Emil Kang is Appointed ‘Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts’ at UNC

Emil Kang is celebrated for his creation of Carolina Performing Arts, creative community involvement and emphasis on diverse performances. Now, Kang adds another feather to his cap as Chancellor Carol Folt names him the ‘Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts.’

The position puts Kang at the helm of a new, university-wide arts initiative that seeks to integrate teaching and research practices with the arts.

“I am extremely pleased to have one of the nation’s leading arts administrators direct this important University initiative,” Folt said.

Kang will be responsible for engaging students and the Chapel Hill community with the arts in new and innovative ways. A primary focus of his work will be to highlight the presence and impact of the arts in all major campus initiatives and venues.

Kang says it is crucial that this special attention given to the arts is supported by Folt and the administration.

“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to expand my role within the University,” Kang said. “Chancellor Folt is a dynamic leader who has demonstrated consistent support for and belief in the arts.”

Folt said she recognizes Kang’s talent and contributions to the university. He is currently the leading arts administrator at UNC, a professor of the practice in the music department, and the executive and artistic director for Carolina Performing Arts.

To accommodate his current roles in the arts program, this new position is a half-time, secondary appointment that Folt says will allow Kang to continue his exceptional work at UNC.

“Emil’s decades of experience and global reputation will help us take arts to the next level for Carolina and the state,” Folt said. “He is well-prepared to lead our efforts to integrate the arts across our University.”

Before coming to UNC, Kang served as president and executive director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and held positions with the Seattle Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra and the League of American Orchestras. In 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Kang to the National Council on the Arts, where he is currently serving a six-year term.

Kang said he is excited for this new opportunity and the chance to yet again expand and improve UNC’s arts program.

“I look forward to ensuring the arts play a vital role in the life of our great University,” Kang said.

Kang will begin the position July 1.


What Can The Knights and Carolina Performing Arts Teach Us about Big Time Sports?

It’s taken a few days to come down from the exhilarating high produced by the Carolina Performing Arts concert by The Knights and Gil Shaham.  As the program noted, The Knights is a chamber orchestra that defies boundaries with programs that showcase a passion for artistic discovery. Gil Shaham is one of the foremost violinists of our time.

The entire performance was a metaphor for “joy.” The orchestra conveys the feeling that these largely young musicians have gathered for the sheer pleasure of musical expression—it could have been in somebody’s home—but we were fortunate to experience the elation on the stage of Memorial Hall. Gil Shaham added, if even possible, an exuberance that still, weeks later, lights my day.

It was especially exciting to share this experience with many, many students in the audience.  Several were discussing their plans for Gil Shaham’s master class the following morning.  Imagine. It is extraordinary that the world class artists who share their talent and creativity in Memorial Hall often spend the next day sharing their passion for the arts with students and faculty on our campus. I understand from CPA staff that the willingness to immerse themselves in these master classes–so central to the mission of the university–even guides the selection of artists.  Rarely, if ever, does an artist decline the opportunity.

What could Big Time sports—football and basketball—learn from Carolina Performing Arts?

For all the costs in academic integrity, public relations and legal fees, disruptions to the life of the community on game days, what, ultimately are we left with other than the temporary thrill of these circus-like events and tribal loyalty?  The Knights’ performance of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the Eroica, indeed provoked heroic thoughts and feelings.


— Lew Margolis


Resolve To Experience Orange County In 2016!

With the new year now upon us, lots of folks are making big plans for big trips and exotic experiences in 2016. But this year, you might also resolve to stay in Orange County – and take advantage of the experiences available right in your back yard.

Laurie Paolicelli of the Orange County Community Relations Department came up with a list of 10 things you can do in our community this year. How many can you check off in 2016?

Listen to Laurie’s conversation with WCHL’s Aaron Keck.


1. Take in a show at Memorial Hall. Carolina Performing Arts has a full calendar of shows, including Lil Buck @ Chapel Hill, A Jookin’ Jam Session in mid-April. Visit CarolinaPerformingArts.org for a list of shows, showtimes and tickets.

2. Work out at Meadowmont. YMCA of the Triangle has a Meadowmont location and there’s a UNC Wellness Center there as well. (Try a day pass for starters.)

3. Spend a day at resale stores. The PTA Thrift Shop for starters, but also check out Club Nova, Goodwill, and the Habitat ReStore. Good inventory and good products.

4. Spend time on campus! Grab drinks at Carolina Inn and then walk campus and see the Old Well. Goodnight Carolina is a free guide and app that I use to show family highlights.

5. Check out Riverwalk in Hillsborough. Afterwards, head to Hillsborough Wine company, sit and window watch and have a glass of wine. Or enjoy hot tea at Weaver Street Market. (Inside tip: Bandido’s has the best guacamole around.)

6. Honeysuckle Tea House is a must-do for 2016, especially if you’ve never been. One of Orange County’s greatest hidden treasures.

7. Ice cream at Maple View. ‘Nuff said.

8. Take a class. We all get busy, but learning something new expands the brain and is a depression buster. The ArtsCenter in Carrboro offers courses in ceramics, dance, healing arts, jewelry making, photography, theater, improv, writing, and youth arts. Or take in a lecture at the Friday Center or on campus. (The GAA’s popular Civil War series is a good bet.)

9. Spend the evening at Timberlyne! Enjoy dinner at vegetarian restaurant SAGE and take in a movie at the Chelsea.

10. Take in a show! Head downtown and check out the DSI Comedy Theater on West Franklin Street, one of the best improv theaters in the entire country…or if it’s a movie you’re after, head to Silverspot in University Place.


Nonprofits Want Carrboro To Collaborate On Arts Center

A trio of nonprofits wants to partner with Carrboro to build a four-story “Arts & Innovation Center” downtown.

The ArtsCenter and Kidzu are asking the Town of Carrboro to build a 55,000 square foot building across the street from Armadillo Grill to be known as the Carrboro Arts & Innovation Center.

The proposal calls for the lot at the corner of Robeson and Main Streets to be donated to the town, which currently leases the property for parking.

Carrboro would contribute $4.5 million of the $12.1 million construction cost for the building. Some of that money would be generated by a new hotel proposed for the site of the current ArtsCenter. The nonprofits would raise the rest through donations, foundations and grants.

Under the current plan the town would own the building and lease it to the three groups in partnership.

The Board of Aldermen voted 6-1 on Tuesday to hold a public hearing on the plan when meetings resume in January. The hearing is scheduled for January 20, 2015.You can find out more here.


Carolina Performing Arts Launches New Season

Known for their spectacular and cutting-edge shows, Carolina Performing Arts released the schedule for their upcoming season. Kicking off the launch with an elegant celebration and speech by Emil Kang there is no doubt this season will do anything less than dazzle and inspire.