Chancellor John Mauceri and "Pickles" Photo by Betty Mauceri
Welcome to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts’ virtual gateway.
Here you will find useful information about this unique and exciting institution, which is like no other in the world. Whether you are a prospective student, parent of a current student, or simply interested in the arts, we hope you will find something here to inspire your interest and imagination.
We are North Carolina’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. We are also the nation’s most renowned arts training ground, with a reputation that grows daily with the success of our esteemed alumni, students and faculty.
Ours is a fascinating story to tell. It started in the early 1960s, when a group of progressive and innovative thinkers had the foresight and wisdom to envision a school for training talented young people for professional careers in dance, drama and music. In 1963, the N.C. General Assembly became the first legislature in the country to establish a state-supported, residential arts conservatory, and the North Carolina School of the Arts was born. It opened its doors in 1965 in Winston-Salem, known as the “City of the Arts” for having the first arts council in the nation and for its still vibrant and thriving arts community.
NCSA would go on to add undergraduate and graduate programs to the existing high school program, and schools of design & production and filmmaking, as well as visual arts. The school became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972, when higher education was consolidated in North Carolina. We added “University of” to our name in 2008, to distinguish ourselves from the growing number of arts magnet schools and to affirm our relationship with the University.
That is not to say that the University of North Carolina School of the Arts is any less unorthodox than it was at its founding some 40 years ago. We revere the things that set us apart: a faculty of master teachers who have studied with the great artists and who continue to hone their craft by being practicing artists; students chosen specifically for their demonstrated talent and potential as artists; rigorous training with one-on-one instruction in the classroom and studio; an emphasis on learning by doing, on stage and screen, and behind the stage and the lens; the opportunity for students to grow and create in a supportive, nurturing environment akin to a community of artists; and academic study in a variety of disciplines, to develop the whole artist.
I encourage you to visit our beautiful campus at 1533 South Main St. (nestled next to historic Old Salem) in person and to attend our many public performances and screenings in the exceptional venues on the campus proper and at our Stevens Center in downtown Winston-Salem. And while you are visiting our City of the Arts, don’t forget to visit one of the region’s cultural offerings, which range from venerable Reynolda House Museum of American Art at Wake Forest University to the historical Museum of Early Southern Decorative Arts in Old Salem, and from the RiverRun International Film Festival (which is an official activity of our film school) to the National Black Theatre Festival.
When I was installed as the seventh chancellor of UNCSA in 2007 following my 2006 appointment by UNC President Erskine Bowles, I talked about how the word “chancellor” derives from the Latin word for “gate keeper.” As UNCSA’s official gate keeper, I invite you to explore our virtual and real gateways, which are always open for your surfing or strolling, riding or biking.
UNCSA may just be the gateway to your future as a successful artist citizen. Come, take a look. The fighting Pickles are peerless and remain undefeated!