. This free community day will feature fun activities for the whole family. Learn more.

Vendors Evening Out

Thursday, May 9, 4–6 p.m.
City Hall Council Chambers, 101 City Hall Plaza, First Floor

If your company offers services and/or goods that would be used by a government, come out and connect with other business owners and discover which opportunities are on the horizon for 2019. Learn more.

50th Annual Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival

Saturday, May 18, Noon–8 p.m.
Rock Quarry Park, 701 Stadium Drive

The national, award-winning Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2019! This family-oriented event is a celebration of African and African American history, culture, arts, and traditions. Festival activities will include live music, family fun zone, arts and crafts, ethnic food, local talent, and more. In addition, weekday events will take place May 1217 leading up to the big event on May 18. Learn more.

50th Annual Bimbe Festival Logo

Now Showing on Durham Television Network

New City Life Episode: 

This is an exciting time for Durham in many ways, but for one reason in particular in that we all have the chance to vote this month in the inaugural participatory budgeting process. In this new City Life episode, Host Beverly B. Thompson sits down with Budget Engagement Manager Andrew Holland and Budget Engagement Coordinator Robin Baker to find out what exactly participatory budgeting is and how everyone can get involved. Watch the interview

Screenshot from City Life shows Beverly Thompson interviewing Andrew Holland and Robin Baker

Stay Current with Our Durham-Focused Shows

The Durham Television Network produces four shows to help keep residents informed.

Follow the City of Durham YouTube channel to see the latest episodes, or watch on Spectrum channel 8, Google Fiber Channel 8, AT&T U-verse channel 99, and Frontier channel 70.

Durham Water Works for You

Buchanan Boulevard Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City's Water Management Department appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Find additional details and updates online.

Week of May 6:
  • W. Chapel Hill Street will have lane and on-street parking closures to accommodate waterline installation.
  • Shepherd Street will have traffic lane and sidewalk closures between W. Chapel Hill Street and Jackson Street to accommodate waterline installation.
  • No work will take place on Saturday or Sunday.

Central Park Waterline Replacement Project Update

The City's Water Management Department appreciates your ongoing patience with the work along the busy corridors associated with this project. Find additional details and updates online.

Week of May 6:
  • Madison Avenue will be closed as water line work begins.
  • Geer Street will be reduced to one lane as sanitary sewer work continues.
  • Washington Street between Trinity Avenue and West Corporation Street will be temporarily reduced to one lane as water line work continues.
  • W. Corporation Street between Morris Street and Liggett Street will be reduced to one lane as sewer work continues.
  • No work is scheduled for this weekend. 
Did you know the City has a water efficiency ordinance for outdoor irrigation? Odd-numbered addresses may water once on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays and even-numbered addresses may water once on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. For more details, visit

Stay Connected with Durham Information Network

Durham Information Network is the communications umbrella for information about the City, and its events and activities. Follow our channels to stay engaged and informed, including Durham Television Network, the City Manager’s Report and the Citizens’ Newsletter.

Follow us @CityofDurhamNC on social:

Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | YouTube

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Social Spotlight

Special thanks to the Durham Bulls for recognizing our Durham first responders as part of their Bull City Strong Day! Follow us @cityofdurhamnc.

Group of first responders stands together at Bulls game

Durham One Call is Here To Help

Durham One Call logo image

Durham One Call provides a high level of service in English and Spanish for inquiries and requests for service. Let us know how we can help you.

  • Call 919-560-1200
  • Use the One Call App 24/7
  • Visit the website
  • Stop by the City Hall lobby desk at 101 City Plaza Hall, M-F between 8-5
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