For Carolina 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 explore our performance season. Full-time students are eligible for $10.75 tickets to many of our performances with a valid One Card.

Audience Advocates

Audience Advocates is an online conversation forum for Triangle residents interested in contributing to the development of works by CPA artists in upcoming performance seasons. This small, virtual class will meet twice weekly via Zoom to interact with and discuss various parts of artists’ works in progress, provide valuable feedback, and get a rare glimpse into the behind-the-scenes work of performing artists.

Now accepting applicants for fall 2022. Learn more.

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. Applications closed 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).

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

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.

read more about apsf

UNC-Chapel Hill and the Triangle 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, up 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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