For UNC Students

Get Involved with CPA

Carolina Performing Arts has many opportunities for UNC-Chapel Hill students to engage with visiting artists, artist-in-residence, and our different initiatives. Often, these take shape in the form of masterclasses, class visits, and curricular connections created by faculty in collaboration with CPA, as well as events hosted in partnership with our artists in residence and others.

Below, you can find additional opportunities to get involved with the arts through CPA. You can also find virtual events and more on CPA [at] Home and explore our season events. During our regular performance seasons, full-time students are also eligible for $10 tickets to many of our performances with a valid ONYEN or OneCard.

Creative Futures

In 2018, Carolina Performing Arts announced Creative Futures, a new initiative funded by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, making possible a transformative vision of community engagement: collaborative creation in the arts informed by faculty research and driven by students. This initiative offers numerous student opportunities at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. 

Undergraduate Public-Serving Arts (PSA) Grant

The Creative Futures initiative at Carolina Performing Arts includes a competitive grant program for UNC undergraduate student public service arts projects. Application deadline extended: closing February 26, 2021.

This program is intended to embody the community-dedicated, collaborative nature of Creative Futures. Proposed projects must involve community service, include art in some capacity, and be facilitated with a community partner. Projects must take place in the surrounding Triangle area (Wake, Durham, Orange counties). Download complete application details and process here.

Sign up here for grant updates and alerts about information sessions.

Undergraduate Liaisons

Through this position, the Creative Futures initiative aims to engage undergraduate students in exploring the intersections between the mutually enriching endeavors of arts and public service. Applications for Creative Futures Undergraduate Liaisons closed on December 7, 2020.

Learn more & apply

Participation as an Undergraduate Liaison will include scheduled meetings, regular email communication, and involvement in select Creative Futures activities, for an estimated two to four hours per week. Each Undergraduate Liaison will receive a monetary award of $1,000 for their participation, to be paid during the spring semester.

Applications for this opportunity closed December 7, 2020.   

  1. Why do you think it is important to bring artists together with faculty AND community partners? What kind of results could come from this kind of partnership? 
  2. Based on your discipline of study, if you could collaborate with any artist, who would that be? What project related to your discipline would you collaborate on? 
AMST 398: Public Service-Learning Course

The Creative Futures initiative includes a service-learning course in spring 2021: AMST 398 “Service Learning in America,” which will be taught in collaboration with the Department of American Studies by Dr. Annette Rodriguez. 

Learn more about amst 398

This course centers the arts in public service, highlighting the possibilities for greater and more impactful community engagement and identifying the correlations between creative expression and social awareness. The course not only looks at models that have successfully used art to address social issues, it also introduces the students to cultural artifacts that have influenced social action.  

Community service is part of the course; students will also participate in a community/student roundtable at the end of the semester. Through this course, CPA seeks to identify, support, and build relationships with student leaders, encourage creative approaches to community service, and inspire increased community engagement. 

Graduate Assistants

Part of the success of Creative Futures depends on the initiative’s graduate assistants. Our graduate assistants for the Creative Futures initiative are Meli Kimathi (PhD candidate, Communication: Performance Studies) and Luke Valmadrid (candidate, Master of Public Health).

The Creative Futures graduate assistants are responsible for supporting Creative Futures, its stakeholders, and its projects. This includes helping to manage and document project progress, assisting in facilitating timely communication between stakeholders, working to maintain relationships within the community, and mentoring Undergraduate Liaisons. Through this opportunity, CPA provides critical arts administration experience to graduate students, nurtures a deeper understanding of capacity-building for art and artists, and fosters future arts professionals and lifelong arts supporters. 

The Arts in Public Service Fellows

The Buckley Public Service Scholars (BPSS) program and Carolina Performing Arts partnered in 2015 to create the Arts in Public Service Fellows (APSF), a program that encourages students to make a direct impact in their communities through the arts. The engagement department at CPA also offers an undergraduate internship open to current and former fellows.

The 2020/2021 Arts in Public Service Fellows cohort theme is “Arts and the work of racial justice.” (Please note that applications for this year closed August 24, 2020.)

read more about apsf

UNC-Chapel Hill and the Triangle area are both rich with opportunities to connect the arts and public service. This may mean pursuing public service in a creative mode, pursuing the arts in a service-oriented mode or some mixture of the two. This program emphasizes expansive definitions of both “service” and “arts,” and advocates for creative modes of connecting them. Arts in Public Service Fellows will learn the ways in which the arts have effected and will continue to effect social change, develop necessary skills for engaging in this work themselves and gain first-hand experience supporting local arts and public service projects.

Components of the Fellowship
Arts in Public Service Fellows fulfill the requirements of the BPSS program and build portfolios with a particular focus on the connections between arts and social change.

To complete the program successfully, Arts in Public Service Fellows must log at least 100 arts-based hours (of the 300 necessary for BPSS), two arts-based skills trainings (of the four required for BPSS) and one arts-connected academic service-learning course—in addition to participating in one APSF academic year cohort. Interested students can apply to participate in the academic year cohort early in the fall semester each year and independently pursue other forms of arts engagement.

Students pursuing this distinction will have the opportunity to work with established arts-based projects, to propose and create engagement opportunities with the arts and receive training and support from Carolina faculty and staff in arts-based work with communities. Graduating Arts in Public Service Fellows will typically be recognized at a reception before a CPA performance near the end of their final spring semester. Learn more about the details of this program. 

Honors Carolina

Honors Carolina collaborates with Carolina Performing Arts on the “Concerts in Context” series, a partnership designed to promote student leadership and interdisciplinary learning through the arts and enrich our patrons’ experience of season events.

“My role as a student leader for this program has challenged me to think about how (and sometimes if!) performances fit into the rest of life. It stretches our minds to think beyond the obvious, the scientific method, and the most direct.”

Adam Enggasser, STEM major, UNC-Chapel Hill class of 2021

Every year, one to two Honors students collaborate with the CPA engagement team to curate free, public pre-performance panels featuring both professors and community members with far-ranging expertise. These contextual programs provide our audiences with insights into our performances, and encourage attendees to make otherwise unlikely connections between performance and academia, politics, the environment, and our everyday lives. 

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