Duke Performances


Free, open-to-the-public events with visiting artists throughout the season.


Duke Performances believes in the inherent creativity and need for personal expression of every human being. We believe that connections between artists and audiences that extend beyond performance can serve as an important social catalyst, providing opportunities for the examination of ideas and positive social change.

Each year, Duke Performances partners with a range of campus and community organizations to create over 100 distinct artist engagement events. We bring the world’s leading artists to Duke classrooms, local K-12 schools, and public forums in ways that directly enrich the life of our vibrant, inclusive city and community. Below, you will find more information about these programs, and a listing of our free public events.



DUKE STUDENTS & FACULTYAt Duke Performances, we believe that engagement with the performing arts creates context for learning and inquiry, facilitating collisions between ideas, forging connections, and animating course material. In a typical season, we partner with more than 30 faculty across the performing arts, humanities, social sciences, and STEM fields, reaching over 2,000 students through class visits, performances, and other engagements.

Duke Performances contributes to a vibrant campus life, creating opportunities for every student to have creative, cultural, and artistic experiences that enhance their understanding of the world and enrich their academic pursuits. Through in-depth educational residencies that bring artists to campus for days or weeks at a time — placing them directly into Duke classrooms, archives, public forums, and interactive workshops — Duke Performances builds on the resources of one of the world’s leading research institutions, fostering timely conversations and commissioning exciting new work that reflects the vibrancy, diversity, and curiosity of our faculty and students.

We invite students and faculty to reach out directly to our staff about ways to become involved.



Fundamental to Duke Performances’ artistic engagement work is the understanding that Duke University is one interconnected part of Durham’s diverse, energetic, and ever-evolving cultural community. Just as we work to right-size performances to more than a dozen unique community- and campus-based venues, so do we prioritize collaboration with local artistic and cultural workers, independent artists and venues, and members of the general public to stage creative encounters beyond performance that are attentive to the expertise and interests of Durham-based constituencies. 

Duke Performances regularly presents a range of events, all free to the public, across beloved community spaces in downtown Durham — from the Pinhook to NorthStar Church of the Arts to Sound Pure Studios. Our always-expanding repertoire includes public conversations, master classes and workshops, lecture-demonstrations, pop-up performances, and more.

We invite audiences and community to reach out directly to our staff about ways to become involved.



Duke Performances belongs to a network of arts presenters across Durham that partner with Durham Public Schools to support and enrich the district’s emphasis on top-notch arts education within and beyond the classroom. We work closely with educators across disciplines to match the expertise of our visiting artists to curricular foci, and regularly bring artists to K-12 classrooms via in-person and virtual visits. 

We believe strongly in the importance of meeting students where they are: in their studies, in their classrooms. Equally, our engagement work supports opportunities to introduce K-12 students to the University as an open, welcoming space for creative study, research, and arts exposure. Each season, Duke Performances works with Durham Public Schools to host students and educators on-campus for matinee performances, master classes, and workshops with our visiting artists.

We invite K-12 educators and students to reach out directly to our staff about ways to become involved.