Piano tunes are something you might hear if you venture to UNC’s campus any time soon. There are 10 of the instruments around campus, nine painted by students. And they’re there for a reason.

“Today is the perfect kind of day to prove that even if you don’t interact with arts every day—even if you’re a biology major, even if you’re a computer science major– that you do interact with the arts,” said UNC student and journalism major Elina Rodriguez. “You engage with them and you probably love them.”

Rodriguez helped with an event Friday to kick off the initiative—Arts Everywhere. UNC Chancellor Carol Folt said the idea is that arts are essential for learning and engagement.

“This is just our opportunity to really celebrate the arts, the fundamental role of the arts, in higher education and in society,” she said. “And in the process of doing it, highlight the making of art, the learning of art, the aesthetic stimulation from the arts, and really trying to take that to a higher level in Carolina than it even has been.”

UNC students and Ramses rap and dance during Arts Everywhere. Photo via Blake Hodge.

The university threw events all day Friday to highlight Arts Everywhere. Some included: lectures, performances by campus singers and artists and even a giant mural wall that anyone could help paint. Rodriguez said some were apprehensive at first about contributing, or didn’t feel artistic enough, but that eventually almost everyone who walked by the station added something.

“It’s just kind of simple,” she said. “And I think that’s the beauty of it, a lot of people are very happy to just walk by something, but there’s never really been a lull. People are always at the wall.”

Emil Kang is the special assistant to the chancellor for the arts. He helped plan the event and said there’s a lot more to come.

“I think for us the most important part of this really was to showcase how every student can be a part of the arts,” he said. “I think, too often, people think of the arts as something other people do. I think what we’re trying to showcase is the creativity of our Carolina students. I hope this is the beginning of a big initiative to come.”

Features of Arts Everywhere will be around for at least the next few days. The pianos will be on campus until Wednesday and giant spinning tops will remain on campus until September.