Cultural Interpretation Plan

Dix Hospital colorized photo

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


Engagement Hub

After 18 months of researching, listening, and strategizing about how history, community, recreation, and reflection could come together at Dix Park, we're finalizing the Cultural Interpretation Plan — and we want to know what you think!

Read the draft Cultural Interpretation Plan and share your feedback at our engagement hub on linked below.

The comment period is extended from May 31 until June 7, 2024.


    Process & Timeline

    The Cultural Interpretation Plan kicked off December 2022 and is expected to take 15 months.

    1. Discovery (December 2022 - April 2023)
      • Site visit and stakeholder meetings
      • Research
      • Meetings with topical experts and community advisors
    2. 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
    3. Interpretive Strategy Development (September 2023 – December 2023)
    4. Outreach II (January - February 2024)
      • Dix Park Project Summit and feedback
    5.  Plan Formulation (March - June 2024)
      • Compile input and recommendations into a final report     << We Are Here >>

    Project Team

    • Design & Project Management – Cloud Gehshan
    • Interpretive Planning – Brocade Studio
    • Engagement Coordination – Public Participation Partners

    Project Funding

    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. 

    Project Contact

    Eric Regensburger, Senior Planner - Dix Park

    Project Documents

    Final Report

    May 3, 2024 - Draft Cultural Interpretation Plan

    Dix Park Project Summit

    February 21, 2024

    Project Update

    October 17, 2023 - Presentation 

    Pow Wow Community Engagement

    August 26, 2023

    Community Workshops 

    August 1, 2 & 3, 2023

    Juneteenth Community  Engagement

    June 17, 2023

    Kick-Off  Webinar for Project Experts, Advisors & Leaders

    January 23, 2023 - Webinar Recording

    Project Kick-Off

    December 6, 2022 -  Presentation


    Other Presentations 

    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.