Catalyzing Arts-based Community & Economic Development

Strategic Action Plan

Five-Year Goal

UNCSA will attract and support the artists, creative entrepreneurs, and visionary planners and developers who will fulfill Winston-Salem's potential to become a leading cultural capital in the South.

Objectives & Suggested Strategies

Develop plans and programming to enliven the downtown arts district, the neighborhoods adjacent to campus, and places in-between.

  • Complete phase one of the EmcArts Community Innovation Lab. Position project for phase two participation.
  • Increase enrollment in UNCSA Community Arts School; enhance the scope and quality of instruction.
  • Complete preliminary studies of performance venue operations, implement selected short-term recommendations.
  • Engage a designer to study the Stevens Center, crafting plans to potentially incorporate the National Black Theatre Hall of Fame, UNCSA-TV, a black box theatre, classrooms, and retail.
  • Use research from TSKIA LEAP Colab to inform projects.

2015 – Fall Update

Goal

  • Complete Stevens Center master plan.
  • Develop plans to revitalize areas/neighborhoods adjacent to campus.
  • Explore potential of an arts-based life-long learning community affiliated with UNCSA.

Achievements/Successes

  • Confirmed what properties are in the scope of the plan (SC).
  • Raised about 2/3 of private funds required to complete the study (SC).
  • Initial exploration of area near entrance to campus with potential local developer.
  • Conversations with highly qualified consultant on life-long learning community. Site visit scheduled.
  • TSKIA LEAP/Community Innovation Lab.

Obstacles/Resources

  • Developing funding resources.
  • Process is new (uncharted) to us. Carefully sorting out what we can do and how we can do it takes time.
  • Nobody working on it full-time.
  • Setting priorities/handling more than one project at a time.
  • Achieving consensus internally. Get everyone on same page. Decide each constituent’s role in the process.

Solutions

  • Keep focused on making progress and raising additional funds.
  • Find developers that see the opportunity and want to help move it forward.
  • Based on information gathered, set priorities.

2016 – Spring Update

The efforts of this initiative have been largely focused in 3 areas: the renovation and revitalization of the Stevens Center and surrounding properties, TSKIA Leveraging Arts Enterprise and Place Making in Economic Development project, and the Sunnyside and Main Street revitalization project.

  1. Working with multiple partners and property owners adjacent to and nearby the Steven Center, we explored what might be possible in this area that would make the Stevens Center and the area around it a driver for downtown development similar in some ways to the efforts taking place in the Wake Forest innovation Quarter. We also discussed necessary updates and changes to the Stevens Center to make it an improve facility for our academic programs, for our external arts partners that use the facility, and for our patrons. In the spring, over $200,000 was raised from private sources to complement $75,000 from UNC GA for a study to be performed of the southern portion of the Stevens Center block to determine the most appropriate uses for existing spaces and the necessary renovations and expansion to improve the usefulness of the facility. 

    Selection of a designer to perform the study should be completed in August 2016 and the overall study project should be completed in early 2017. 
  1. The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts’ Leveraging Arts Enterprise and Place Making in Economic Development project generated substantial and significant activity throughout the year via multiple programs and research projects including:
    1. Initiated the grant funded Community Innovation Lab, a collaboration of TSKIA, the WS Foundation, and the WS/FC Arts Council working with EmcArts
    2. Created the Creative Community Lab at 300 South Liberty Street, opened in the spring
    3. Developed the South Main Street Revitalization project
    4. Sponsored multiple art-based place making studies by students and faculty at UNC Chapel Hill
    5. Developed the play “And So We Walked” – Cherokee-Co-Lab / Native American Theater Project
  2. As noted above, UNCSA, in close collaboration with the TSKIA, began to explore possibilities for revitalizing some properties we own around the fringes of our campus. A particular focus developed on what might be possible along Sunnyside and Main Streets. We are currently assessing the feasibility of several projects and the availability of funding to support them.

2017 – Update

Enliven Our Community
Leaders: Lindsay Bierman, David Harrison, Corey Madden, Katharine Laidlaw, Michael Kelley

Created a new position and ran a national search for Managing Director, Campus Performances Facilities, and retained an interim manager to evaluate existing staffing and resources. We expect to fill the position in the coming weeks, and to begin the consolidation of the Stevens Center staff with our main campus performance facilities team. This mission-critical senior administrator will be charged with modernizing our box office, honing our performance marketing strategies, and exploring new revenue and/or partnership opportunities to attract new audiences and expand our base of support. They will also be tasked with finding space for performances when Alex Ewing Performance Place is being renovated in FY19. 

Convened a group of city, business, university, and neighborhood leaders and campus stakeholders to generate buy-in and build support for UNCSA to lead a major planning and visioning initiative for the city’s aging and underutilized Strollway park, the city’s first rails-to-trails conversion. The long-term strategic goal: connect the Stevens Center downtown with the main UNCSA campus, drive economic growth and arts-based development in the adjoining neighborhoods, and create a great urban park that runs about the same length as Austin’s Waller Creek and New York’s High Line.

Launched “Chancellor’s Artpreneurship Grant” program to support creative startups in Winston-Salem. Provides up to $75K finishing funds for scalable and/or breakthrough ideas. Criteria and administration of program to be managed by UNCSA’s Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts (TSKIA).

Established a “Creative Placemaking Association” MOU between UNCSA, the UNCSA Foundation, and TSKIA to assist the newly formed UNCSA Foundation Management LLC in the purchase and/or development of real estate to support cutting-edge academic programs, creative startups, and arts-based economic development between main campus and downtown. 

Initiated the grant-funded Community Innovation Lab, a collaboration of TSKIA, the Winston-Salem Foundation, and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Arts Council working with New York-based consultant EmcArts. 

Opened TSKIA’s Creative Community Lab in the spring to provide in-kind support to artists and creative entrepreneurs, and to house offices for the city’s Center for Creative Economy.

2018 – Update

Enliven Our Community

Leaders: Lindsay Bierman, David Harrison, Corey Madden, Katharine Laidlaw, Michael Kelley

Wiley Hausam joined UNCSA in August of 2017 in the newly created position of Managing Director of Performance Facilities with comprehensive responsibility for the operations of the Stevens Center and all our campus performance venues. To prepare for the closure of Alex Ewing Performance Place in May 2018, our most heavily utilized main campus performance and rehearsal venue, Mr. Hausam lead the effort to find and plan for alternative temporary spaces for performances in FY19 and for other displaced critical activities. Multiple time slots have been secured at the Hanes Brand Theater in the Milton Rhodes Center for the Arts for performances next year. This will provide UNCSA with greater exposure in what has become a thriving downtown entertainment and dining scene. In addition, several main campus locations will be more heavily utilized or reprogrammed to support displaced performances, rehearsals, and the D&P sound lab and shop.

UNCSA will kick off a pilot presenting series in May 2018 which we intend to grow over the coming years to generate more activity at the Stevens Center and offer our community a more diverse selection of music concerts by nationally, notable entertainers. In the summer of 2018 UNCSA’s American Music Series will include artists Steve Earl and the Dukes, Mavis Staples, the Del McCoury Band, Las Cafeteras, Anna & Elizabeth, and Josh Ritter.      

UNCSA continued to work with a group of city, business, university, and neighborhood leaders and campus stakeholders to generate buy-in and build support for UNCSA to lead a major revitalization and renovation initiative for the city’s aging and underutilized Strollway park, the city’s first rails-to-trails conversion. A conceptual strollway master plan was completed by Robert A. M. Stern Architects which includes an extension of the strollway through the valley on campus along Kenan Drive. The long-term strategic goal: connect the Stevens Center downtown with the main UNCSA campus, drive economic growth and arts-based development in the adjoining neighborhoods, and create a vibrant linear urban park that runs about the same length as Austin’s Waller Creek and New York’s High Line.

UNCSA, with leadership by our Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, awarded our inaugural “Chancellor’s Artpreneur Grants” to support creative startups. The grants provide funds for scalable and/or breakthrough ideas from our students and alumni. Criteria and administration of program is managed by UNCSA’s Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts (TSKIA).

Across multiple fronts, the TSKIA lead our entrepreneurial activities and creative placemaking efforts in the community including the grant-funded Community Innovation Lab, a collaboration of TSKIA, the Winston-Salem Foundation, and the Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Arts Council working with New York-based consultant EmcArts, and the Creative Community Lab providing in-kind support to artists and creative entrepreneurs, and to house offices for the city’s Center for Creative Economy.

2019 – Update

Enliven Our Community
Leaders: Lindsay Bierman, David Harrison, Corey Madden, Wiley Hausam, Michael Kelley

With Alex Ewing Performance Place closed for the FY19 school year, UNCSA took aspects of its performance calendar to new spaces downtown. The UNCSA Jazz Ensemble played multiple concerts at the Ramkat music venue attracting full houses of Jazz enthusiasts. UNCSA School of Drama performed multiple shows in the Arts Council’s Hanesbrand Theater. In both cases, the events went so smoothly and the audiences were so pleased, the University is considering performing at these venues in the future, even after Performance Place reopens.  We found that performing off campus in downtown attracted a new and more diverse audience.   

UNCSA kicked off a pilot presenting series in May 2018 which we intended to grow over the coming years to generate more activity at the Stevens Center and offer our community a more diverse selection of music concerts by nationally, notable entertainers. In the summer of 2018 UNCSA’s American Music Series included artists Steve Earl and the Dukes, Mavis Staples, the Del McCoury Band, Las Cafeteras, Anna & Elizabeth, and Josh Ritter. In addition, UNCSA announced in the summer of 2018 it would present the Broadway musical, “Kinky Boots”. The show sold out almost overnight.

The success of this series lead to the announcement in April 2019 of our 2019-2020 series called, UNCSA Presents. The new series continues the American Music Series with artists - Flor De Toloache, Kathy Mattea, Amythyst Kiah, and Lula Wiles, along with touring Broadway musicals, “Once” and “The Color Purple”, the pub concert, “The Choir of Man”, and “Erth’s Prehistoric Aquarium Adventure” for young audiences. 

UNCSA Presents New Season

2018-2019 Kenan Institute Update

The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at UNCSA acts at the intersection of the University, the arts sector and the local community in order to broaden the impact of the talents and creative energies of students, alumni and faculty beyond the campus to the wider creative community. As such, the Kenan Institute continues to lead the University’s artist leadership, entrepreneurial and creative placemaking efforts through its 2018-2022 Strategic Plan, which includes three strategic themes: Creative Campus, Creative Community and Creative Leaders. In 2018-2019, the Institute anchored and optimized a number of existing programs, while launching three ambitious new Creative Leaders programs: the Creative Catalyst online certificate program, a redesigned fellowship program and the annual Artivate summit.

Key 2018-2019 achievements:

  • Increasing and diversifying fundraising efforts, cultivating $645,000 to support Creative Catalyst goals.
  • Strengthening and expanding UNCSA’s adult/continuing education opportunities with the introduction of the Creative Catalyst Online Certificate, which will include courses in artist leadership, entrepreneurship and innovation.
  • Converting four legacy Fellowship Partners to co-funded Creative Catalyst Fellowships, with 11 additional legacy/new partnerships in cultivation.
  • Expanding the Kenan Institute’s reach, building new and strengthening existing regional and national partnerships, which bolsters UNCSA’s position as an innovative hub for the Southeast’s creative economy. This year, the Institute established official strategic partnerships with four visionary creative organizations: Artistic Logistics, the Center for Creative Economy, Kramer Leadership and EmcArts (which relocated from New York City to Winston-Salem, bringing $2.8 million in active grants and hiring four full-time employees, including UNCSA alumnus Jonathan Halsey as Managing Director). The partnerships will further strengthen the capacity of each individual organization, bringing together UNCSA faculty with experts in leadership development, adaptive change, facilitation and creative businesses in order to create a new vision for the future of the creative sector.
  • Strengthening the Institute’s partnership with the University, establishing new governance structure and a shared services relationship with UNCSA.
  • Working with Chancellor’s Office to develop the vision for Creative Coworks, which will provide shared space and services to help local creative entrepreneurs establish their enterprises. With this space, to be managed by the Kenan Institute, UNCSA joins four other local colleges/universities on the third floor of Don Flow’s building at 500 West Fifth Street, which is devoted to entrepreneurship in education.
  • Deepening UNCSA’s relationship with the Happy Hill neighborhood, serving as the fiscal agent for Happy Hill Arts, a place-based arts and cultural initiative whose goal is to strengthen community pride and cohesion in this historically African American neighborhood adjacent to the University. In October 2018, the Institute hosted New York artist Kendal Henry, who worked with Happy Hill residents and community artists to create a temporary art installation, “The Garden,” which sparked public interest, encouraged the community to take ownership of the work, revealed emerging community leaders and encouraged self-advocacy. A number of UNCSA faculty, staff and alumni participated in the installation. As part of this initiative, the Kenan Institute has cultivated $200,000 to support the development of an organizational strategic plan and cultural masterplan, including a $50,000 Our Town grant from the National Endowment for the Arts.
  • Continuing to leverage university, community and arts-based resources to transform community through arts enterprise, creative placemaking and arts-focused economic development, working closely with the Chancellor and the UNCSA administration to create a vision for a permeable campus perimeter. Local design firm Roots First has produced an exciting conceptual plan for a welcoming pedestrian entrance at “The Point,” the recently acquired property at the corner of Waughtown and South Main streets, which received a $20,000 grant from the Twin City Garden Club.
  • Optimizing the Artpreneur Awards in Year 2 of the Chancellor’s Artpreneur Initiative. The Kenan Institute manages the Artpreneur budget, as well as the application/ nomination, evaluation and award processes. This year, five graduating students were selected to receive $2,500 grants to support a new creative project or enterprise and two alumni were awarded $20,000 to support their creative ventures.
  • Supporting numerous campus initiatives, including awarding nearly 20 faculty members $30,000 in Faculty Leadership and Enrichment grants, which funded tickets for approximately 200 students to attend regional performances and/or installations. The Institute also co-funded the University’s two-day Equity, Inclusivity & Diversity workshop in April 2018.
  • Cultivating a partnership with the Tremaine Foundation, which will locate its annual Artists Thrive! conference in Winston-Salem in 2020, continuing through 2022.

2019-2020 Goals

  • Launch, evaluate and revise Creative Catalyst Certificate curriculum, recruiting 75 students for 2019-2020 cohorts
  • Expand the Creative Catalyst Fellowship program, cultivating 15 new fellowship hosts and awarding 30 fellowships
  • Produce two Artivate summits, the inaugural event in August 2019 (attendance goal: 75-100) and the second event in May 2020 (attendance goal: 100-150), cultivating $50,000-$70,000 in sponsorships.
  • Open Creative CoWorks at the 500 W. Fifth building in Winston-Salem.
  • Optimize Faculty Leadership, Enrichment and Artpreneur grants.
  • Collaborate with UNCSA to raise funds for and break ground on the creative placemaking activation project at The Point.
  • Support continued arts-based community development in the Happy Hill neighborhood, including fiscal sponsorship and fundraising and administrative support.
  • Ensure that all Kenan Institute programming adheres to principles of equity, diversity and inclusion, and continue to support UNCSA’s commitment to increasing diversity, access and inclusion on campus.


Develop partnerships in film and TV to increase resources, enhance learning, and expand opportunities for students, faculty, and alumni.

  • Develop the operational structure for public-private partnerships.
  • Advance the partnership with NuRay.
  • Develop the Production Company, High Point Studios, and Joint Prop House projects.
  • Expand UNCSA-TV production and presence.

2016 – Spring Update

Meetings have been held with architects to discuss plans and drawings for the renovation of the High Point Stage and finalize a budget. This renovation will return the stage to professional shooting standards, as well as create the only digital turn-key operation in the Southeast that will include a permanent green screen with dedicated pre-rigged and pre-calibrated virtual production environment, with motion capture, camera tracking, a zero gravity rig, and related technologies.

UNCSA School of Filmmaking has been working collaboratively with NC State Visual Narrative Initiative to form a joint NCSU/UNCSA program with the expectation of incubating new ideas and platforms within the educational environment, including the development of a new undergraduate discipline track at the School of Filmmaking to teach students on gaming platforms. This public partnership will focus on development and integrating Virtual Reality (VR), Augmented Reality (AR), VFX, and Gaming specialties into curricula offered by the School of Filmmaking. We have laid the groundwork for this venture through visits to and connections with industry leaders such as Technicolor, The Mill, RSA, Mach1 Studios, VRC, The Third Floor, Lytro, ILMxLAB, and Oculus Story Studio, among others. Art Direction Faculty, Bob Keen, will be starting an Immersive Entertainment Club for students and expanding the 2016-2017 curriculum for the Animation discipline.

Technology being developed within the industry is evolving daily, and UNCSA School of Filmmaking is maintaining an ongoing dialogue with VFX and Creative Content studios to stay at the forefront of its development. Oculus Story Studio has chosen UNCSA School of Filmmaking for its Pioneer Program in which it will provide guest lectures and hardware for content created during the 2016-2017 school year, culminating in an event sponsored by Oculus at the end of the year when VR films shot by students will be screened.

UNCSA School of Filmmaking Productions has welcomed Director/Writer, Angus McLachlan during post-production of his film, Abundant Acreage Available, currently being edited by Faculty member, Michael Miller, and produced by Faculty member, Lauren Vilchik. The production company is also developing new shows for UNC-TV and contributing to existing UNC-TV projects, involving current students, recent alumni, and staff members.

2017 – Update

Leveraging Film Entrepreneurial Opportunities
Leader: Susan Ruskin

During the 2016-17 academic year, UNCSA’s School of Filmmaking was nationally-ranked as a top film school by both The Hollywood Reporter (#14) and The Wrap (#10), and continued to develop significant and valuable relationships in the virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) space with industry leaders. The School of Filmmaking was selected by Oculus (owned by Facebook) as one of only eleven U.S. schools to participate in their NextGen Program, which is designed to enable the next generation of VR creators through access to their hardware and providing guest lectures by industry leaders. In addition to Oculus, the School of Filmmaking has established relationships with 20th Century Fox, ILMxLAB, Lytro, NBC Universal, Technicolor, The Mill, The Third Floor, Survios, Cloud Imperium, Unity, Epic Games, The Virtual Reality Company (VRC), and others. 

The 2016-17 academic year was also the inaugural year of two new graduate programs offered by the School of Filmmaking in Creative Producing and Screenwriting. The class was filled to the projected number and the 2017-18 school year has also matched our projected enrollment. The School of Filmmaking is establishing collaborations with other institutions, such as a joint Master’s program with North Carolina State University’s Computer Science Graduate program, and is moving forward with developing joint classes in VR and immersive entertainment with Wake Forest University through their Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship program.

Goals for the upcoming year are to formalize the industry partnerships in VR/AR through a new initiative that will be supported by the School of Filmmaking’s Production Company, partnerships with other universities, and launching the fully digital real-time sound stage in High Point (as an incubator for new IP). We are proposing to aggregate the assets of the UNC system through partnerships with individual faculty, as well as developing curricular programs within the UNC system and the private universities in the state who are engaged in using Virtual and Augmented Reality as a platform for education, entertainment, information dissemination, reporting, entrepreneurship, industry, new technology and medical research.

2018 – Update

Leveraging Film Entrepreneurial Opportunities

Leader: Susan Ruskin

During the 2017-18 academic year, UNCSA’s School of Filmmaking continued to rise nationally in rankings as a top film school in Variety, The Hollywood Reporter (#14) and The Wrap (#8). This year brought a record increase in applications with an additional 37% from 2017 to 2018, and we continue to develop significant and valuable relationships in the emerging technology -- virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR) -- space with industry leaders. The School of Filmmaking continues to participate in the Oculus (owned by Facebook) NextGen Program, which is designed to enable the next generation of VR creators. This year, one of our students, Trent Spivey, was flown to Menlo Park to meet with other schools participating in NextGen as well as the Oculus executive team to discuss what we have learned over the last two years.

The Film School also officially launched the Media and Emerging Technology Lab (METL) in January 2018 with the hiring of Ryan Schmaltz who joins us from the Bay Area where he has been at the forefront of technology since he began his career.  He is a technology executive, speaker, advisor, and entrepreneur. Previously, Ryan was Executive Vice President at Blippar, one of the world’s leading companies for augmented reality and computer vision. Prior to Blippar, Ryan was an early leader at Uber and led cross-functional strategic initiatives for Uber’s executive leadership. He has also held roles at Microsoft, Adobe, and Deloitte. 

METL was established to create economic opportunity for Winston-Salem and North Carolina and to serve as a bridge between industry and academia. It is a hub for thought leadership, innovation, and production. This is realized through industry partnerships, collaboration with start-ups, working in concert with North Carolina’s public and private universities, and through community outreach via the Lab’s planned experience center. METL will act as an incubator for new companies or projects to foster economic development in the State where emerging technology and storytelling and the arts collaborate.

METL has established a production space in the Cube thanks to the Center for Design Innovation (CDI). This summer we will be building out the space to include a state of the art Motion Capture System, real-time digital production, and volumetric capture. This past year we co-produced a trailer with UNC Chapel Hill’s Kenan Flagler School of Business for a leadership training experience and are in negotiations for several new projects with industry leaders including Technicolor and Unity.

The School of Filmmaking is establishing collaborations with other institutions, such as an interdisciplinary program with North Carolina State University’s Computer Science Graduate program, and we continue to move forward with developing joint classes in VR and immersive entertainment with Wake Forest University through their Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship program.

Goals for the upcoming year are to formalize the industry partnerships in VR/AR through METL, expand partnerships with other universities, and raise the capital to execute on the architectural plans created for us this year by DLR for a new fully digital sound stage.

2019 – Update

Leveraging Film Entrepreneurial Opportunities
Leader: Susan Ruskin

During the 2018-2019 academic year, UNCSA’s School of Filmmaking continued to rise nationally in rankings as a top film school and we continue to collaborate and develop valuable relationships in the emerging technology - virtual reality/augmented reality (VR/AR/XR) - space with industry leaders.

The Film School officially launched the Media and Emerging Technology Lab (METL) in January 2018 with the hiring of Ryan Schmaltz who moved from the Bay Area where he has worked for companies at the forefront of technology since he began his career.

METL was established to create economic opportunity for Winston-Salem and North Carolina and serves as a bridge between industry and academia - a hub for thought leadership, innovation, and production. This will be realized through industry partnerships, collaboration with start-ups, working in concert with North Carolina’s public and private universities, and through community outreach. METL will foster economic development in the State where emerging technology and storytelling and the arts converge.

In November 2018, METL held the inaugural Future of Reality summit where industry executives such as Ted Schilowitz/Paramount, Yair Landau /Mass Animation (formerly of Sony Pictures), Guy Primus at VRC, Yelena Rachitsky at Oculus, Peter Samuelson, a producer and founder of the Starlight Children’s Foundation, Lowe’s Innovation Labs, and Jacquie Barnbrook/Academy Award winner, among others, came to discuss ways emerging technologies such as VR and AR will redefine the world, specifically the content business. This successful event was hosted by Kent Bye who has traveled around the world and conducted over 900 interviews for his “Voices of VR” podcast.

METL has established a production space in the Cube at the Center for Design Innovation (CDI). The state-of-the-art Motion Capture System with real-time digital production has been available and used by our students starting in the 2019 spring semester. The collaboration with actors from the School of Drama has been a positive experience for all involved. We look forward to future collaborations next year.

The School of Filmmaking has simultaneously been establishing collaborations with other institutions, such as an interdisciplinary program with North Carolina State University’s Computer Science Graduate program, and we continue to move forward with developing joint classes in VR and immersive entertainment with Wake Forest University through their Innovation, Creativity, and Entrepreneurship program.

Goals for the upcoming 2020 year are to formalize our industry partnerships in VR/AR/XR through METL - including a comprehensive partnership with Magic Leap, a cross University Hackathon, expanding partnerships within UNCSA and with other universities, and continue raising capital for executing the architectural plans created with us last year by DLR for a new fully digital sound stage. We are currently also exploring a cross-disciplinary residency program inside the lab. Plans are in place to hire a grant writer (summer 2019) and a technologist as a part-time faculty member and researcher (for the fall semester 2019). METL is also hosting a summer international educational half day session for Chinese exchange students. Finally, we will continue to explore the possible expansion of the MFA curriculum to include a more innovation-based track.

 

Future Years

  • Implement appropriate mid-term and long-term venue recommendations.
  • Investigate the potential of a planned retirement community.
  • Improve Gateway.