The Kenan Institute for the Arts is a catalyst that encourages and supports the exploration and development of new knowledge to transform the way artists, organizations and communities approach their creative challenges.

Project PARTNERs

MAP Fund

The MAP Fund in New York City is founded on the principle that exploration drives human progress, no less in art than in science or medicine. MAP supports original live performance projects that embody a spirit of deep inquiry.

Triad Stage

Triad Stage is a professional not-for-profit live theater based in downtown Greensboro, North Carolina. 

Eastern Band of Cherokee INDIANS

The Qualla Boundary is the home of the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians. Cherokee people do not live on a reservation, which is land given to a native American tribe by the federal government. Instead, in the 1800s, the tribal members purchased 57,000 acres of property. This land, called the Qualla Boundary, is owned by the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians and kept in trust by the federal government. Their government website is under construction.

Cherokee Nation

The Cherokee Nation is the federally-recognized government of the Cherokee people and has inherent sovereign status recognized by treaty and law. The seat of tribal government is the W.W. Keeler Complex near Tahlequah, Okla., the capital of the Cherokee Nation. With more than 317,000 citizens, over 8,000 employees and a variety of tribal enterprises ranging from aerospace and defense contracts to entertainment venues, Cherokee Nation’s economic impact in Oklahoma and surrounding areas is more than $1.5 billion annually. We are one of the largest employers in northeastern Oklahoma. We are the largest tribal nation in the United States.

Native voices at the autry

Native Voices at The Autry Museum of the American West is the country’s only Equity theatre company dedicated exclusively to producing new works by Native American, Alaska Native, and First Nations playwrights. 

American Indian Center, UNC-Chapel Hill

The American Indian Center at UNC – Chapel Hill bridges the richness of American Indian cultures with the strengths of Carolina's research, education and service.  

Process Series, UNC-Chapel Hill

The Process Series at UNC - Chapel Hill is dedicated to the development of new and significant works in the performing arts, The Process Series features professionally mounted, developmental presentations of new works in progress. The mission of the Series is to illuminate the ways in which artistic ideas take form, to examine the creative process, to offer audiences the opportunity to follow artists and performers as they explore and discover and by so doing to enrich the development process for artists with the ultimate goal of better art and a closer relationship between artists and audiences.

National Trail of Tears Association

A non-profit, membership organization formed in 1993 to support the creation, development, and interpretation of the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail. In 1993, the Association entered into a cooperative agreement with the National Park Service (NPS) to promote and engage in the protection and preservation of Trail of Tears National Historic Trail resources; to promote awareness of the Trail's legacy, including the effects of the U.S. Government's Indian Removal Policy on the Cherokees and other tribes (primarily the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Muscogee Creek, and Seminole); and to perpetuate the management and development techniques that are consistent with the National Park Service's trail plan.

Museum of the Cherokee Indian

To perpetuate the history, culture and stories of the Cherokee People.

The Autry Museum of the American West

The Autry brings together the stories of all peoples of the American West, connecting the past with the present to inspire our shared future. 

Junaluska Memorial Site & Museum

The Junaluska Memorial Site & Museum is located at the burial site of Cherokee Leader Junaluska near Robbinsville, North Carolina. His grave is marked with a memorial stone surrounded by monuments representing the seven clans of the Cherokee. The museum is dedicated to preserving Cherokee history and culture. Displays include arrowheads, spear points and other artifacts found in the Cheoah Valley, artwork and crafts by Snowbird Indian community members, and information about this valley, its people and its place in American history as the starting point of the Trail of Tears.

Remember the Removal Bike Ride

Remember the Removal is an annual bicycle ride commemorating the forced removal of the Cherokee Nation from its homelands during the winter of 1838-39. This tour allows Cherokee Nation Citizens (ages 16-24 years of age) the opportunity to travel along the Trail of Tears that their ancestors traveled.

Cherokee Historical Association, Unto These Hills

Unto These Hills, a play by Kermit Hunter, is the tragic and triumphant story of the Cherokee that traces back to the years before the heartbreak of the Trail of Tears to the present day. Millions of people have witnessed America’s most powerful drama, which rewrites the Cherokee’s place in the world. A place based on traditional Cherokee values and modern sensibilities.

Cherokee Preservation Foundation

The Cherokee Preservation Foundation’s mission is to preserve our native culture, protect and enhance our natural environment, and create appropriate and diverse economic opportunities in order to improve the quality of life for the Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians (EBCI) and our neighbors in western North Carolina.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts,
School of Filmmaking

Ranked among the best film schools in the country, the filmmaking school at UNCSA knows that you won’t become a filmmaker by sitting in a classroom. In your first two years at UNCSA, you will direct and shoot as many as six digital films as you take hands-on courses in every facet of modern film production. Then you’ll choose a concentration — directing, producing, editing, animation and more — and collaborate with classmates on ambitious 16-mm shorts submitted to film festivals around the world. As a student, you will have one-of-a-kind opportunities like working with the RiverRun International Film Festival, with some screenings held right here on campus. Your senior year, you’ll travel from our own Studio Village — state-of-the-art sound stages and animation studios — to Los Angeles to screen your films for industry executives and influential UNCSA alumni. The goal is to become a “complete” filmmaker — an experienced storyteller skilled in all components of the film arts.

University of North Carolina School of the Arts,
School of Drama

For 50 years, the School of Drama at UNCSA has produced some of the most captivating, versatile and successful actors in theatre, film and television. We are ranked among the best drama schools in America. What you get at UNCSA is rigorous conservatory training grounded in classical values and offering technical skills that shape today’s in-demand actor. You will perform constantly in both small workshops and major productions and learn directly from outstanding full-time faculty and acclaimed guest artists, including award-winning UNCSA alumni.

Center for the Study of the American South, UNC-Chapel Hill

The Center for the Study of the American South serves UNC – Chapel Hill & the community through research, scholarship, lectures, conferences, and arts events. Extending the University’s historic role as a leader in regional service and scholarship, our diverse programs reflect our commitment to strong research and scholarship on the history, contemporary experience, diverse cultures, and global context of the South. 

PlayMakers Repertory at Chapel Hill

PlayMakers Repertory Company is the professional theater company in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. PlayMakers Repertory Company is the successor of the Carolina Playmakers and is named after the Historic Playmakers Theatre. PlayMakers was founded in 1976 and is affiliated with the Dramatic and performing arts at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. 

Bob King Auto Group

The Bob King Automotive Group employs over 150 men and women throughout North Carolina, offering Hundai, Kia Motors, Mazda and Mitsubishi Motors vehicles. 

As well as contributions from Sherri Foster Blake, Ed Harris, Bruno Louchouarn, Corey Madden, Randy  Reinholz, Jean Bruce Scott, and Wes Studi