Durham Arts Council
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copyright © 1998-2008
Durham Arts Council, Inc.
120 Morris Street
Durham, NC 27701

Come face-to-face with the arts in Durham.

Artists in the Schools

CAPS: Creative Arts in the Public/Private Schools Program and Community Arts Partnerships

What is CAPS?
Creative Arts in the Public/Private Schools (CAPS), provides an easy-to-use and effective way for educators to integrate the arts into the curriculum. Primarily a partnership between Durham Arts Council and Durham Public Schools, this 39-year program places professional artists in public and private classrooms throughout Durham, Orange, and Granville counties to provide creative and interactive residencies that:

  • Teach core subjects (Math, Science, Writing, Social Studies), Character education and a variety of life skills through the arts.
  • Meet the North Carolina and National Curriculum course of study requirements.
  • Provide students the opportunity to work with professional artists on a variety of visual, literary, and performing arts projects.
  • Enable students to discover various visual art forms: chinese caligraphy, printmaking, book arts, digital media, ceramics, wearable art and mural painting. Performing arts instruction includes drumming, dance, theatre, storytelling, and yoga.
  • Enhance understanding of core subjects, as well as student self-esteem, confidence, and appreciation for the arts and diverse cultures
  • Reach 9,000 to 11,000 school children each year

It's Easy to Book a CAPS Artist

  • Browse the 2013-15 CAPS Guidebook to find the artist & program you wish to book
  • Complete a request form online, or download a printable copy.
  • Receive confirmation
  • The artist you request will contact you to discuss details of what you want and expect
  • Enjoy the experience!
  • Pay the invoice you receive in the mail from Artists-in-Schools

The History of Creative Arts in the Public/Private Schools
In the late 1960s, a small group of parents, artists and members of Durham’s First Presbyterian Church began to dream of a project to integrate the arts into the standard curriculum by bringing artists into the classroom for several visits. In 1972, that dream became a reality, and, with funding from community organizations and The Urban Ministries Funds of the Presbytery of Orange in North Carolina, the Council for Creative Arts in the Public Schools emerged. The Council provided the foundation for the CAPS Program (Creative Arts in the Public/Private Schools). A partnership between Durham Arts Council, Durham County Schools and Durham City Schools, CAPS began in 1979 its tradition of bringing professional artists into the schools to combine creative arts and the teaching curriculum to enhance learning. CAPS earned national recognition in 1988 by the National Endowment for the Arts as a “Model Arts in Education Program.” In 1989, CAPS introduced its hospital schools residencies; in 1991, it began working in the Triangle privates schools; and in 1997, CAPS branches out to Orange County and Granville County Schools.

Since its inception, CAPS has grown over thirty fold, expanding its offerings from residencies to workshops, performances and teacher workshops. CAPS has also especially designed longer-term Artist-in-Residency Programs at local community centers and schools in partnership with Duke University and at Lakeview School. Today, CAPS offers 73 residencies, 41 workshops and 42 performances by 51 professional artists and arts organizations not only in local public school classrooms, but also in hospitals, the Triangle’s private schools, Orange, Granville and Franklin County Schools, Community Centers, City of Durham Parks and Recreation Department, Durham County Library and the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University. Special programs through CAPS have involved IBM corporation, integrating the arts into business planning, and a grant by VERIZON, allowing CAPS to offer over 53 programs in 14 low-resource schools.

Links to Related Information
Contact CAPS Shana Adams,
CAPS Manager
P: 919-560-2718
F: 919-560-2725

Career Development Resources for Teaching Artists

(Click to schedule CAPS)



CAPS Programs Calendar

CAPS Programs in the Schools 

CAPS Guidelines and Payment Polices

CAPS in the Community

Become a CAPS Artist

Teacher And Parent Workshops



Other Arts Education Opportunities For Artists