Arts at UNCW


Artivism For Social Change

"The arts give us hope, that united we are greater than the sum of our problems, greater than the sum of our differences. Art transcends social distancing, travel bans, and quarantines. Art will document these dark days yes, but art will also lead us out of them.” 

- Mike Wiley (actor, playwright, director)

The Office of the Arts is creating opportunities for creativity, engagement, and empowerment through social justice work. Below is an outline of on-going and upcoming initiatives.

Upcoming Programs 

Pamela Young-Jacobs, Author Talk 

November 15, 2022 ∙ 6 - 7:30 p.m., UNCW Randall Library, Sherman Hayes Gallery (1st Floor)

Pamela is the Vice Chief of the Waccamaw Siouan Tribe of North Carolina and the immediate past Chairwoman. She is charged with using her voice to protect tribal sovereignty, promote economic development, health and educational initiatives. She is employed by Southeastern Community College as the Director of the Small Business Center. She is the first American Indian woman to hold this position. She is leading the way in American Indian activism and education on campus at SCC in her work to develop traditional classes taught by American Indian instructors and economic development through the expansion and establishment of Native owned small businesses in the county. She is a poet with works published in Marijo Moore’s Feeding the Ancient Fire.

Click here for more information.

Nancy Strickland Fields, Director of the Museum of the Southeast American Indian

November 17, 2022 ∙ 6:30 p.m., Online via Zoom

This will be the third in the Center for Southeast North Carolina Archives and History's Fall 2022 Thursday night series. 

Ms. Fields is the first Lumbee graduate of the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she earned a bachelor's degree in Museum Studies.  Nancy also earned an M.A. in History from UNCW (2016) and is currently a doctoral student in the Public History program at North Carolina State University.   Previous to her role at the UNC Pembroke, she worked at the Museum of Contemporary Native Art in Santa Fe, New Mexico; The National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.;; and The American Indian Cultural Center and Museum in Oklahoma City.  Throughout her 18-year career in museums, she has focused on museum education and administration.

Click here to register!

Past Programs

Honoring Southeast NC Indigenous Peoples Public Artwork Reveal 

November 3, 2022 ∙ 2 - 7:30 p.m.
UNCW Amphitheater and Clock Tower Lounge
Rain Location: Lumina Theater

Honoring Southeast NC Indigenous Peoples is a collaboration between UNCW Community Engagement and Impact, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and members of several North Carolina tribal communities. This public installation by artist Jessica Clark serves to honor Indigenous cultures on the UNCW campus. The unveiling will be preceded by an entire afternoon of celebration. This event is free and open to the public. 

Click here for more information.

The Human Mortals Project

January 13, 2022 ∙ 5 p.m., Cultural Arts Building,
SRO Theatre

Auditions are being held for storytellers to be a part of the Lumina Festival of the Arts in March 2022. Each storyteller is to bring in a piece of heightened text and another piece which inspires you. (song, spoken word, poetry, lyrics etc.) Both pieces should be no longer than 2 min 30 seconds. Each storyteller is encouraged to bring their authentic and bravest self to the space without judgement. 

Click here for more information.

Dare Coulter: Because It's Time

June 18, 2021 ∙ 10 a.m. - 11 a.m., UNCW Amphitheater

The Office of the Arts commissioned award-winning artist, muralist and sculptor, Dare Coulter to create public artwork for the UNCW campus inspired by Black Lives Matter. Our hope is that this commemorative artwork will bring awareness about race, identity, the Black experience, and Wilmington’s long, dark history of racial violence. Light refreshments will be available at the unveiling event with entertainment provided by Benny Hill.

In partnership with the Office of Community Engagement and Applied Learning, the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, UNCW’s Office of Facilities, and Lite Brite Neon.

Click here to view the unveiling event on Vimeo. 

A World of Aging

April 2021 ∙ Veteran’s Hall

A collaborative initiative between the Office of the Arts, Gerontology, and Center for Healthy Communities to facilitate intergenerational, international and interprofessional discussions about the subject of aging. Dr. Jeffery Levine, a geriatrician and photographer, has donated a series of his prints related to international aging. The series includes images from India, Japan, Peru, Egypt and other countries and highlights cultural differences and similarities in intergenerational interactions, the role and value of older adults, and the process and experience of aging. The physical gallery will open in April 2021 and be located within Veteran’s Hall.

Click here for more information.

Blackness: A Framework

February - May 2021 ∙ Fisher University Union

Utilizing projections in the Fisher University Union, this project will spark conversations about social injustice and the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement. Projection content has been curated by students, and features footage from UNCW Department of Theatre’s Am I Next?, directed by Robin Post. Technical support was provided by Art and Technology direction was provided by Assistant Professor of Art, Gene A. Felice II. In partnership with the Office of Community Engagement and Applied Learning and the Office of Institutional Diversity and Inclusion.

Due to COVID-19, this gallery is currently only open to UNCW students, faculty, and staff.

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Arts Equity Fellowship Program

A collaborative engagement with students, community-based artists, and faculty mentors in the development of an interactive arts installation with a focus on social justice topics. As a pilot program, the first semester is broken up into two cohorts, each tackling their own focus.

ealing Generational Trauma Fellowship

2020 began with COVID-19 and quarantine, and the year ended with more hashtags, this time for Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor and George Floyd. The hurt, anger and frustration culminated in weeks of protests around the United States, including in the New Hanover County area. But that hurt and anger didn't begin in 2020; rather, it has origins going back centuries. Where does it come from, and how is it passed down from generation to generation? During Healing Generational Trauma: A Community Arts Experience, we will seek to answer those questions through film, spoken word, movement and workshops. This experience will begin in March and culminate in a half-day conference on Saturday, April 17.

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Because It's Time Fellowship

The Because It’s Time Project uses the sculpture created by Dare Coulter to showcase the resiliency of Black residents in Wilmington, North Carolina. Students and faculty from the Watson School of Education are designing a curriculum focused on social justice that will be shared broadly with local educators through the Just Us project. JUST US Project teaches children how to make sure they know what to do when feeling stressed or in times of trouble.