Press Release

Stronger Together – A joint statement in support of the arts in Chapel Hill

by Arts Everywhere, Carolina Performing Arts, UNC College of Arts & Sciences, and PlayMakers Repertory Company

(Chapel Hill, NC, June 12, 2019) – According to a 2018 BBC Survey, people around the world feel more divided today than they did 10 years ago. Despite this grim response, more than half of those surveyed think people across the world have more things in common than things that make them different. While there are countless disciplines that might serve as a vehicle to discover our shared humanity such as history, sociology, mathematics, and science, we believe that the arts are a particularly powerful means of connecting us to our deepest human essence, and of understanding what it means to live with ourselves and others.

The arts are the science lab of life, a place where you can try things out before they reach other disciplines. In this “research” lab, artists explore complex questions and illuminate new ways of seeing and experiencing the world. The arts serve as a means toward understanding the history, culture, and values of other peoples. By tapping into our shared humanity, the arts have the power to shape how we understand life, our cities, and society more broadly, giving us the ability to connect with cultures and concepts foreign to our own earthly experience.

The arts at UNC are deeply committed to contributing to a vibrant, diverse cultural arts scene both on and off campus, and seek to continue working in partnership to create a place for all people to access and explore the arts, their selves, and their communities.

In this vein, it is our desire to continue building upon the work and relationships that we have nurtured over the past years with local government entities and businesses, artists from near and far, and the Triangle at large.

  • We take pride in the significant amount of high quality, accessible art (much of it free) created by students, academics, professional groups on campus, exhibits, and visiting artists;
  • we wish to continue growing our partnerships with local artists and arts organizations through residencies, workshops, artist roundtables, and to continue investigating ways we can make campus spaces more accessible for working artists;
  • we are grateful for the ongoing conversations with Town staff, council, and key stakeholders around ways to further invest in the arts as an economic engine for Downtown Chapel Hill;
  • and we are honored to partner with the Town of Chapel Hill Community Arts & Culture Division, the Orange County Arts Commission, and others to create more opportunities for free and low-cost, open to the public programming.
  • We affirm the belief that an arts experience is more than a consumerist transaction, butts in seats or tickets sold. Through programming and partnerships across campus, we aim to provide, produce, promote, and participate in art that goes beyond the concert hall or theatre and extends to and engages with our vibrant and gifted communities.

“A rising tide lifts all boats.” We come together, from across artistic disciplines and programs, to share this open invitation to our campus, our communities, and our creatives to get involved to help lift and guide the rising of this artistic tide in the Triangle.