Happy Hill Partnership

The Kenan Institute for the Arts, along with the UNCSA School of Dance, work in partnership with the Happy Hill Neighborhood Association to present Happy Hill Arts, a place-based arts and cultural initiative in a historically African American community adjacent to the University.

Happy Hill Arts sponsors cultural arts activities and events that engage both its youth and adult populations, thereby enhancing and enriching the quality of life and educational opportunities for residents. The Happy Hill Summer Arts Program, launched in the summer of 2017, offers participating children diverse experiences, including dance, drumming and photography classes, as well as field trips to arts and cultural destinations in Winston-Salem. In April 2018, Happy Hill Arts added After-School Arts, providing an opportunity to build on the success of the summer program and provide more consistent interaction with the community.

Project Goals

  • Expose Happy Hill children (Grades 1-5) to a positive experience with art, culture, and learning
  • Enhance cognitive abilities and skills such as critical thinking and problem-solving, that will support greater academic success through the arts
  • Instill communal knowledge of and pride in the historical significance of Happy Hill
  • Instill knowledge of African American history, identity and achievements
  • Foster greater involvement by the parents of Happy Hill in enriching and improving their lives and the lives of their children, using such vehicles as communal meals and music to restore a sense of community
  • Support community-based creative leaders of color

In May 2018, the Winston-Salem Foundation presented Happy Hill Arts founders Amatuallah Saleem and Rebecca Bryant Williams with an ECHO Award, presented to local individuals and organizations that are building social capital.

The program is led by the Happy Hill Neighborhood Association with technical and administrative support from the Kenan Institute. For more information about the Happy Hill Partnership or the Happy Hill Arts programs, contact Nadiyah Quander at quandern@uncsa.edu or 336-986-9574, or the Happy Hill Neighborhood Association at hhnaofws@gmail.com.