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Welcome to “Durm”!

Dear friends and colleagues,

On behalf of the 2018 Symposium Committee and the Board of Directors of ESUSA, we are thrilled to welcome you to Durham! (Durm, to speak like a local.)

The weather has certainly been a challenge, but as of this moment, Duke University will be open on Friday, and we are good to go forward with our conference!

All of our conference activities will take place on Duke University’s East Campus, and registration and the majority of activities will occur in the East Duke Building, 1304 Campus Drive, Durham NC.

We have two full days of activities, including plenaries, breakout sessions, master classes, and performances, and are excited to gather together to learn and to grow. As you prepare for your journey to Durham, please keep the following in mind:

Parking and Transportation:

For participants staying at the Cambria Hotel & Suites, a complimentary shuttle service is provided within 3 miles of the hotel.  Shuttle service begins at 6:30 am and can be booked on a first-come, first-served basis by calling (919)-697-1287. Shuttle service seats up to 11 people at a time. The address for the Symposium is 1304 Campus Drive, Durham NC 27708.

For participants staying at the Durham Marriott City Center, Duke’s East Campus where our Symposium is being held is only a 20 minute walk through historic downtown Durham! Participants may also take the Bull City Connector, a fare-free shuttle system that runs every 17 minutes!

For local participants, or those who wish to bring their own vehicle there are a few parking options. Metered parking is available on Duke’s Campus in the Smith Warehouse Lot, a short walk from our symposium activities. Metered city parking is also available in a variety of lots on 9th Street, and on Main Street.  Most parking areas are at least a 15 minute walk from our events, and participants bringing their own vehicles should plan accordingly.


We have had snow today! A beautiful sight in NC, as it doesn’t happen often. That means that our schools and businesses are on high alert, and sending many updates on road and building closures. So far, so good for Duke’s campus on Friday and Saturday, but stay tuned for updates! Following today’s snow, the forecast for Thursday – Sunday is sunshine and highs in the upper 40’s, lows in the 20’s.  Our sessions will be held in a variety of buildings on Duke’s beautiful East Campus, so participants will be walking outside. Attire for the symposium is business casual, but make sure to bring a winter coat!

Guidebook App:

The program and schedule for the Symposium is being hosted on the Guidebook App! The Guidebook app can be downloaded from the app store, and no account or sign-in is needed to access the program. You will need to search by “passphrase” – and then simply type in our passphrase: bgh58d9d. From here you can download the schedule, and plan your conference!  Downloading the app before you arrive at the conference will give you the opportunity to familiarize yourself with the sessions, but assistance downloading and navigating the app will be provided at the registration table on Friday morning. A print-out of the schedule will also be available at the registration table.


Coffee on Friday and Saturday morning will be provided, as will boxed lunches on both days. If you selected a dietary restricted meal, those meals will be available for you.

Transportation Saturday morning for off-site sessions, at Kidznotes!

Saturday morning’s activities will be held off-site at the Kidznotes Durham Nucleo, the Holton Career and Resource Center, 401 N. Driver St., Durham. Bus transportation begins from the East Duke Building (1304 Campus Drive) on Saturday morning at 8:15 am, and ends at 8:30 am. For those staying at the Downtown Marriott, we are adding a stop there at 8:35 am. Please catch one of these busses, or meet us at the Holton Career and Resource Center, 401 N. Driver St., at 9:00 am. There is plenty of parking at the Holton Center, we ask that the busses be reserved for our out-of-town guests. Thank you! Busses will depart Holton for Duke’s East Building on East Campus at 11 am.

Social Media:

Be sure to follow us on Facebook, @ElSistemaUSA on Twitter, elsistemausa on Instagram, and our hashtags for the conference are #ElSistemaProud and #MusicForSocialChange.

Thank you and see you soon!

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