Our online courses, fellowships and annual summit will ignite your creative future.
Turn a dream into reality,
a passion into a profession.
Discover a more sustainable future and
learn how to succeed in the new creative economy.
I have more focus and a new supportive community. Now I understand how my art can be both my passion and my business.
Compete for a six-month paid fellowship in arts, entertainment, business and community organizations.Learn More
Learn with creative peers in this cost-effective, continuing education program featuring online course work and personalized coaching.Learn More
Experience the power of creative community at an annual summit that will inspire and transform your work.Learn More
Bogotá, Colombia, native Santiago Ramos is a creative entrepreneur, innovator and community organizer in Winston-Salem. Through his participation in our programs, Santiago has developed his own creative projects while continuing to work as a bilingual organizer with a local community development organization.
“Like most creatives, I always have a ton of ideas swirling around in my brain but have a hard time deciding which one I should work on first. The entrepreneurial curriculum helped me focus on one idea, and taught me the importance of developing a clear message that communicates my vision. Being with a group of other creative people was inspiring, and I still work closely with people I have met through the program.”
Tonya Sheffield is a U.S. Army veteran and graduate of the UNCSA School of Filmmaking. She is the founding executive director of The Dream School, an after-school and summer camp that utilizes podcasting, digital video and coding to enhance student’s basic learning skills. After completing our entrepreneurial curriculum, Tonya won third place in the 2017 Winston-Salem Creative Startups Accelerator. She continues to incorporate knowledge she gained through these programs to grow The Dream School, and has plans to expand to other cities in North Carolina.
“I had the vision for The Dream School for more than a decade, but didn’t really know where to start. When I joined this program, I gained a creative family that has remained so important me as I have made my dream a reality. I have mentors who I can call if I am stuck or need help working through a challenge. I have friends who are doing really incredible things who I can partner with and work alongside.”
Owens Daniels of ODP Art & Design is a photographer who has developed a vibrant visual arts practice that blends photography, graphic design, storytelling and social commentary. When he began our entrepreneurial curriculum, Owens was working as a security guard and taking photos on the side. Since completing the course, he pursues his art-making full time and has been offered a wide range of residencies, public art commissions and gallery shows. In addition, Owens launched a line of wearable art: T-shirts featuring images from his America Wantsseries.
"The coursework and mentoring helped me become focused and compete in the visual arts marketplace. It took the talent that I possessed—raw material—and helped refine it into a sellable and scaleable commodity. It also gave me a deep network, giving me the ability to cross-pollinate with and learn from other creatives."
As a participant in the local version of our entrepreneurial curriculum, Alan Shelton, refined his plans for an inclusive, shared maker space to give diverse community members in his hometown Winston-Salem a way to explore their creativity and curiosity. Today, the makerspace MIXXER is a thriving community resource that provides space, tools and instruction in working with metal, wood, textiles, plastics as well as modern technology like laser cutters, 3D printers, CNC machinery and computer design software.
“I came to the first class not really sure that I would have anything in common with anybody else there. I found out that we were all facing a lot of the same kinds of challenges, and we helped each other get through them.”
Sarah Band has an art degree from San Francisco State University and is a nationally recognized glass artist. She is the Artistic Director for The Olio, a non-profit glass studio in Winston-Salem that uses glassblowing to teach life and business skills to high-risk teens and young adults. In addition to her position with The Olio, Sarah runs her own arts enterprise, SarahBand Art, producing glass and mixed-media sculptures inspired by organic materials and modern scientific discoveries.
“The course really taught me how to talk about my work in a focused way, and I’ve also enjoyed getting to know and learning from my cohort. Everyone has made so much progress and accomplished so much, in such a short time. I am looking forward to staying in touch with everyone and watching them continue to grow and be successful.”
Eight years ago, scenic designer John Bowhers teamed up with his UNCSA classmate Anna Rooney to found Peppercorn Theatre to create and produce new plays for family audiences in Winston-Salem. Since that first season when rehearsals were held in John’s backyard, Peppercorn Theatre has produced 28 new productions in collaboration with local organizations. In 2014, Winston-Salem children’s museum, the Kaledium acquired Peppercorn Theatre, hiring John to be their Director of Creative Production and to design exhibits.
The Creative Catalyst Certificate, Fellowship and Summit are offered by the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in partnership with the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, which encourages and supports the exploration and development of new knowledge to transform the way artists, organizations and communities approach their creative challenges.
The North Carolina General Assembly established the North Carolina School of the Arts in 1965 as America’s first public arts conservatory. Now part of the University of North Carolina system, UNCSA boasts five standalone arts conservatories — Dance, Design & Production, Drama, Filmmaking and Music — where extraordinary young people from across the country immerse themselves in rigorous, risk-taking, and performance-heavy artistic training.
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