UNCW Presents Announces New Season, Summer Arts Festival

Monday, April 24, 2017

The 2017-18 UNCW Presents Series will bring an array of the high-caliber performances and an exciting summer arts festival to Wilmington.

The new season features 10 series performances, four SEAHAWK Family Arts Matinees (SEAHAWK FAMs) and kicks off with the Lumina Festival of the Arts in July, a summer arts festival that will offer concerts, theater, dance, performance poetry, film and visual art.

“The season is incredibly diverse, artistically and culturally,” said Kristen Brogdon, director of the UNCW Office of the Arts. “We’re bringing established artists at the top of their game, like Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center and Ron Brown’s dance company Evidence, as well as artists on the rise like Lakota John and the group Third Coast Percussion, who just won their first Grammy.”

The Lumina Festival of the Arts, which runs July 14–30 on the UNCW campus, brings the university and surrounding communities together to celebrate the arts and features some of the region’s finest artists.

The Lumina Festival’s concert series will include a summer jazz workshop with special guest Jeff Coffin, a Mozart celebration, jazz by the Ernest Turner Piano Trio, and the NC Guitar Quartet’s performance of “Carmen Suite.”

The poetry and art segments of the festival include a poetry jam of slam poetry presented by the Black Arts Alliance. Dance events will feature Dance Cooperative’s Summer Showcase, a free Latin dance salsa party at the UNCW Amphitheatre and an international ballet showcase.

Partnering with the Cucalorus Film Festival, the Lumina Festival will hold two free outdoor film screenings at the UNCW Amphitheatre. 

The festival is built around four performances of Opera Wilmington’s “Carmen” throughout the last weeks of July. The Cultural Arts Building Mainstage Theatre will host five performances of Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing,” directed by UNCW theatre assistant professor Christopher Marino and set in post-Civil War Wilmington.

“I hope Wilmington and our neighboring towns will feel like the Lumina Festival of the Arts is a grand and enjoyable celebration of regional artists,” Brogdon said. “Ticket prices are affordable so that people can come to multiple performances and feel like they’re a part of a major cultural event."

Fans of SEAHAWK FAM will be able to enjoy the family-friendly series beyond summer. The program has added additional shows during the school year as part of UNCW Presents.

“It was a fun challenge to put together a season to follow our 25th anniversary – still keeping the artistic bar set high, but on a different scale,” said Brogdon.

Tickets for the upcoming season are now available. For a full schedule of events, visit

-- Venita Jenkins