Announcing a New Chapter for EmcArts!

EmcArts and the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts (UNCSA) are excited to announce an important new partnership to serve artists and arts organizations as leading contributors to healthy American communities.

As the Kenan Institute expands its program platform in professional development for artists as creative leaders, EmcArts is extending its range of services in support of emerging adaptive capacities in the field.  These complementary goals will be advanced through the affiliation of EmcArts with the Institute, based in Winston-Salem, NC, beginning in the fall of 2018.  EmcArts will open a Winston-Salem office in the Kenan Institute’s Creative Community Lab, which offers programmatic, office and “blue sky” meeting space for community members and partner organizations.

 “The Kenan Institute for the Arts welcomes EmcArts to Winston Salem and to our Creative Community Lab. As we launch Creative Catalysts—our five-year initiative to provide diverse artist-leaders with the professional development, mentoring and access to become transformative drivers of the 21st-century economy—we look forward to collaborating with EmcArts to achieve our goals.”  

—Corey Madden, Executive Director, Kenan Institute for the Arts

The partnership represents a remarkable opportunity for the city of Winston-Salem, for the state of North Carolina and for the southeast region of the country as a whole.  Dubbed the “City of Arts and Innovation,” Winston-Salem is a regional center of creative enterprise, with UNCSA a nationally recognized center of arts learning.  The city hosted one of EmcArts’ early Community Innovation Labs, which has spawned multiple new initiatives supporting civic equity and inclusion through the arts.  EmcArts is also deeply engaged in advancing the adaptive capacity of the cultural community in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina.  Joint programs of the Kenan Institute and EmcArts will bring together University faculty and resources with leading expertise in arts innovation and adaptive change to provide a new national platform and critical mass for “next practices” in the arts sector.

“The university wants to support and empower fearless ‘artpreneurs’ who drive social, cultural, and economic transformation. The partnership between the Kenan Institute and EmcArts does just that, and advances our mission to make Winston-Salem one of the region’s hottest creative hubs.”

—Lindsay Bierman, Chancellor, UNC School of the Arts

EmcArts is maturing as a national service enterprise and moving beyond its founders.  No longer a start-up enterprise, EmcArts has established a distinctive profile and a set of effective core programs through which it stands out in the crowded world of nonprofit services.  As EmcArts enters this new phase, Richard Evans will step down as President in 2019, taking up an Emeritus role as advisor and senior researcher.  In mid-2019, Melissa Dibble will step down as Managing Director, continuing to serve as a Lead Process Facilitator for EmcArts programs.  Jonathan Halsey, formerly of The Winston-Salem Foundation, will be taking the helm as the new Managing Director, leading EmcArts as it moves in this exciting new direction.  The EmcArts team of experienced process facilitators will continue to serve the company, and will expand to meet the new organizational goals and implement new program strategies.

EmcArts will retain its status as an independent 501(c)(3) organization, and the Board of Directors will maintain its governance oversight, while expanding to complement the expertise and perspectives of its existing members. Current and planned EmcArts programs, in New York City and across North America, will move forward uninterrupted.

“The next chapter in EmcArts’ development is unfolding with tremendous energy and opportunity.  Adaptive leadership and organizational change have never been more vital if the arts sector is to play a central role in establishing a new creative direction for our country.  Our affiliation with the Kenan Institute for the Arts and UNCSA provides a tremendous synergy with a nationally recognized center of arts training and enterprise, and a unique opportunity for radical thinking to enter the field.  I am delighted that Jonathan Halsey will lead the new and expanded team in seizing these opportunities.”

—Richard Evans, President, EmcArts

To learn more about the new direction for EmcArts, click here.  For further inquiries, please contact Ben Sachs-Hamilton at EmcArts or Lynda Lotich, Associate Director of the Kenan Institute.

Richard Evans is the President Emeritus of EmcArts, where he directs program design, research, and strategic partnerships that place a particular emphasis on innovation, adaptive organization change, and effective ways that the arts and culture field can respond to the demands of a new era.