Arts at UNCW

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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.


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

Dare Coulter: Because It's Time

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.

Rain site: Fisher University Union, Clocktower Lounge.

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April 2021 ∙ Veteran’s Hall

A World of Aging

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.


February - May 2021 ∙ Fisher University Union

Blackness: A Framework

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.

Healing 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.