History of The Muse Masquerade

PostcardFan 2017Our Annual Fundraiser

Since The Carrack opened in 2011, we have held our largest annual fundraiser each October. The goal for this event is to raise enough money to cover rent and overhead expenses for one year.

In 2015 we changed the style of the fundraiser to better suit our audience. What was once a creative-black-tie gala with an art auction has become an enchanting live art and performance infused masquerade ball called The Muse Masquerade, and is hosted at downtown Durham’s 21c Museum Hotel. It has been referred to by many attendees as Durham’s party of the year.

We provide a magical evening filled with music, dance, experimental performance, tarot, interactive experiences, live poetry, theater, art, and drag—reflecting and celebrating the diverse and talented community that The Carrack serves. The party fills three different levels of the hotel.

We have awarded prizes for Best Mask and Costume in individual and group contests and raffled off items from locally treasured sources including a one-night stay at the Durham 21c Museum Hotel, “DURM” apparel from Runaway Clothing, festival passes to Moogfest and The Art of Cool and more. Additionally, we have provided guests with creative scavenger hunts that take them through all the interesting nooks and corners of the event space.

It’s truly an immersive experience and uniquely “Durham”.


Tickets and Fundraising Goals

The funds raised go to the space’s operations costs and to providing artist support for the following year. The Carrack looks to its diverse community for support at all levels of giving. Tickets have been offered at a variety of price points—these ticketing options exist so that the event can be accessible to all supporters.

Our mission is to empower community through the arts. So, just as we encourage artists to take ownership of their work and its presentation in our space, we ask our supporters to determine their ability to give. Every contribution to this project collectively supports a thriving arts scene in Durham.

The Carrack is funded solely by donations from individuals, organizations, and businesses. Bolstered by a sustainer program, sponsorships, and smaller events throughout the year, The Carrack’s October fundraiser has historically accounted for over half of its annual budget.


For information about sponsorship opportunities for this year’s Muse Masquerade as an individual, organization or business, please visit our sponsorship page or contact us to discuss the possibilities.


You Have to See it to Believe It

Photos by Hannah Bondurant, Caroline Cockrell, Frank Myers & Eric Waters

More photos can be seen here or by searching for #CarrackMuse on social media.