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Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts Records

Identifier: RG-0049

Scope and Contents

This collection is comprised of material created by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts and their sponsored programs, dating from the Institute's establishment in 1993 through the present day. The bulk of the collection is made up of project files from initiatives funded by the Institute including project proposals, budgets, progress reports, feedback, and marketing material.

Projects heavily represened in the collection include the A+ Schools program; Artists Contributing to Civic-Oriented and Responsive Democracy (ACCORD); Assembly of Conservatory Leaders and Funders (ACLF); Consortium for the Liberal Education of Artists (CLEA); Emerging Opportunities grants; Kenan Writers' Encounters; Kenan Fellowships at the Aspen Music Festival, Penland School of Craft, Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, and Spoleto Fesitval USA; the Magnolia Baroque Festival; and the Open Dream Ensemble.

The collection also includes meeting materials, administrative files, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and audiovisual materials related to the Board of Advisors for the Institute, the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust and Fund for the Arts, and the administration of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts.


  • Creation: 1989 - 2021


Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law.

Archives collections may contain materials with sensitive or confidential information which is protected under federal or state privacy laws, the North Carolina Public Records Act (N.C.G.S. § 132 1 et seq.), and Article 7 of the North Carolina State Personnel Act (Privacy of State Employee Personnel Records, N.C.G.S. § 126-22 et seq.). Researchers are advised that the disclosure of certain information pertaining to identifiable living individuals represented in the collections without the consent of those individuals may have legal ramifications (e.g., a cause of action under common law for invasion of privacy may arise if facts concerning an individual's private life are published that would be deemed highly offensive to a reasonable person) for which the University of North Carolina School of the Arts assume no responsibility.

Biographical / Historical

The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts was founded in 1993 by the William R. Kenan Jr. Charitable Trust with funds from the William R. Kenan Jr. Fund for the Arts. Since the founding of the Institute, the Trust has provided consistent support in addition to funding many other projects accross the east coast.

The Institute is named for Thomas S. Kenan III. A founder of UNCSA, he served on the Board of Trustees from 1969-85 and is now an honorary trustee. He served on the UNCSA Foundation board from 1974-90, and has been on the Board of Visitors since 1985.

Founding Director Jeanne F. Butler was succeeded by Margaret Mertz in 2003, who served until 2011. Corey Madden served as Executive Director from 2013 to June 2020. Associate Director Lynda Summerlin Lotich served as interim director from 2011-2013 and again from 2020 until the appointment of Kevin Bitterman in 2021.

About. (n.d.) Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts. Retrieved 5 September 2022 from

Thomas S. Kenan III. (n.d.) UNCSA. Retrieved 5 September 2022 from


57.36 Linear Feet (68 document boxes, 7 oversize boxes, 3 bound volumes, 4 audio tapes, 24 video tapes, 490 computer disks.)

Language of Materials



The Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts is a nonprofit organization established in 1993. Since its establishment, the Institute has funded a variety of local and national programs with the goal of strengthening the arts and supporting arts innovation. In the 2000s, the Institute narrowed its focus to programs directly benefitting UNCSA and its community of students, faculty, and alumni. The bulk of the collection is made up of project files from programs funded by the Institute including project proposals, budgets, progress reports, feedback, and marketing material. Also included are meeting materials, administrative files, correspondence, newspaper clippings, and audiovisual materials.


The collection is arranged in four series: 1. Project Files, 2. Publications and Marketing Material, 3. Administrative and Financial Records, and 4. Audiovisual Material.

Series one is further divided into two subseries: Funded Projects and Unfunded Projects. Within each subseries, materials are grouped alphabetically by project title. Within each group, materials are held in rough chronological order.

Within series two, materials are grouped by creator and arranged chronologically. Creator groups include the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts, the William R. Kenan Charitable Trust, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, and other organizations.

Series three is further divded into six subseries: 1. Meeting Material; 2. Budgets, Audits, and Financial documents; 3. Policies and Reports; 4. Correspondence; 5. Property Information; and 6. General Administrative Records. Within subseries one, Meeting Material, material related to meetings of the Insitute's Board of Advisors (originally called the Board of Trustees) is held first, followed by material related to the Kenan Fund, and then material from other groups. Within subseries three, Policies and Reports, items are grouped by format. Within each subseries, materials are arranged chronologically with undated material held last.

Items in series 4 are arranged in chronological order. Series 4 holds audiovisual material without an apparant connection to other records.

Within each folder, items are maintained in their original order - typically chronological or reverse chronological order.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Transferred from the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts in 2021 and 2022. There is no documentation concerning the provenance of materials donated before this time.


The Institute continues to be actively involved with a range of projects at UNCSA and additions to the collection are expected.

Related Materials

The Kenan Institute has been involved with many initiatives at UNCSA through its history, and mentions of the organization may be found throughout the archives holdings.

The Chancellor of UNCSA serves as ex-officio Chair of the Institute's Board of Advisors; The Chancellor's Collection, RG-01, and the Chancellor Alexander C. Ewing Collection, MC-03, may be of particular interest.

Processing Information

The creator's file titles were used where available. Items with sensitive personal information such as social security numbers, addresses, or financial information were removed. Materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes.

During processing, materials without long-term documentary or evidential value were weeded according to the 2021 UNC System Retention and Disposition Schedule and the UNCSA Specific Retention and Disposition Schedules. Materials deaccessioned included: 5 linear feet of check requests; 3.78 linear feet of paid bills; 3.78 linear feet of high school student files; 1.26 linear feet of financial information including deposits, purchase card reports, and purchase orders; approximately 2 linear feet of material including 7 folders of travel authorizations, 12 folders of temporary employment contracts and tax forms, 5 folders related to vehicle usage and insurance, 5 folders with various technological manuals and instructions, 4 folders of material related to candidate searches, 2 folders of instructions for Banner payroll processing and time recording, 2 folders related to worker's compensation claims, and one folder each related to faculty supplemental pay policies, purchasing guidelines, independent contractor policies, Kenan website usage, NC sales tax exemption, quotes from vendors, landscaping quotes, invoices, credit accounts, gas card receipts, cell phone allowance, corporate credit cards, hotel receipts, Umstead act, records retention, and ABC permits.

Five copies of a West Side Story Symposium DVD dated 5 May 2007 and one copy of a DVD recording of Much Ado About Nothing dated 2012 were removed from this collection. These videos are available in the RG-37: Film and Video Collection.

Guide to the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts Records
Laura Silva
August 2022
Description rules
Describing Archives: A Content Standard
Language of description
Script of description
Language of description note
Finding aid written in English.

Repository Details

Part of the UNC School of the Arts Archives Repository

1533 South Main St.
Winston-Salem North Carolina 27104 United States