June 21
N.C. General Assembly passes bill establishing the North Carolina School of the Arts, with a $325,000 appropriation.


April 28-29
Advisory Board of Artists selects Winston-Salem, where more than 5,000 people have pledged more than $850,000 in a two-day telephone drive. Board nominates Vittorio Giannini as president.


Sept. 7
High School classes begin. College classes begin on Sept. 21.


Feb. 10
Governor Dan K. Moore announces $1.5 million challenge grant to NCSA from the Ford Foundation.

Dec. 10-11
NCSA School of Dance gives its first performance of The Nutcracker ballet to a capacity house in Reynolds Auditorium.


July 9
The International Music Program, a collaborative effort between NCSA and the Accademia Musicale Chigiana begins in Siena, Italy.


School of Design and Production created, separate from School of Drama.


July 13-Sept. 1
First summer session for dance students conducted in Asolo, Italy; beginning of International Dance Program.



NCSA inaugurates high school Visual Arts program.

Oct. 22
World premiere of Agnes de Mille’s ballet, A Rose for Miss Emily.


Mar. 11-14
Composer Aaron Copland attends three day Copland Festival in honor of his 70th birthday.


July 1
NCSA becomes member of the 16-campus University of North Carolina when the state consolidates its institutions of higher learning.


Mar. 1
NCSA’s main auditorium named in honor of the first president of NCSA’s Foundation, a former builder and Chairman of the Board of Hanes hosiery, R.B. Crawford, Jr.


Feb. 3
Guitarist Andres Segovia the recipient of NCSA’s first honorary Doctor of Fine Arts degree.


April 27
Semans Library dedicated in honor of Dr. James H. Semans, and his wife, Mrs. Mary Duke Biddle Trent Semans who helped lead the establishment of the North Carolina School of the Arts. Dr. Semans was chairman of NCSA board of trustees for the first 17 years.



April 25, May 7
NCSA honors eight with honorary doctorates: Agnes de Mille, Jose Ferrer, Gordon Hanes, Rosemary Harris, Nananne Porcher, William Schuman, Oliver Smith and Helen Hayes.


Nov. 6
North Carolina author, NCSA founder and Winston Salem resident, John Ehle, receives honorary doctorate from the School.


March 26
First NCSA graduate program in Design and Production approved by UNC Board of Governors.


April 22-24
Gala performances celebrate opening of the Stevens Center, named for Roger L. Stevens. Gregory Peck serves as master of ceremonies; Leonard Bernstein, conductor; Isaac Stern, soloist.
Performances by Jean Stapleton, Zoe Caldwell, Mel A. Tomlinson and Heather Watts. Also participating in tribute are Agnes de Mille, Sir Anton Dolin, Cliff Robertson, Oliver Smith, Gov. James Hunt, President and Mrs. Gerald Ford and Mrs. Lyndon Baines Johnson. A performance of Cole Porter's "Kiss Me Kate" rounds out the celebration.


May 30
William C. Friday. President Emeritus of the University of North Carolina, speaks at Commencement.  Friday and national arts leader, Winston Salem resident, R. Philip Hanes Jr. are presented with honorary doctorates.


April 11
NCSA’s first Founder’s Day celebration honors 55 founders of the School.


May 8
Dame Margot Fonteyn arrives at NCSA for weeklong residency as first recipient of the Lucia Chase Endowed Fellowship for Dance, established by Alex Ewing in memory of his mother, Lucia Chase.


NCSA enrolls first students in Master of Music program.



April 25
NCSA celebrates 25th anniversary simultaneously with the installation of its 5th chancellor, Alex Ewing, concert by alumnus Ransom Wilson, flute, highlights activities.


Jean Licker Firstenberg, director of American Film Institute, agrees to serve as chair of board of advisors of the proposed School of Filmmaking at NCSA.


Jan. 27
The William R. Kenan Jr. Fund for the Arts establishes the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at NCSA.


May 29
Peter Hedges (’84 BFA Dr) is first UNCSA alumnus to deliver commencement speech.

Sept. 16
School of Filmmaking opens as fifth arts school at NCSA.  Approximately 60 students register for classes in the new school.


May 2-12
NCSA presents all-school production of Lerner and Loewe’s Brigadoon.  Friends celebrate the school’s 30th anniversary at a Highlands-inspired gala on May 4.


Jan. 6
Mr. and Mrs. R. Philip Hanes Jr. pledge $1 million to NCSA, to be used for endowment.


April 16-19
Dedication ceremonies held to celebrate School of Filmmaking’s new $15M “Studio Village.” Filmmakers-in-residence include: Elmer Bernstein, Donn Cambern, Dino and Martha DeLaurentiis, Elliott Kastner, Ted Tally and Robert Wise. Motion Picture Association Chairman Jack Valenti speaks to legislators and corporate friends. Filmmaker Robert Wise and PBS journalist Charlie Rose also attend.

New performing arts series, Summer Scenes inaugurated at Roanoke Island Festival Park in Manteo. Six-week festival includes music and dance performances and will add drama the next summer. More than 150 students, faculty and alumni participate.

Stunning new “Nutcracker” sets, costumes and lighting designed by NCSA alumni Campbell Baird and John McKernon. Ballet’s first new sets in 20 years and first new costumes since its Winston-Salem debut in 1966. Special recognition given to Sonja Tyven and Robert Lindgren who staged the original 1966 production based on the original choreography by Lev Ivanov.


$25M goal fundraising goal surpassed as “Creating Our Future” campaign ends.  Approximately 3,800 individuals, foundations, businesses and organizations participated.  Funds raised for endowment, capital improvements and annual operating expenses.

July 10-24
“Shakespeare Lives!” a collaborative project of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, in partnership with the NCSA School of Drama and Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Educators from Forsyth and Catawba counties selected to participate in inaugural program.



School of Drama Dean Gerald Freedman is first American invited to direct at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Freedman directs rare Jacobean play, The Antipodes by Richard Brome, in August.

Sept. 8
UNC President Molly Broad announces a gift of $10 million from the A.J. Fletcher Foundation of Raleigh to establish and endow the A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at NCSA. It is the largest gift ever given to the School.

Nov. 7
$3.1B higher education bond referendum passes, NCSA to receive $42.5M for much needed improvements and construction projects.

Nov. 9-12
The School of Filmmaking in collaboration with the Kenan Institute for the Arts, hosts Cinethics: A National Conference on Ethics in Filmmaking, which draws faculty and students from 17 film schools across the country. Panelists include Armyan Bernstein, producer of AIR FORCE ONE; Sarah Pillsbury, producer of DESPERATELY SEEKING SUSAN; film critic Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times; and U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson

Nov. 22
Mr. and Mrs. R. Philip Hanes Jr. pledge another $1 million to NCSA for endowment.


Kenan Institute for the Arts restructured as a privately funded affiliate of the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Kenan Institute for the Arts hosts the first national assembly of conservatory leaders “Preparing Performing Artists for the 21st Century”.

School of Filmmaking Dean Dale Pollock announces the RiverRun International Film Festival will move from Brevard and Asheville to Winston Salem in April, 2003. Projection and sound equipment will be installed in the Stevens Center to restore it as a working movie theatre. Films on Fourth Series also begins in collaboration with Winston Salem Cinema Society.

NCSA receives Treasured Tree Stewardship Award for decision to preserve the 50-year old white oak tree in front of Alex Ewing Performance Place.


Sept. 25
Charlotte and Philip Hanes Student Commons and Daniels Plaza dedicated.

Oct. 25
School of Music Complex including Bill and Judy Watson Hall Chamber Music Hall dedicated.


Center for Design Innovation is established as a collaborative digital design project between the Triad’s business, government and educational leadership.

Graduate program (MFA) in Performing Arts Management begins in School of Design and Production and is one of only 35 in the country.


In 2005, the North Carolina School of the Arts partnered with Winston-Salem State University to support the UNC Board Governors' establishment of the Center for Design Innovation (CDI). Forsyth Technical Community College is another member of the consortium and will become CDI's neighbor in the Piedmont Triad Research Park. CDI promotes interdisciplinary creativity and the development and use of digital technologies to foster collaborative research, education and commerce.


Apr 22
Founders Forum held in Watson Hall celebrates NCSA’s 40th birthday; panel composed of: John M. Ehle Jr., R. Philip Hanes Jr., Thomas W. Lambeth, Robert Lindgren, Mary D.B.T. Semans and Robert E. Ward.


Apr. 3
“Festival of the Arts” celebrates the installation of John Mauceri as 7th Chancellor of the North Carolina School of the Arts.

The UNCSA Board of Trustees votes to establish seven honorary trustee positions to represent the areas of Dance, Design and Production, Drama, Film, Music, High School (Academic Program), and (Undergraduate) Academic (and Graduate) Programs.

May 3-13
West Side Story Opening, Symposium and Gala celebrate the 50th Anniversary of the original Broadway work. Chancellor Mauceri (a protégé of Leonard Bernstein) and Drama Dean Gerald Freedman (who was assistant director of the original production) lead the world premiere production and travel with it for one performance at the prestigious Chicago Ravinia Festival on June 8.


Aug. 1
Proposal to change the name of North Carolina School of the Arts to UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA SCHOOL OF THE ARTS approved by the NC General Assembly (Senate Bill 2015, Senate approval June 24 and House approval July 9). The bill was signed into law by Governor Mike Easley on Aug. 8, 2008.

Nov. 22
Chancellor Mauceri conducts Shostakovich’s Fifth Symphony with UNCSA SymphonyOrchestra to mark 25th anniversary of the Stevens Center.

Nov. 13
First Winston Salem Light Project; UNCSA Students light historic Millennium Building in artist-inspired vignettes.


Jun. 17
Four alumni from the New York area recognized by UNCSA with Alumni Achievement Awards in recognition of their accomplishments, contributions to society, and efforts on behalf of their alma mater:  J.T. Rogers, School of Drama, Class of 1990 (Acting);  Jonah Bokaer School of Dance, Class of 2000; Gerald Shaprut, School of Music, Class of 1995, and the late Jean DePasquale Shaprut, School of Design and Production, Class of 1996.

Nov. 25
UNCSA Presents Inaugural Alumni Recognition Award to Angus MacLachlan.

Dec. 11
Magnolia Baroque Festival receives American Masterpieces NEA Grant.



January 3
Center for Design Innovation Gets Land for Permanent Facility (Posted Jan. 3, 2011)

Apr. 11
UNCSA receives $6M grant from the Thomas R. Kenan Jr. Trust, largest one-time gift in the school’s history.

Apr. 28
UNCSA presents an all-school production of Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Oklahoma!  Special Gala Performance on April 29th with proceeds from the production and the Gala to benefit all five arts schools.

UNCSA Honors Five Alumni with Achievement Awards: Kenneth Frazelle, School of Music, 1974; Jennifer Haire, School of Filmmaking, 2002;  ANGELA Hays, School of Design and production Class of 2007; Trey McIntyre, School of Dance, Class of 1987; and Ira David Wood, School of Drama, Class of 1966 and 1970.           

American Ballet Theatre and UNCSA announce plans for a five-year partnership, starting fall 2011, which will implement ABT’s National Training Curriculum throughout the UNCSA School of Dance preparatory, high school and collegiate divisions and make UNCSA’s campus a second home for ABT’s Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis School by becoming an exclusive affiliate school.


February 20
Center for Design Innovation breaks ground for new facility - CDI's founding institutional partners are UNC School of the Arts, Winston-Salem State University and Forsyth Technical Community College[pdf] (Posted Feb. 20, 2012)

August 21
UNCSA's Fighting Pickle takes top honor as Cheetos' Chester Cheetah's "Cheesiest College Mascot".

November 15
UNCSA names Proscenium Thrust Theatre for Gerald Freedman, dean emeritus of School of Drama.


Apr. 3
UNCSA mourns the loss of founder Robert Ward, Pulitzer Prize-winning composer who served as school’s second top administrator. He was 95.

Apr. 22
Campus mourns a second loss this month, that of Robert Suderburg at his home in Williamstown MA, third chancellor of UNCSA.  He was 77.

May 10
Robert Lindgren, founding dean of UNCSA School of Dance, dies at his home in Winston. Salem, NC.  He was 89.

Nov. 8
UNCSA mourns loss of Malcolm Morrison, Hartford, CT, former dean of drama, also founder and artistic director of N.C. Shakespeare Festival.  He was 73.        

Dec. 8
UNCSA announces $500,000 endowed professorship for visiting artists. The endowment is named for James Allbritten, artistic director of A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute.


Jan. 30
UNCSA wins Emmy Award at the 28th Midsouth Regional Emmy Awards Ceremony in Nashville for its UNC-TV 2012 production of “Much Ado about Nothing”. 

Apr. 11
Lindsay Bierman named chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts. Bierman, 48, will assume his new duties August 1, succeeding James Moeser, who has served as interim chancellor since John Mauceri stepped down from the post last June.

Aug.  22
The Center for Design Innovation  (CDI) names Pamela L. Jennings as director.

Sept. 19
This School, This City: Celebrating 50 Years of UNC School of the Arts in Winston-Salem (TSTC) opens Friday at the New Winston Museum, 713 South Marshall St. in Winston-Salem. The new year-long exhibition and programming series is collaboration between the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) and the museum.


The School of Music at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts created the Chrysalis Chamber Music Institute, featuring two annual residencies by the renowned Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center

Feb. 11
Two UNCSA chancellors M. Lindsay Bierman and Alex Ewing share a dialogue about leading the nation’s first state-supported arts conservatory as part of the This School/This City series in conjunction with The New Winston Museum.

March 13
Students for the Schools of Design and Production, Filmmaking, Dance and Music joined forces with Italy’s leading fashion designer Agatha Luiz de la Prada in a multidisciplinary concert in New York City  

Apr. 15
UNCSA announces it will offer a new Master of Fine Arts in Filmmaking in fall 2016. The new M.F.A. program was recently approved by the UNC Board of Governors.

Apr. 25
AFAS’ Public Art Initiative brings work of UNCSA scenic designers to Wake Forest Innovation Quarter.  A 15-foot art tower marks the intersection of art and innovation, thanks to collaboration between the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Art for Art’s Sake (AFAS) and Wake Forest Innovation Quarter. The tower located at the corner of Fourth and Patterson Streets in what has been named Bailey Park.

April 30
The School’s held its inaugural “Collage” Concert, an all-student showcase, featuring large and chamber ensembles, as well as solo performances. Afterward, Chancellor Birman hosted “Next Now” , UNCSA’s annual benefit for student scholarships at the Benton Convention Center.

Jun. 1
Award-winning stage director Nicholas Muni named artistic director of A.J. Fletcher Opera Institute at UNCSA.

The Kenan Institute for the Arts, in partnership with The Winston-Salem Foundation and the Arts Council of Winston-Salem and Forsyth County, convened the first Community Innovation Lab in the nation with a $1.5M grant from the Kresge Corporation.

September 24
UNCSA’s new 75, 731 sq. ft. Library formally opened and its Music library was posthumously dedicated to Benjamin F. Ward, former UNCSA Trustee, Musician and Professor of Philosophy at Duke University.

Sept. 25
Lindsay Bierman installed in the Gerald Freedman Theatre as eighth chancellor of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.

Sept. 26
UNCSA celebrates 50th anniversary with Community Day Festival.

October 31
The School of Design and Production spent Halloween at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave lighting the South Portico of the White House.


A $5 million dollar pledge was received from Chancellor Emeritus Alex Ewing, one of the largest gifts in the history of the school. In recognition, the largest performance venue on campus was renamed the  Alex Ewing Performance Place.
Chancellor Emeritus Ewing also presented the School with $1 million for scholarships in each of the five conservatories in honor of his late wife, Sheila Cobb Ewing.

Two new MFA programs in the School of Filmmaking in Screenwriting and Creative Producing opened for graduate studies.

A major gift of art was installed in the new library, the result of a bequest from the estate of Clyde M. Fowler Jr., longtime director of UNCSA’s Visual Arts Program, with works by Robert Motherwell, Willem DeKooning, Julian Schnabel, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly and Andy Warhol.

October 31
Fourteen Design and Production students created a themed Halloween experience at the White House consisting of vignettes derived from children’s storybook motifs for the annual party for children of military-affiliated families.

UNCSA announced an anonymous gift of $10 million, the largest gift the school ever received from an individual donor. The gift is to be used to establish the Institute for Performance Innovation, a joint educational venture between the Schools of Design and Production and Filmmaking.


UNCSA launches Choreographic Institute in the School of Dance in the summer of 2017 to foster the development of new work by established and emerging choreographers including Helen Pickett, Ethan Stiefel and Susan Jaffe.