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Associates of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts Records

Identifier: MC-0025

Scope and Contents

This collection includes material created by the Associates of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts from its inception in 1977 to 2019. This organization is sometimes informally referred to as the "Friends of the School". Meeting agendas and minutes, member directories, newsletters, and correspondence make up the bulk of this collection. Event fliers and photographs are also included, as well as three scrapbooks assembled by Associates members.


  • 1977-2019

Conditions Governing Access

Open for research.

Conditions Governing Use

Copyright is retained by the creators of items in this collection, 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 Associates of the North Carolina School of the Arts (NCSA) is a volunteer organization with the mission of fostering relationships between the school, the city of Winston-Salem, and the greater Triad community; promoting and building audiences for student performances and activities; and increasing the volunteer capacity of the school. The Associates are also sometimes referred to informally as the "Friends of the School". Records show that the concept came from Elizabeth Suderburg, wife of Chancellor Robert Suderburg, in 1977. A Chancellor’s Volunteer Committee formed to promote the school and develop community involvement, with the first meeting held September 28, 1977. The early committee included Lou Bahnson, Chessie Dunn, Joan Hanes, Lynn Hill, Patti Hoffman, John Gates, and Catherine Huber, and worked closely with NCSA Director of Community Services Nancy Dawson. This committee focused on audience development and enlisted volunteers to host gatherings in their home before attending a NCSA production. During dinner, volunteers would promote the school using talking points prepared by NCSA staff. These events continued to grow, and audiences grew gradually with them.

The Host Family Program was developed in the late 1970s to provide social connection and support to high school students away from home for the first time. According to Anne White, High School Residence Director, the program was the idea of Ron and Betty Yost. Families might provide shopping trips, birthday parties, transportation, or just a quiet living room in which to study for the evening. Campus tours began in 1983, with Junior League members volunteering as guides trained by the Associates. The tours were very popular, but a series of campus construction projects deemed them too dangerous and tours were halted during the 2000s. In 2015 the board voted to resume campus tours but the response to this vote is not noted.

Before the opening of the Stevens Center in 1983, the Chancellor’s Committee organized separate Hospitality and Audience Development Committees. In the mid-1980s, these three committees merged to form the Associates. Additional committees have formed and dissolved over the years. The Horticulture Committee was established to beautify the grounds of NCSA before the school hired its own crew to do so. The Helpmates assist with office work and other odd jobs – licking stamps, stuffing envelopes, and providing cookies to students during exam periods. The Hospitality Committee hosts well-attended receptions after performances and productions. Annual reports from each of the committees can be found in the folder of Organizational Records for the corresponding year.

In 2008, The Associates introduced Behind-the-Scenes events to introduce the public to otherwise hidden aspects of performances. Salon @ Six also began around this time, where associates hosted short, intimate performances in their homes, provided refreshments, and facilitated conversation with performers. The price of admission to these salons was, and remains in 2019, bringing a guest who is new to the school.

In 2011, an anonymous donation enabled the Associates to establish an endowed scholarship fund of nearly $35,000. The scholarship was awarded for the first time in 2015. At the end of each year, the board of the Associates divided a portion of its income for use as discretionary funding by the deans of each of the schools, the head of Student Affairs, and the high school program. The funds of the Associates are handled through the University of North Carolina School of the Arts Foundation.

The Associates continue to be actively involved at UNCSA.


4.29 Linear Feet (2 document boxes; 1 oversized folder; 3 scrapbooks; 1 CD)

Language of Materials



This collection includes material created by the Associates of the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, from their inception in 1977 to 2019. Meeting agendas and minutes, member directories, newsletters and correspondence make up the bulk of this collection.


Two document boxes of organizational records are held in Series 1, spanning 1977 to 2017. Three Associates scrapbooks are held in Series 2; the back pocket of Album 3 includes two CDs with images of the Associates.

Immediate Source of Acquisition

Materials donated by the Associates of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts.


The Associates continue to be actively involved at UNCSA and additions to the collection are expected.

Related Materials

Additional material related to the Associates from 1976-1981 are also available in Chancellor Robert Suderburg’s records (RG-0001.0003).

Processing Information

This collection was originally organized chronologically with some undated materials left loose. Folders were previously labeled with only the relevant school year; during re-processing the archivist relabeled them as ‘organizational records’ with the relevant years. Pamphlets and newsletters were previously removed to format-based collections but have been reincorporated for ease of access. Materials were placed in acid-free folders and boxes.

Guide to the Associates of The University of North Carolina School of the Arts Records
Laura Silva
October 2019
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