The Hayti Heritage Center

Hayti Heritage Center

The Hayti Heritage Center opened in 1975 under the management of The St. Joseph’s Historic Foundation, Inc. (SJHF)  The Center is a cultural enrichment and arts education facility that promotes cultural understanding through diverse events, activities and programs that preserve the heritage and embrace the experiences of Americans of African descent.

Hayt's mission is to preserve the heritage of the old Hayti community, and to promote the understanding of and appreciation for the African American experience and African Americans’ contributions to world culture.

The church complex, renamed the Hayti Heritage Center, is listed on the register of national historic landmarks. Many descendants of the original residents of the district once known as “Black Wall Street” frequent the Center along with other Triangle area residents.

Music Series
The Hayti tag line is "preserve the heritage...embrace the experience!" The music series celebrates jazz and R&B artists who continue to pave the way for young and rising artists. Roy Ayers, Tom "Funkin' for Jamaica" Browne, Melba Moore Marcus Anderson, Alice Smith, Christian Scott, Branford Marsalis, and many others have performed in Hayti's acoustically acoustically flawless 400-seat historic Performance Hall.

Melba Moore in Concert

Sax Sensation Marcus Anderson in a Live Recording at Hayti

Jazz and Blues Artist Calvin Edwards Hails from North Carolina

The Legendary Roy Ayers Performed at Hayti

The Campbell Brothers Sacred Steel Group Performed a Tribute to John Coltrane's 'Love Supreme' at Hayti

Jazz Vocalist Lois DeLoatch Shares Hayti Memories

The Bull Durham Blues Festival
The Bull Durham Blues Festival is an annual event presented by St. Joseph's Historic Foundation, Inc., a non-profit that manages the Hayti Heritage Center. In keeping with the mission to keep the blues alive, this two day event has featured local, national and international talent for 28 years. Recently the Campbell Brothers, John Dee Holeman, Pat Cohen, Mississippi Bluesman Grady Champion, Norman Connors and the Starship Orchestra, and others performed at the Hayti and outdoors at Durham Central Park. This family event includes vendors and food trucks. The Festival is held in September. Sponsors and volunteers are welcome.

Hayti has strong collaborative relationships with the NC Central University College of Arts and Sciences. The Vocal Jazz Ensemble Poses With the Renowned Mr. Kim Waters.

Kim Waters and Jean Carne share the Hayti Stage During the 2015 Blues Festival.

NC Jazz Ensemble
For those who enjoy the big band sounds of Duke Ellington and others, the North Carolina Jazz Ensemble is not to be missed. This 17 piece ensemble of jazz artists has been performing in and around North Carolina for years. This annual December concert at Hayti captures the spirit of Christmas and is a great way to celebrate the music and meaning of the holidays.

Denise Barnes and the NC Jazz Ensemble

Inside The Hayti Performance Hall

Quilt and Art Exhibits
Hayti features local visual artists in its two galleries. Every two years the African American Quilt Circle exhibition is presented and showcases the talents of gifted quilt artists from the Durham area. The exhibitions are on public display and enable African American artists to promote and sell their work. Here is a photo of the African American Quilt Circle.
Core Programs
Other core programs at the Hayti Heritage Center are: Kwanzaa, the Jambalaya Soul Poetry Slam Team, the Heritage Film Festival, African Dance Classes, and Aerobic Boxing Classes for Adults.
Film Festival
The Heritage Film Festival is an annual three-day showing of more than 20 documentaries, shorts and full length feature films by and about people of color.  The Festival showcases diverse works with various themes as well as films for the entire family.
The Jambalaya Soul Poetry Slam Team presents spoken word programs monthly and competes for regional and national prizes.  The team is headed by Dasan Ahanu, a Harvard Fellow and professor at St. Augustine’s College in Raleigh, North Carolina.
Meet the Author: Congressman John Lewis
The Meet the Author program is part of the collaboration between Hayti and the Durham County Public Library, affording opportunities for the community to engage in discussions with prominent figures such as U.S. Congressman John Lewis, former activist Howard Fuller, and former Mayor and Senator Howard Lee, and to get autographed copies of their books. 

U.S. Congressman John Lewis at Hayti.

The Congressman Signing a Copy of His Book for Rev. William Barber, President of the N.C. Chapter of the NAACP.

Executive Director Angela Lee and Friends Kenyetta Farrington and Stephanie Perry at Hayti.

Credits: Story

Bill Erwin, Videographer
Chuck Ruffin, Photographer
Tom Browne, Contributor
Lois DeLoatch, Contributor

Credits: All media
The story featured may in some cases have been created by an independent third party and may not always represent the views of the institutions, listed below, who have supplied the content.
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