University of the Arts North Carolina

Norwich University of The Arts LogoUniversity of the Arts North Carolina

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

General information

The school was created by the North Carolina General Assembly in 1963 and opened in 1965.[1]

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

Performance opportunities

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.