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Opening Night Benefit in Partnership with Families and Communities Rising and Love, Tito's Featuring North Carolina Soul Icon Lee Fields

DURHAM, N.C., July 20, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Bull City Summit (BCS) today announces its initial conference program including keynotes, speakers, panel schedule, concerts and more for the second edition of its new U.S. showcase festival and business conference celebrating innovation in music, the arts, science and technology. Following a successful 2022 pilot event, BCS returns to Durham, North Carolina this Fall from September 18 - 24, with an expanded week of programming, art exhibitions, brand activations and community events in tandem with the live music and panelists previously announced in the Spring.

With panels and presentations featuring local, national and global thought leaders, BCS welcomes Harvey Mason Jr., President & CEO, The Recording Academy and The Grammys, as the first of two 2023 keynote music speakers. Harvey will conduct a fireside chat on the impact of Artificial intelligence and Machine-Learning on the music industry, highlighting recent changes at the Academy addressing these issues for creators and the Grammy Awards' process. BCS's second music keynote will be Donnie Estopinal, Founder & CEO of acclaimed electronic music promoter Disco Donnie Presents. Estopinal will reflect on his renowned impact across three decades in North American electronic music, the state of electronic music following the Covid-19 global pandemic and the balance between music, art and entrepreneurship. Rick French, Chairman and CEO of Raleigh-based agency French West Vaughan, will lead a panel conversation on post-pandemic entertainment advertising, sponsorship, and public relations, moderated by music publicist Alexandra Greenberg, Founder and CEO of Falcon Publicity.

BCS's second conference day will feature a returning keynote chat with Mark Yusko, CEO & CIO of Chapel Hill-based Morgan Creek Capital Management and Managing Director, Morgan Creek Digital. Yusko will speak on the current state of Cryptocurrencies, Blockchain, Web3 and what he describes as an imminent "new crypto bull market" for late 2023. Additional day two panels and speakers span Esports, the Metaverse, Cannabis and more, including a keynote fireside chat on the Ethics of AI with Nihal Mehta, Founding General Partner, Eniac Ventures. A State of Esports fireside chat will feature Sig Greenebaum, former Head of Global Live Events for Overwatch League and Esports at Activision Blizzard, Founder, Sigfest Events and former CMO at Live Nation Festivals.

BCS's art programming kicks off with a keynote presentation from Dabney Hailey, Founder and CEO, The Hailey Group, who will present an interactive speech about the cognitive impact of art on behavioral growth. BCS's second art keynote will be Amie Thompson, President & CEO of Raleigh-based Creative Allies, who also joins the Summit again this year will speak on the role of personal branding and entrepreneurship within the visual arts and graphic design industry. In addition, Carl Nordgren, Durham-based author, professor and entrepreneur will present a keynote speech about the relationship between our shared creative genius as a society, and how it affects our politics and culture. BCS keynotes are joined by 30+ additional speakers across topics such as entrepreneurship, LGBTQ and gender equality, climate change, and more.

BCS also announces its opening night benefit concert for Monday, September 18 at Motorco Music Hall featuring North Carolina Soul Icon Lee Fields, in support of Durham-based Families and Communities Rising (FCR), the official Non-Profit Fiscal Agent of BCS. FCR has a 50+ year history and uses evidence-based frameworks and practices to transform lives and positively influence the trajectories of vulnerable children, families and communities. Throughout the week, FCR and additional local philanthropic organizations will have presence at BCS conference events, happy hours, music concerts, free community events and more.

"Today's announcement is an exciting milestone for the second iteration of BCS, as it highlights pioneering global thought leaders, local and small businesses, artists and innovators all converging to support the culture and communities of the Triangle and North Carolina region," said Parag Bhandari, Founder and Executive Producer, Bull City Summit (BCS). "Durham, North Carolina is a visionary hotbed of creativity and we are proud to share our diverse, purpose-led programming with the community this Fall."

"Families and Communities Rising is excited about its partnership with Bull City Summit, which increases our impact on the Durham community and also allows us to further fund, champion, and raise awareness for local organizations and innovative individuals," says Terry David, President & CEO, Families and Communities Rising. "Our mission is to educate and empower children, families, communities and organizations by unique educational and supportive services. We are thrilled to present inclusive, informative BCS panel programming that recognizes the juxtaposition of rapid, regional growth to marginalized communities."

BCS conference panels and presentations take place at The Durham Armory and throughout the downtown area at coworking offices, live music venues, and public squares. BCS Business PRO industry badges, which provide access to all panels, speeches, concerts, exhibitions, events and more, as well as individual concert and event tickets are now available at For more information, follow BCS along on Instagram, Facebook and Threads.

About Bull City Summit (BCS)

Bull City Summit (BCS) is a new showcase festival and business conference celebrating innovation in Music, the Arts, Science and Technology, held annually in Durham, North Carolina. BCS gathers creatives, artists, scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs and thought-leaders to support music and the arts, further our relationship with science and technology and address the challenges of our ever-changing world. For more information, please visit and follow us on Instagram, Facebook and Threads.

About Families and Communities Rising

Families & Communities Rising (FCR), formerly Chapel Hill Training Outreach Project (CHTOP), is a Triangle NC-based nonprofit organization with a 50+ year history. FCR engages with local and national communities using evidence-based frameworks and practices to transform lives and positively influence the trajectories of vulnerable families and children. FCR's work is life-changing; they connect across all life spans, starting at pregnancy and through pre-school, with families at risk of child abuse and neglect, and children and adults in times of disability and sickness. To learn more about FCR, head to

SOURCE Bull City Summit

For further information: Cait Brauner, Bull City Summit,