A message from the chancellor: Arts Everywhere and the ties we need

As we celebrate Arts Everywhere Day, Chancellor Kevin Guskiewicz says that a core part of Carolina's mission is to be a venue, a patron, an advocate and an all-around supporter of art and culture in our state.

A ram mascot next to a mural painted

Dear Carolina Community,

Art is powerful. It can be playful or troubling, inspiring or unsettling, joyous or somber. It can be all those things at once, offering truths about the human experience that are impossible to share any other way. It is vital because it helps to make sense of the world around us.

And that’s why at Carolina, art is everywhere. Today is Arts Everywhere Day, wrapping up a week of celebration across every part of our community. From dance music to photography exhibits to documentary screenings — even a cathartic, communal scream on Polk Place — Arts Everywhere showcases the power of art to change the way we experience the world.

Rhiannon Giddens, one of North Carolina’s greatest musicians, put it this way in a recent interview: “Music, in general, forms an emotional tie. There’s even more of a need now to connect to it and to have that emotional connection. Music allows us to do that in a way that everyday living doesn’t.”

That’s what I love about the richness of Carolina’s artistic culture. It builds the emotional ties we need to be in real conversation with one another, to elevate everyday living into something more.

Some of my happiest moments at Carolina are watching the stage lights come up on a PlayMakers show, hearing the eruption of joyful applause at the end of a Carolina Performing Arts concert, or walking through the Pit and seeing something funny scrawled on the side of a cube.

A core part of Carolina’s mission is to be a venue, a patron, an advocate, and an all-around supporter of art and culture in our state. I love the creativity we bring to that role, and am just plain amazed at the beauty and brilliance I encounter every day on this campus.


Kevin M. Guskiewicz