North Carolina Central University's College of Arts and Sciences has formed a partnership with the St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation/Hayti Heritage Center aimed at enhancing both organizations’ cultural resources. Together they will develop activities and programs, many of them highlighting the talents and achievements of NCCU students. A mutual goal is to engage the community with arts rich programming that will also create internship and career development opportunities for NCCU students.
“The partnership’s aim is to support the great work the Hayti center has done in the community, and introduce our students, friends and private and corporate supporters and funders to the great work they do,” said Lenora Helm Hammonds, community director for the College of Arts and Sciences. “In the same spirit of networking and sharing audiences, we wanted those individuals and families who may have not yet visited our campus, but who have a relationship with and attend the events at Hayti to meet our students, faculty and staff — and consider how we can serve their needs.”
The Hayti center, at 801 Fayetteville St. just south of the Durham Freeway, is a venue for community gatherings and performances. It occupies the historic former St. Joseph’s AME Church, which was built in the 1890s and is one of the few surviving buildings of the Hayti neighborhood, Durham’s once-thriving African-American commercial district.
“The College of Arts and Sciences offers a broad array of services for the community, through cultural events in all areas of the humanities,” said Helm Hammons, who is also an assistant professor in the Department of Music. “We serve the humanist areas of the lives of community residents — anything to do with developing and understanding what it is to be human, how to live, love, work and be good global citizens. With our partnership with the Hayti center, we can serve our community as we teach and learn with and from each other. There's no better way to do this than through the arts.”
The partnership’s first event was held on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Hayti center and featured student art exhibits, performances from student musicians and a sneak-peek performances from upcoming productions by NCCU theater and dance students. For additional details, contact Lenora Helm Hammonds at LHelm@nccu.edu