The Daily Tar Heel

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Wednesday January 19th

New CPA season to integrate arts, academics

Emil Kang knew he wanted to dial down Carolina Performing Arts’ 2013-14 season after “The Rite of Spring at 100.”

So instead of bringing in a slew of world premieres again, the executive director for the arts and his staff decided to emphasize one of their important goals this season — integrating the arts and academics at UNC.


Carolina Performing Arts’ 2013-2014 season will feature returning favorites and anticipated new performances. All shows will be held at Memorial Hall at 7:30 p.m., and student tickets are $10.

L-E-V with Sharon Eyal & Gai Behar: Oct. 8-9.
The Manganiyar Seductions: Nov. 4.
Compagnie Kafig: Feb. 25-26.
Brooklyn Rider with special guest Dawn Upshaw, soprano: April 6.
Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater: April 22-23.

“What we’re able to do, up until this point, is support the creation of master classes and lectures — but I think our vision is much greater than that,” Kang said.

“That’s basically fruit that’s already fallen to the ground, but what’s still up in the trees, and what’s still there? And faculty have to be involved in those conversations (of academic involvement in the arts).”

Through a five-year, $800,000 grant awarded by the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, next year’s performing arts season will focus on its new program, Arts@TheCore — which is designed to promote collaboration between the arts and academics at UNC.

Kang said there is already a lot of collaboration between the bodies, but the program will help CPA receive recognition for its academic programs — such as courses and master classes — and alert people to the importance of this integration.

“Arts@TheCore is basically an umbrella for all of the work we do integrating the arts into the academy,” Kang said. “It’s not that we’re going to be doing anything differently — it’s a matter of emphasis for us this year.”

The season will open with a performance from North Carolina natives and funk musicians Maceo Parker and George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic in September.

Kang said this season’s shows will focus on the life of the artist through three key words: reclaim, reinvent and rejoice.

“It’s what artists do all the time,” Kang said. “That’s the idea of the role of the artist, these three easy words we can use.”

The Mellon grant also provides funding for Joy Kasson, a UNC professor and this year’s Andrew W. Mellon Distinguished Scholar for the arts. With the grant, Kasson will develop an Arts@TheCore faculty seminar to explore connections between Memorial Hall performances and UNC faculty’s research and teaching.

Kasson said she is most excited to talk to other faculty members and to strengthen the performing arts relationship with UNC professors and other faculty members.

“I don’t see it as myself just disseminating the ideas that I have, but finding out what ideas other people have and helping them share with each other,” Kasson said. “Ultimately, I hope we’ll have even more students at Memorial Hall.”

Joe Florence, UNC’s marketing manager for the arts, said the season’s success will be based on how well Arts@TheCore is implemented.

“If our organization were a building, the performances would be the bricks of that building,” he said. “But the Arts@TheCore is the mortar that holds everything together.”

Kang said the season is about getting every member of the UNC community to see the arts as an integral part of his or her life.

“What we do is not on the periphery of campus life, but at the core,” he said.

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