Dix Park has a complex, layered past that reflects broader themes in our national history and in our society today: indigenous land and displacement, slavery and unpaid labor, mental health, rehabilitation and recovery, and ecological imbalance.
The Dix Park Master Plan and the park’s commitment as a Site of Conscience present a strong need for interpreting these themes on park grounds and connecting the site’s history and landscape to present-day issues.
What is in a Cultural Interpretation Plan?
- Storytelling – Whose stories and perspectives? Who are we connecting with?
- Place – Where do these stories or opportunities belong?
- Conceptual strategy – How can we realize these stories and opportunities in the park?
- Implementation strategy – When do we do this and how?
Past & Present Histories
Dix Park is the site of several important histories, each of which will be part of the cultural interpretation plan. These include:
- A history of the land's use and stewardship by Native Americans
- Descendant histories of those enslaved at the Spring Hill Plantation
- Stories of living, working, and receiving treatment at Dix Hospital
- Changes to the site's ecology and built landscape over time
This series of community workshops in August focused on how the Dix Park site might become a space for storytelling, remembrance, reflection, connection, and healing.
- Buried Stories & Histories Denied - August 1
- Creative Survival - August 2
- Spaces of Belonging & Inclusion - August 3
During these workshops example imagery and questions were used to spark conversation and idea sharing. The virtual activity linked below is representative of feedback stations from the workshops. Click the link to share your ideas!
Engagement Hub + Online Survey
To learn more about the site's layered history and to share your thoughts about history, culture, and interpretation at Dix Park, please visit our engagement hub on PublicInput.com at the link below.
Process & Timeline
The Cultural Interpretation Plan kicked off December 2022 and is expected to take 15 months.
- Discovery (December 2022 - April 2023)
- Site visit and stakeholder meetings
- Meetings with topical experts and community advisors
- Outreach I (May - August 2023)
- Online Survey
- June workshops:
- Dix Hospital former patients & families
- Dix Hospital former staff & families of Dix Hill
- Park committees & educators
- Capital City Juneteenth Celebration popup booth
- August workshops:
- Buried Stories & Histories Denied
- Creative Survival
- Spaces of Belonging & Inclusion
- Inter-Tribal Pow Wow popup booth
- Interpretive Strategy Development (September 2023 – December 2023)
- Outreach II (January - February 2024)
- Open House and feedback
- Plan Formulation (March - June 2024)
- Compile input and recommendations into a final report
- Design & Project Management – Cloud Gehshan
- Interpretive Planning – Brocade Studio
- Engagement Coordination – Public Participation Partners
The Cultural Interpretation Plan for Dix Park is funded by grants from the State of North Carolina General Assembly, National Endowment for the Humanities, and Dix Park Conservancy.
Eric Regensburger, Senior Planner - Dix Park
December 6, 2022 - Presentation
Kick-Off Webinar for Project Experts, Advisors & Leaders
January 23, 2022 - Webinar Recording
Project update presentations are given at City Council, Dix Park Leadership Committee and Dix Park Community Committee meetings. City of Raleigh Public Meeting Agendas, Presentations and Minutes are available using the city's paperless system. In BoardDocs, click the icon in the top right corner to select the committee you are looking for to view meeting materials.