ASBX received a grant! Happy 150 Durham!

We are thrilled to announce that Artist Soapbox is a grant recipient! Big thanks and deep gratitude to the Durham 150 convening committee, the A.J. Fletcher Foundation, and to our home, Durham, NC! Read the press release below to learn more about Durham 150 and information about the grant application process that is rolling over the next few months (perhaps you might want to apply?).

We are also thrilled to be included on this long list of amazing organizations and can’t wait to enjoy their projects and events. More soon on our contribution to the festivities.

Durham 150 Announces First 26 Grants Awarded in Support of the City of Durham’s Sesquicentennial Commemoration

March 12, 2019 (DURHAM, N.C.) — The Durham 150 convening committee is proud to establish a grants program that supports individuals and organizations requiring assistance to bring their anniversary-related community event or project to fruition. Today, the convening committee announced it will award 26 grants from the first round of applications totaling $35,500. The initiatives awarded align with the mission, vision and at least one of the four themes of Durham 150.

“The grants program is central to ensuring the Durham 150 yearlong commemoration isinclusive, diverse, and betters our community,” said E’Vonne Coleman, Co-chair of the Durham 150 grants committee and Chief Operating Officer of Discover Durham. “We were pleased with the range and number of projects submitted thus far and are eager to see what projects arestill to come.”

Durham 150 grant applications will be accepted on a rolling deadline on the 15th of every month till July 2019. Nearly 40 applications were submitted before the first deadline on February 15. To receive funding, projects or events must occur in Durham; primarily serve the people of Durham, with the exception of regional, statewide, or national efforts that may benefit a substantial portion of people in the Durham area; align with and support at least one of the four themes; identify a clear target audience; be open to the public; and occur within the 2019 calendar year. Projects may take longer than 2019 to be completed, but they must start this year. Grant funding ranges from $250 to $2,000.

“From research projects and youth conferences to immigration legal services and cultural festivals, applications were varied and well-representative of Durham’s communities,” said LouRollins, the recently retired Director of Special Projects for Duke’s Office of Durham & RegionalAffairs and Co-chair of the Durham 150 grants committee. “The events and projects supportedwill contribute greatly to the year of engagements, encourage reflection, explore complex socialissues, and help us thrive as a dynamic community.”

The four themes of Durham 150, previously defined by the convening committee, are at the foundation of Durham’s story and will be recognized throughout the yearlong commemoration.The themes are: history and education, innovation and entrepreneurship, social equity and robust democracy, as well as arts and leisure. The A.J. Fletcher Foundation has generously agreed to sponsor the history and education grants as well as those falling under the arts and leisure theme. The Rotary Clubs of Durham has jumped in to proudly support the social equity and democracy grants. Innovation and entrepreneurship grants are enthusiastically sponsored by Wexford Science + Technology.

In alphabetical order, the projects or events that received funding:

  • 150+20: South American Cultural Extravaganza – a bilingual festival of artists to be held in July, celebrating the 150th anniversary and the cultural association’s 20th anniversary
  • 50th Bimbé Cultural Arts Festival – a family-oriented event that is a celebration of African and African American history, culture, arts and traditions
  • Artist Soapbox: Durham 150 Artists Spotlight – three podcast episodes will be recorded featuring three Durham-based artists
  • Bull City 150 – a public history, geography and community engagement project based at Duke University that is using the context of the anniversary to reckon with the racial and economic injustices of the past 150 years and commit to building a more equitable future
  • ConnectEd Youth Conference – a two-day youth conference focused on post-secondary educational access with four focus areas: economic stability, educational attainment, youth initiated mentoring and community engagement
  • Dance Durham Dance – a re-creation of the live music and dance scene of the Hayti neighborhood from 1950-1980
  • Discover Stagville Tour – free transportation from downtown Durham to the Historic Stagville state historic site from March to August
  • Doc-U-memories – interactive, place-making storytelling, games and walking tours in historic neighborhoods and sites of civic engagement in Durham
  • Durham Black Business Success – a showing of “Negro Durham Marches On” andidentification of businesses and churches destroyed during urban renewal, which will conclude with an exhibition
  • Durham Historic Trolley Tour – a trolley tour traveling the route of Durham’s historicstreetcar line with a professional guide narrating
  • SummerStage BLOCK PARTY – will honor Durham’s record labels with performances bylocal talent and include food and studio tours
  • Tapestry Tours – walking and bus historical tours that will incorporate poetry held on Fridays from April to November
  • The Bulls of Durham – a living history book project with free online content, coffee mugs a mini-book, and free books for public schools
  • The Scrap Exchange DIY Fest – an event with hands-on activities and demonstrations focused on reusable materials
  • Freedom through ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Juneteenth 2019 – Jeddah’s Tea will create a custom Durham 150 blend to be featured at a tasting event with a panel discussion featuring local black entrepreneurs on the anniversary of the abolition of slavery
  • Henna: The Unknown History – an interactive exhibit and lecture demonstrating the indigenous roots and modern application of Henna
  • Historic Fayetteville Street Corridor Brochure – a tri-fold brochure highlighting the history of Hayti and the Fayetteville Street Corridor’s past, present and future
  • Immigration Legal Services – to help address the need for accessible and affordable immigration services in the community, the World Relief Durham will launch its immigration legal services program in Spring 2019
  • KVD Durham Civic Engagement Curriculum – will develop curriculum, lesson plans andactivities for educators, families and youth around Durham’s local government andhistory that addresses underrepresented communities
  • Latinos in Durham: A Story of Invisible FORCE – workshops, research and articles on how Latinos are involved in the development of Durham since their origins showing their contributions, dreams and hopes for Durham
  • Make Music Day Durham – will be a spontaneous music making event held in a public space tied to the national Make Music Day in June
  • Phoenix Fest – Durham’s funkiest street music festival with African Americanentertainment showcasing the Hayti community
  • Playlist Concert Series at Durham Central Park – Durham Central Park’s summer concert series that’s free and open to all
  • POINT4HEALTH – a West End neighborhood project to connect people to neighborhood resources and food that will include painting sidewalks, wayfinding signs and installing legacy gardens
  • ReCity Network Mural Project – a mural project in the lounge of the nonprofit organization’s workspace that will feature the phrase “We Believe in Durham”
  • Summer Enrichment Program – 150 refugee and immigrant children will be enrolled in a four-week program

The City of Durham is the presenting sponsor of the Durham 150 year of celebration, which is also supported by Discover Durham, the Museum of Durham History and the generous contributions of Durham residents, businesses, and organizations. 

Durham County is also a major sponsor. All four themes will be on display at the Durham 150 Opening Celebration Presented by Aetna on April 13 at the American Tobacco Campus from 10:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m. For more information about Durham 150, the Opening Celebration and other events, visit

About Durham 150: Durham 150, the official commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the City of Durham’s incorporation in 1869, is a yearlong celebration. The mission of Durham 150 is to recognizeDurham’s past, present and future with a year of events, activities, and community engagements to celebrate Durham’s rich history and highly promising future. A diverse group ofDurham residents have been identified to coordinate Durham 150 efforts to encourage civic engagement, widespread community participation, and the values of shared prosperity.Subscribe to the Durham 150 e-mail lists for updates about events, opportunities, fundraising, and more. Visit to find a calendar of events or email contact@durham150.orgfor more ways to get involved.

Join the #Durham150 conversation and follow @DurhamNC150across Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Artist Soapbox

Artist Soapbox is a platform for original scripted audio fiction and an opportunity for artists to discuss their creative work in their own voices. We do this through our interview podcast, our blog, live events, and original audio dramas.

Artist Soapbox is an anti-racist organization. We believe Black Lives Matter. In addition, as a podcast production company, ASBX has signed the Equality in Audio Pact on Broccoli Content.

Artist Soapbox is more than just a podcast.

We lead writers groups, accountability support, workshops, and events. We produce and create audio dramas too! Listen to the Master BuilderThe New Colossus Audio Drama, Jesus Pancake, Declaration of Love, Food for Thought, and ASBX Shorts. Stay tuned to hear about more projects written by the Soapbox Audio Collective Writers’ Group.

Audio Dramas

Jesus (1400 × 1400 px)-2

Jesus Pancake

Jesus Pancake is the newest scripted audio fiction series from Artist Soapbox. Nine episodes of zany dark comedy.


The New Colossus

The New Colossus Audio Drama is a totally unhinged dark comedy reboot of Anton Chekhov’s classic play, THE SEAGULL.


Master Builder

This audio drama was adapted from Tamara’s 2018 stage play produced by Little Green Pig Theatrical Concern and inspired by Henrick Ibsen’s classic, The Master Builder published in 1892.


Declaration of Love

Co-producers Aurelia Belfield and Tamara Kissane of Artist Soapbox commissioned eleven NC playwrights to craft short audio scenes based on the prompt “Declaration of Love.”


Food for Thought

Three pilot episodes of new scripted audio fiction series inspired by the prompt Food for Thought.


ASBX Shorts

ASBX Shorts are six short audio fiction pieces created and produced by North Carolina artists. Artist Soapbox Shorts were specifically contributed by the artists to aid in fundraising and to get everyone excited about Jesus Pancake, our new audio fiction series in development.

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