UNC’s new CURRENT ArtSpace + Studio’s inaugural installation Sound Maze exuded different bells and dings among the sounds of its first exhibit, an interactive display featuring dozens of towering musical “instruments” designed by composer Paul Dresher.

Chapel Hill Town Councilman Michael Parker at Current Art Studio Space. Photo via Blake Hodge.

Anchoring downtown Chapel Hill’s new Carolina Square development, CURRENT’s 7,000 square feet are divided into two spaces: the ArtSpace, which held Dresher’s SoundMaze, and the Studio, a multi-purpose rehearsal and event space.

The space’s purpose is to house exhibits and events that fall outside of the traditional theater or concert hall format, while offering a space where visiting artists, faculty, students and community members could gather.

Executive and Artistic Director for Carolina Performing Arts Emile Kang calls the space “one of a kind”.

“CURRENT sits at the crossroads of the campus and community,” said Kang, “a truly public-private partnership that will unleash the power of adjacency and creativity.”

Current is a focal point of UNC Chancellor Carol Folt’s Arts Everywhere initiative, which aims to make the arts a fundamental part of the school’s culture and daily life.

CURRENT Art Studio Space. Photo via Blake Hodge.

“The exciting thing about Arts Everywhere is it stretches from arts and sciences to the medical school, and it seeks to involve everyone in this idea that the arts ignite creativity, they create energy, and we all thrive when the arts collide in the middle of our work,” said Folt.

CURRENT and Carolina Square as a whole is a project over a decade in the making, and according to Chairman of the Downtown Partnership and owner of Top of the Hill Scott Maitland, the programming yet to come to CURRENT is what will leave a lasting impression on the community.

“Tonight and this weekend, kids of all ages are going to come through and see SoundMaze and they might consider the space, because it’s new and it’s the first time they’ve been in there, but ultimately it’s going to be the performance, it’s going to be the art, that inspires,” said Maitland. “It is going to be the art that moves them, it is going to be the art that fundamentally changes the way that they look at the world, and in doing so, actually changes the way that they look at our downtown.”

To find out about upcoming events at CURRENT, visit currentunc.org.