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June 7, 2011/FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE / High-res photo available upon request
Media Contact: Marla Carpenter, 770-3337, carpem@uncsa.edu




WINSTON-SALEM – The University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) has named Phyllis Hemrick Dunning of Winston-Salem as the recipient of the 2011 Giannini Society Award.


Mrs. Dunning was recognized at the recent School of the Arts commencement at the Stevens Center on May 28. She was cited for “her passion and dedication” to UNCSA.


A graduate of Salem College, Mrs. Dunning currently is an active member of the UNCSA Associates (the school’s volunteer organization) and its board and the Giannini Society and its advisory committee. She has been active in encouraging others – especially newcomers to the area – to enjoy and support the talents of UNCSA students and faculty. 


As a retired English teacher, Mrs. Dunning encouraged her students to experience the great variety of arts in the local community, often tempting them with extra credit. Thus, in the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s, her husband, Ellis, made countless trips to the box office for student tickets.

Ms. Phyllis Hemrick Dunning

Phyllis Hemrick Dunning

Since retirement, Mrs. Dunning has channeled her creative energy and dedication to the arts to UNCSA and many community organizations. In addition to her service and support to UNCSA, she also serves on many community boards, including the Board of Visitors of Salem Academy and College, the Music and Arts Committee of Centenary Church, Piedmont Opera Theatre, and the Carolina Chamber Symphony Players. She is active in support of the Winston-Salem Symphony, Reynolda House Museum of American Art, the Southeastern Center for Contemporary Art, Old Salem Museums and Gardens, the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, and other arts groups.


Given in recognition of meritorious service to the school, the Giannini Award is one of the school’s most prestigious honors. Previous recipients include founders, board members, alumni, volunteers and former chancellors.


The Giannini Society was established in 1989 and was named in honor of Vittorio Giannini, a founder and the first president of the School of the Arts. It is a group of dedicated ambassadors who seek to provide support for the training of UNCSA student-artists.

The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is the first state-supported, residential school of its kind in the nation. Established as the North Carolina School of the Arts by the N.C. General Assembly in 1963, UNCSA opened in Winston-Salem (“The City of Arts and Innovation”) in 1965 and became part of the University of North Carolina system in 1972. More than 1,100 students from high school through graduate school train for careers in the arts in five professional schools: Dance, Design and Production (including a Visual Arts Program), Drama, Filmmaking, and Music. UNCSA is the state’s only public arts conservatory, dedicated entirely to the professional training of talented students in the performing, visual and moving image arts. For more information, visit www.uncsa.edu.