UNC-Chapel Hill names Emil J. Kang Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts

Increase font size
Decrease font size

For immediate use


UNC-Chapel Hill names Emil J. Kang Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts


Leading NC arts administrator to direct University’s groundbreaking new arts integration initiative


(Chapel Hill, N.C. – May 19, 2016) – Leading arts administrator Emil J. Kang has been named Special Assistant to the Chancellor for the Arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He will begin his appointment July 1.


Kang, who currently serves as the Executive and Artistic Director for UNC-Chapel Hill’s Carolina Performing Arts, was selected by Chancellor Carol L. Folt to lead a groundbreaking new University-wide arts initiative to integrate the arts with the teaching, research and service mission of the University.


“I am extremely pleased to have one of the nation’s leading arts administrators direct this important University initiative,” said Folt. “Emil’s decades of experience and global reputation will help us take arts to the next level for Carolina and the state. He is well-prepared to lead our efforts to integrate the arts across our University.”


In this cabinet level position, Kang will be responsible for programming arts events, activities and installations across campus, creating clear and well-coordinated communications about opportunities in the arts, and ensuring the arts are well-represented in all major campus initiatives, including the master plan, strategic framework and capital campaign. This is a half-time, secondary appointment that will allow Kang to maintain his role with Carolina Performing Arts and as a Professor of the Practice in the department of music.


“I am honored and humbled by this opportunity to expand my role within the University,” said Kang. “Chancellor Folt is a dynamic leader who has demonstrated consistent support for and belief in the arts. I look forward to ensuring the arts play a vital role in the life of our great University.”


Kang arrived at Carolina in 2005 and founded Carolina Performing Arts. Since his arrival, he has made Chapel Hill an international arts destination by inviting artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Merle Haggard and the Bolshoi Ballet, and with projects drawing international acclaim such as “The Rite of Spring at 100.” Through his leadership, Carolina Performing Arts has commissioned nearly 50 new works by some of the world’s most renowned artists. Prior to his arrival at UNC-Chapel Hill, Kang served as President and Executive Director of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. He also held positions with the Seattle Symphony, the American Composers Orchestra and served as an Orchestra Management Fellow with the League of American Orchestras.


In 2012, President Barack Obama nominated Kang to the National Council on the Arts, where he is serving a six-year term. He also serves on the inaugural selection committee of Institute for International Education’s Artist Protection Fund and the boards of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute of the Arts at the UNC School of the Arts and EMCarts in New York.


Kang holds a degree in economics from the University of Rochester in New York and also completed the Strategic Perspectives in Non-profit Management program at Harvard Business School.



Photo Link:



About the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, the nation’s first public university, is a global higher education leader known for innovative teaching, research and public service. A member of the prestigious Association of American Universities, Carolina regularly ranks as the best value for academic quality in U.S. public higher education. Now in its third century, the University offers 77 bachelor’s, 113 master’s, 68 doctorate and seven professional degree programs through 14 schools and the College of Arts and Sciences. Every day, faculty – including two Nobel laureates – staff and students shape their teaching, research and public service to meet North Carolina’s most pressing needs in every region and all 100 counties. Carolina’s more than 308,000 alumni live in all 50 states and 150 countries. More than 167,000 live in North Carolina.


About Carolina Performing Arts

The mission of Carolina Performing Arts (CPA) is to enrich lives by creating and presenting exceptional arts experiences and connecting them to the UNC community and beyond. Established in 2005 at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, CPA presents the very best from the full spectrum of the performing arts: internationally renowned recitalists and orchestras, chamber ensembles, jazz, folk, and world music artists, dance and theater. CPA strives to nurture artistic innovation and the development of new works on and off campus; to challenge and inspire audiences with powerful and transformative performances; and to integrate the arts into the life of the University, embracing its mission of teaching, research and public service.


Carolina Performing Arts contact: Mark Z. Nelson, (919) 966-3834, mark_nelson@unc.edu

Communications and Public Affairs contact: MC VanGraafeiland, (919) 962-7090, mc.vangraafeiland@unc.edu