The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) is a public coeducational arts conservatory in Winston-Salem, North Carolina that grants high school, undergraduate and graduate degrees. Founded in 1963 as the North Carolina School of the Arts by then-Governor Terry Sanford, it was the first public arts conservatory in the United States. Programs offered by the conservatory, including but not limited to dance, drama and film, are widely recognized as some of the best programs across the world and consistently rank amongst the top. The school owns and operates the Stevens Center in Downtown Winston-Salem and is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
About the school
UNCSA School of Filmmaking: About Us - Welcome to the UNCSA School of Filmmaking! Visit us online at uncsa.edu/filmmaking.
The school was created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1963 and opened in 1965.
The school consists of five professional schools:
- School of Dance
- School of Design & Production (including a HS Visual Arts Program)
- School of Drama
- School of Filmmaking
- School of Music
The idea of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts was initiated in 1962 by Vittorio Giannini, a leading American Composer and teacher of Composition at Juilliard, Curtis and Manhattan, who approached then-governor Terry Sanford and enlisted the help of author John Ehle and Martha Dulin Muilenburg of Charlotte, North Carolina, to support his dream of an arts conservatory. State funds were appropriated, and a North Carolina Conservatory Committee was established to recommend to the governor a site for the School. In preliminary reports, the committee recommended that "the host city should obligate itself to support the school." In return, "the school must serve the city as an arts center." There was considerable rivalry among the major cities of the state. The citizens of Winston-Salem, home of the first arts council in the nation, vied for the School with particular zeal. In a two-day telephone campaign, volunteers raised nearly a million dollars in private funds to renovate the old Gray High School building â" the city's contribution to the effort. An enticing incentive to the final host city was a challenge grant from the Ford Foundation which prompted the Legislature to appropriate public dollars to support the operation of the arts school. In 1972, the School of the Arts became a constituent institution of the University of North Carolina.
On April 9, 2008, the school's Board of Trustees voted unanimously to change the name of the school from the North Carolina School of the Arts to the "University of North Carolina School of the Arts" in order to raise its profile. The name change was approved by the University of North Carolina Board of Governors on May 9, 2008, the North Carolina Senate on June 24, 2008, and the North Carolina House of Representatives on July 11, 2008. The law was signed into law by Governor Mike Easley and took effect in August 2008.
Leaders of the Institution
Vittorio Giannini was the School's founder and first President. His vision of arts education shaped UNCSA at its beginning and continues to influence it today. Giannini served as President of the fledgling institution until his death in November 1966. A resolution dated December 3, 1966 by the Board of Trustees and the Governor pays tribute to Giannini as the founder of the School, noting that 'When it was a dream, he sought a home for it and helped bring it into being. When it was an infant institution, he gave it structure and design.'
The Pulitzer Prize-winning composer Robert Ward became UNCSA's second president following Giannini's death. Ward led the School through its first decade, when policies and programs were still being developed. During his tenure, the School more than doubled its faculty and enrollment; established a School of Design & Production, separate from the School of Drama; and created a high school Visual Arts Program. Ward also presided over the incorporation of the School into the University of North Carolina in the early 1970s, when the state's sixteen public colleges and universities were brought together into one system. The title of "President" at the School was subsequently changed to "Chancellor."
In 1974 Robert Suderburg became UNCSA's third chancellor following Martin Sokoloff, the administrative director, who served as interim chancellor from 1973 to 1974. During his time at UNCSA the Workplace building, containing the Semans Library, was opened on the UNCSA campus, as well as the Stevens Center, previously the Carolina Theatre, in downtown Winston-Salem. The gala opening of the Stevens Center featured the school's symphony orchestra conducted by Leonard Bernstein, with Isaac Stern as soloist and Gregory Peck as the Master of Ceremonies. Attendees included Agnes de Mille, Cliff Robertson, Governor James Hunt, President and Mrs. Gerald Ford and Lady Bird Johnson. The Stevens Center remains UNCSA's largest performance facility.
Dr. Jane E. Milley, a pianist and former Dean of the School of Fine Arts at California State University at Long Beach, assumed her post as Chancellor at the School of the Arts in September 1984, following Lawrence Hart, former Dean of Music at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, who was Interim Chancellor during the 1983-84 school year. During her tenure, faculty salaries were increased; the School received funding from the North Carolina General Assembly for construction of Performance Place and renovation of the Gray Building and Design & Production facilities. She secured increased state funding to operate the Stevens Center; acquired additional student housing; enhanced the visiting artists program; and received approval to develop a Master of Music program and to begin planning for a new School of Film. Dr. Milley was the first female to serve as Chancellor at any of the 17 constituent institutions of The University of North Carolina.
In the spring of 1990, Alex C. Ewing was appointed Chancellor. He assumed the position in July 1990, following Philip R. Nelson, former Dean of music at Yale University, who served as Interim Chancellor during the 1989-90 school year. Ewing had been associated with the School since 1985, when he became chairman of the Board of Visitors. In 1988 he established the Lucia Chase Endowed Fellowship for Dance at the School, in memory of his mother, a co-founder and principal dancer with American Ballet Theatre. A man of diverse talents, Ewing almost single-handedly revitalized the Joffrey Ballet during his tenure as general director in the 1960s; he also owned one of the largest herds of champion Hereford cattle in the country. As Chancellor, Ewing oversaw the success of the School's $25 million campaign for endowment and scholarships. He also orchestrated a combination of local, state and national support to secure the establishment of NCSA's fifth arts school, the School of Filmmaking, in 1993. Ewing took a special interest in NCSA's campus plan, successfully lobbying for the rerouting of Waughtown Street (a major city thoroughfare that divided the campus) and establishing a new main entrance to the campus, at 1533 S. Main Street. Other capital projects he spearheaded included a new Sculpture Studio, a new Fitness Center, and the start of the Student Commons renovation.
Wade Hobgood, Dean of the College of the Arts at California State University at Long Beach since 1993, was named Chancellor in February 2000, assuming the position on July 1, 2000. A native of Wilson, NC, Hobgood attended East Carolina University, where he earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts in Communication Arts. During his five years at NCSA, he worked to secure passage of $42.5 million in higher education bonds â" approved by NC voters in the fall of 2000 â" that allowed the School to build a new School of Music Complex, a new Welcome Center, a new âconnector buildingâ between the two high school residence halls, a new School of Filmmaking Archives, an addition to Performance Place, and a new wig and makeup studio and costume shop, as well as renovations to the Stevens Center (including the Community Music School), Workplace Building and Gray Building.
John Mauceri was UNCSA's seventh chancellor. He assumed the position following Dr. Gretchen M. Bataille, former Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs of the 16-campus University of North Carolina, who served as Interim Chancellor during the 2005-2006 academic year. Mr. Mauceri earned Bachelor of Science and Master of Philosophy in music theory degrees from Yale University, where he was also a member of the faculty for fifteen years. He is internationally known as a conductor, arranger and music director; he was the first American to hold the post of music director in both British and Italian opera houses. For the last fifteen years he had been the Director of the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra in Los Angeles, California. A distinguished recording artist, he has won Grammy, Tony, Emmy and Drama Desk awards. In addition, he frequently writes articles on opera, musical theater and music for the American cinema. Chancellor Mauceri announced in the Fall of 2012 that he would retire at the conclusion of the 2012-2013 academic year.
M. Lindsay Bierman
M. Lindsay Bierman is the current chancellor of UNCSA, succeeding James Moeser who served as interim chancellor from 2013 to 2014.
The school's campus consists of 77 acres (310,000Â m2) in Winston-Salem, near Old Salem. There are eight residence halls â" six for college students, two for high school students, an on-campus student apartment complex and an off-campus student apartment complex within walking distance. The school has eleven performance and screening spaces; the ACE Exhibition Complex with three movie theaters, Crawford Recital Hall (with a Fisk Organ), deMille Theatre for dance, Hood Recital Hall, Performance Place with three theatrical spaces, the Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem, and Watson Chamber Music Hall. Performance Place is the home of the drama department, the ACE Theatre is the home of the filmmaking department, deMille theatre is the home of the dance department and Watson, Hood and Crawford halls are used by the music department. The Stevens Center is shared.
The school also has a fitness center with an interior basketball court, the Semans Library, the Hanes Student Commons, Workplace (adjacent to the library) which holds Visual Arts Studios as well as Offices and Studios for the School of Dance, Gray Building, which holds high school academics on the third floor and music offices and practice rooms on the first and second floors, a building holding two dance studios, a visual arts sculpting studio, a large design and production complex, a costume, wig and makeup studio, a welcome center, and several buildings for administrative offices and college academics. A new library is in the planning stages.
UNCSA offers many performance opportunities throughout the course of a school year. Dance students have three seasonal performances: Fall dance, Winter dance, and Spring dance. They also perform the Nutcracker every Christmas, and have many other minor performances throughout the school year. Music students have the chance to perform in front of their peers every Wednesday at performance hour, and students are usually in a large ensemble, such as jazz band, orchestra, opera, or wind ensemble. These ensembles each perform several times a year.
The School of Design and Production is responsible for the scenery, costumes, wigs, makeup, lighting, sound, and stage management for all shows produced by the School of Drama, two operas that UNCSA produces each year through the Fletcher Opera Institute, as well as dance performances, although dance costumes are provided partly by the Costume department and also by the School of Dance's own professional costume shop.
The Film-making school is host to the ACE Exhibition Complex, where students can display their work and watch others. This complex, along with the Stevens Center, is host to the RiverRun International Film Festival every spring.
All school musicals
Once every four years, UNCSA produces an all school musical â" a massive, extensive, Broadway-style production involving all five arts schools of the conservatory. All students have the opportunity to audition. Past all-school musicals have included Brigadoon, Oklahoma!, Kiss Me Kate, and Canterbury Tales, with the most recent one being Guys and Dolls. The purpose of the all-school musicals are not only to provide the students with a professional experience, but also to raise money and awareness for the school. For example, for West Side Story the lead roles and Chancellor John Mauceri traveled to New York to promote the school and the school's revival of the musical. West Side Story was performed at UNCSA's Stevens Center from May 3â"13, 2007, and then went on tour to Chicago's Ravinia Festival on June 8, 2007. The production was directed by Dean of Drama Gerald Freedman, the assistant director of the original production, and conducted by UNCSA Chancellor and world renown conductor John Mauceri. It has also been reported that Arthur Laurents changed portions of the dialogue for the UNCSA production. In May 2011, UNCSA presented "Oklahoma!" as an all-school musical.
Although UNCSA has no officially sanctioned athletic teams, students are very proud of their mascot: The Fighting Pickle. The premiere athletic event from the early 1970s was an annual touch-football game between a UNCSA team versus one from a Wake Forest University fraternity.
The question of "How The Pickles got their name" has come up with the passage of time since 1972 when the football team first took to the field as "The NCSA Pickles." The answer is very simple: a contest was held to name the football team. The winning entry was submitted jointly by three undergraduates. In 1972 it was simply "The Pickles," along with a slogan, "Sling 'Em By The Warts!" Eventually they became "The Fighting Pickles." This account of how the Pickles got their name is corroborated by large numbers of those who were at the school at that time. As of September 12, 2012, the official UNCSA Archive has accepted this explanation of the mascot's origin.
In the spring of 2010, UNCSA hosted a competition to choose the new, official "Fighting Pickle" mascot. Design entries and voting was opened to students, alumni, faculty, staff and former faculty and staff. The winner was unveiled on May 21, 2010 in the Student Union's cafe, "The Pickle Jar." In August, 2012, Cheetos Brand named The UNCSA Fighting Pickle the nation's No. 1 Cheesiest Mascot.
UNCSA has many active student organizations, including, but not limited to, the following:
- SGA (Student Government Association)
- Pride (UNCSA's Gay, Lesbian, and Transgender support organization)
- United States Institute for Theatre Technology (USITT) Student Chapter
- Cross-Dressing the Delaware (A Student Improv Comedy Troupe)
- Official website