Carolina Performing Arts (CPA), the acclaimed presenting arm of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-Chapel Hill), seeks an Executive and Artistic Director (EAD). Since its founding in 2005, CPA has been a pioneer in its field, inspiring audiences with captivating performances, nurturing artistic innovation at the intersection of the performing arts and higher education, and transforming UNC-Chapel Hill’s campus and the greater Research Triangle region into an international arts destination. CPA has partnered with and hosted the likes of Yo-Yo Ma, Philip Glass, Toshi Reagon, Compagnie Marie Chouinard, National Theatre of Scotland, and the Bolshoi Ballet and has commissioned and co-commissioned over 50 new works, 40 of which premiered in Chapel Hill itself. CPA’s remarkable local, national, and international reputation and its innovative programming have distinguished it as one of the nation’s leading university presenters.
CPA is interested in art that is collaborative, thought-provoking, and sustainable and is distinctive in its willingness to push creative boundaries. This willingness has garnered CPA a reputation on campus, in the region, and throughout the global arts community for presenting the unexpected. CPA’s ability to attract leading artists from the classical world to the avant-garde, has been made possible by the cultivation of meaningful, lasting relationships with a range of artists and groups, many of whom become recurring performers at UNC-Chapel Hill. CPA is in its 15th anniversary season, which is focused on celebrating the creative leadership of women, including collaborations with Misty Copeland, Rosas, Tierra Whack, and Meredith Monk.
Integrating the arts into the UNC-Chapel Hill community has been a central achievement of CPA. In its 2012-2013 season, CPA produced “The Rite of Spring at 100,” a celebration of Igor Stravinsky’s masterpiece that drew international acclaim. CPA also launched the DisTIL (2017-2020) and Creative Futures (2018-2022) Artist Fellowships through their ongoing partnership with the Andrew W. Mellon Foundation, uniting performing artists with the academy and the broader community. CPA was central to the 2016 creation of Arts Everywhere, an ambitious initiative that seeks to embed creative expression, live arts experiences, and arts learning into the University’s education and community. Since the arts were specifically articulated in UNC-Chapel Hill’s strategic plan in 2017, the opportunities for CPA have become even more expansive and exciting.
Reporting to the Executive Vice Provost, the Executive and Artistic Director is responsible for defining CPA’s artistic and strategic direction and oversees a team of 31 staff who support Carolina Performing Arts, three staff devoted to Arts Everywhere, and an annual operating budget of over $7 million. The EAD will have exceptional artistic vision and will be an inclusive, engaging arts leader, able to cultivate close relationships with an international arts community as well as students, colleagues, donors, and all others who are part of the educational community of UNC-Chapel Hill. The successful candidate will bring a record of innovative and strategic leadership in a multi-faceted institution and must have a record of demonstrated success in arts administration and advocacy, with an advanced degree in an appropriate field; will accept a relevant undergraduate degree and 3 or more years of relevant professional experience in substitution. They will demonstrate a decisive, yet collaborative, leadership style along with an entrepreneurial drive and exemplary communication skills. Substantial fundraising experience and thoughtful staff leadership are essential, as is proven commitment to the values of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill has retained Isaacson, Miller, a national executive search firm, to assist in this search. All inquiries, nominations, and applications should be directed in strict confidence to:
The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, color, disability, gender, gender expression, gender identity, genetic information, race, national origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, or status as a protected veteran.