Art of Cool gearing up for 2015

Aug. 07, 2014 @ 04:05 PM

Organizers have begun planning for the second Art of Cool Festival for 2015 and are seeking $35,000 from a Kickstarter campaign that will launch Monday.

The 2015 festival will be held April 24-26, and organizers are seeking contributions that will help book musicians for the festival. Organizers need to raise about $350,000 to put on the festival, and want 10 percent of that to come from crowd funding, Cicely Mitchell, one of the co-founders of the event, stated in an email.
As with many Kickstarter campaigns, this one offers different perks depending on how much is contributed – from a free download for a $10 donation to special seats for a $1,000 donation. Fans also may contribute by attending one of many parties scheduled through September. The launch party will begin at 7:30 p.m. Monday at The Blue Note Grill. (More dates are listed at
The festival also has secured many of the same venues where the inaugural event was held – Durham Convention Center, Durham Armory, Motorco Music Hall, The Pinhook and PSI Theatre at the Durham Arts Council. The 2015 festival will have two outdoor venues, including a free kickoff party April 24 in Durham Central Park.
About 4,700 people attended the paid and free events at this year’s festival, Mitchell said. About 1,400 tickets were sold. Many of the same business sponsors also are on board for 2015, but the festival is still seeking a title sponsor for 2015, she stated.
Maceo Parker, Miguel Atwood Ferguson, Amel Larrieux, Russell Gunn and the Clayton Brothers were among the guest artist for this year’s event. Announcements about artists for 2015 will be made in a few weeks.
The festival grew out of the Art of Cool Project, which Mitchell and trumpeter Al Strong started in 2011 to present monthly live music concerts. The project continues to present monthly concerts in local venues.


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