Created in 1975, Hayti Heritage Center is a cultural arts and arts education facility that preserves and promotes the African American experience. It would first serve as the conservator of the old St. Joseph’s African Methodist Episcopal Church complex from the late 19th century, where the center is currently located. Today, it hosts a variety of cultural events, including jazz and RnB performances, film festivals, dance classes, book clubs, poetry slams, and even classical tributes to popular artists by candlelight.
The arts center is located near downtown Durham in the historic Hayti community, the historic African-American community that was founded as an independent black community during the late 1800s and early 1900s. If you wish to get there by public transport, the nearest bus stops are Willard St at Blackwell St, Fayetteville St stop at Piedmont Ave, only a three-minute walk to the center. The 2 and 5 buses pass pretty nearby and if you take the train, Durham Amtrak Station is only a five-minute drive to HHC.
Facts, Curiosities and Interesting Things about Hayti Heritage Center
1. Learn through outreach at Hayti Heritage Center.
Hayti Heritage Center offers countless educational outreach programs and resources that aim to engage and inform the community about African American heritage, arts and history. It is an important resource for both locals and visitors. Through their cultural exhibits that convey the story of African heritage, and archives, important records and artifacts are preserved for future generations.
2. Catch a show or a film screening at HCC.
The arts center hosts cultural events, including exhibitions, performances and lectures that highlight and celebrate African and African American heritage. Some examples include the Music Series and Hayti Heritage Film Festival, one of the longest-running Black film festivals in the United States.
3. Engaging with the local community is essential in preserving heritage.
The center collaborates with institutions, schools and community groups and individuals to create a sense of ownership and involvement in preserving the heritage. HHC raises awareness about African heritage through outreach efforts, such as lectures and discussion panels.
The popular Candlelight concert series is bringing its captivating classical tributes to the Hayti Heritage Center’s 400-seat historic Performance Hall. Thousands of gleaming candles will envelop the spacious hall made up of two balconies that is adorned with beautiful stained glass windows, making for the perfect backdrop to moving and intimate performances. This season, you can look forward to an enchanting performance of Vivaldi’s Four Seasons and other iconic composers in the likes of Haydn, Gershwin and Piazzolla.
What else can you do at Hayti Heritage Center?
Besides these fantastic concerts, enjoy screenings of documentaries, films and other media that focus on African American history and culture. On special occasions, participate in events and celebrations that commemorate cultural holidays significant historical moments, such as Juneteenth and Pride Month. What’s more, if you’re planning on holding your next business event or hosting a private celebration, you can rent out the center’s many spaces.
Hayti Heritage Center is a dynamic cultural institution, where you can attend a range of special events, workshops and programs hosted periodically. This season, you can also catch a magical concert by candlelight at the building’s Performance Hall. It will be a sensational classical rendition of some of the greatest composers of all time, which you won’t want to miss.