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.


Dinners a l’ Art succeeds as a benefit for the Durham Arts Council because of the generosity of individuals and organizations who donate 100% of the resources and services to make these dinners possible. We are tremendously grateful to the featured artists, hosts, chefs, caterers and sponsors listed.

From the entire DAC Board of Trustees, thank you for supporting DAC and the arts in Durham.

There are some great events coming in 2018. Please check back here often for details or JOIN OUR MAILING LIST to get email updates on events and more.

2018/2019 Dinners a l’ Art

Oval Park Progressive Dinner

Amazing food, fabulous private art collections and Durham memorabilia at three historic Oval Park homes…and all within walking distance! Join us at the homes of John Schelp, George and Jean Danser, and Nell Mincey. In true Oval Park style, we will be visiting two bungalows and Sears house. Read more below!

Saturday, November 3, 2018

5:00 PM–9:30 PM

Join us for this exclusive Dinner a l’ Art.

Click Here to Buy your tickets now!

This event benefits the Durham Arts Council

Tickets: $85 include

  • Delicious three course meal with wine
  • Each owner will share insight on their home and art collection

Sears & Roebuck House and Garden for Appetizers

Home of John Schelp – Rosehill Avenue

Join us for appetizers and wine at the Mamie Norwood House (ca. 1928) on Rosehill Avenue. In 1926 Mamie read the Sears catalogue, which boasts that buying one of its frame houses, “promotes happiness and contentment, for it is the most pleasant and natural way to live… Our easy payment plan will 1) Save your rent money, 2) Give your kiddies a chance, 3) Get close to nature, 4) Have real friends and neighbors and 5) Be independent in old age” and decided that it sounded pretty good! She ordered one and had it constructed at the end of Rosehill Avenue.

For many years, the two-story residence served as the parsonage for the West Durham Church of God (since torn down). Other prominent members of Durham’s community have lived in the house including the local fire chief and a number of Duke professors and physicians (which may explain the Duke stone in the front wall).

We will get to enjoy John’s extensive collection of very Durham memorabilia and might even be able to wander over to the garden across the street, which was originally a plot for vegetables and fruit trees during the Great Depression. William A. Wilson planted the willow oaks in 1936. At about the same time, Mr. Wilson planted the two large magnolia trees which were seedlings from the famous magnolia at Sarah Duke Gardens – along with many other trees and shrubs from both the NC Central and Duke campuses. He enjoyed taking the bus around town and was often seen coming home with a seedling in his handkerchief.

Buffet Dinner and Wine

Home of George and Jean Danser - W. Club Blvd

Originally built in 1922, George and Jean purchased the home in 1977 from the widow of M. M. Fowler, who had been a local Gulf Oil distributor in this area for many years. George also purchased large quantities of paraffin from them in the early ‘70’s to make candles that he then sold at Centerfest Arts Festival when it first began.

In the backyard the Fowlers had a fish pond and 9’ tall barbecue built with “Duke” stone from the quarry in Hillsborough. The house is a typical bungalow of the day with the deep front porch and broad shed roof in the rear. In 2000, The Dansers removed the old garage and built a new one complete with private glass fusing studio for George.

Dessert and Coffee on Oval Park

Home of Nell Mincey - W. Club Blvd

Built between 1920–1925, the S. L. Howard House enjoys great views of Oval Drive Park. S. L. Howard lived in the house in 1925 while working at Thomas and Howard Co, a wholesale grocer that started in Durham in 1904 as the Thomas-White Company. They are still in the wholesale grocer business, and one of the oldest continually operating Durham businesses still in existence. Mr. Howard was a thoroughly experienced man in the wholesaling of food products. Besides being Secretary and Treasurer of this company, he held a like position in the Chandler Produce Co. Finish the evening while enjoying sitting on the porch with dessert and coffee in a house rich with Durham history.

a l’ ART Culinary Series at the Art Institute of Raleigh-Durham.

November 10 - Thanksgiving Table

Giving thanks is the most common thread we all have within our hearts and homes during this holiday. What is so uniquely different though is the foods we serve on our holiday table. This class will offer up some classic dishes with unique twists. Traditionalists and adventurists welcome. Purchase tickets online.

Purchase Tickets Online

Click here to view previous Dinners a l’Art events. They included rare opportunities to celebrate some of Durham’s incredible artists, remarkable homes, landmarks and beloved food.

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