In 1963, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts was established in Winston-Salem, home of one of the first arts councils in the nation. The School’s primary purpose was to “be the professional training, as distinguished from liberal arts instruction, of talented students in the fields of music, drama, the dance and allied performing arts…” It is also part of the School’s mission to serve and enrich the cultural life of the people of North Carolina and other Southern states.In August 2008, Governor Easly singed a bill that officially changed the name to the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.
The University of North Carolina School of the Arts is located in the southern part of Winston-Salem known as the Southeast Gateway. The main arteries bordering the site are I-40 bypass to the south, US 52 to the east, South Main Street to the west, and downtown Winston Salem to the north.
The immediate vicinity around the campus is a mixture of small industrial and commercial buildings, with low-income, middle income and upper income housing on the east, south and west sides of the campus respectively. The district of Old Salem is a highly visible tourist area adjacent to the northern boundary of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts campus.
Most students live on campus, just steps away from studios, classrooms, and performance and exhibition places. Six residence halls and an on-campus apartment complex house college and graduate students. The Charlotte and Phillip Hanes Student Commons which houses the cafeteria, snack bar, post office, bookstore, computer lab and health services as well as meeting rooms and common areas is located in the center of campus just off Daniels’ Plaza. The Fitness Center is a 20,600 sq. ft. state-of-the-art facility with three main areas: a 25-meter pool, a full size gymnasium, and weight area. Teaching facilities for the Opera Institute are located in the Gray, Workplace West, and School of Music Complex buildings. The School of Music Complex and Gray buildings house teaching studios, practice rooms, offices, rehearsal rooms and classrooms. Workplace West is home to the rehearsal hall for the Fletcher Institute.
More information about the campus can be found at the Visitors Center.
The Stevens Center, located in downtown Winston-Salem, serves as a major performance center for the School. This historic, 1,380-seat theater features state-of-the-art stage, electronic and sound equipment; rehearsal and warm-up rooms; dressing rooms; and sound, light and projection booths.
Agnes De Mille Theater
The Agnes de Mille Theater is located on campus as is an intimate 188 seat proscenium stage with orchestra pit used for performances of opera scenes and chamber opera.
The Gerald Freedman Theatre
The Gerald Freedman Theatre is a proscenium thrust theatre located on the upper ground level of Performance Place. It is similar in design to the Circle Repertory Theatre in New York and the Guthrie Theatre in Minneapolis. It is an optimal performance space for drama with 380 seats that surround, on three sides, a thrust stage. No seat is more than 36 feet away from the stage. The space is equipped with a projection bubble which enables full-stage, rear-screen projection.
The A.J. Fletcher Opera Theater
The Fletcher Opera Theater is located on the east side of Progress Energy Center for the Performing Arts in Raleigh, NC is a 600-seat theater designed for opera, dance, and theatrical productions.
Design and Production
The School of Design and Production works in conjunction with other UNCSA schools to mount their productions and projects, including operas, musicals, plays, films, ballets and modern dance concerts.