Emil J. Kang, executive and artistic director for UNC’s Carolina Performing Arts, has been named special assistant to the chancellor to lead integrating the arts into the teaching, research and service mission of the University.
Kang’s new role, which begins July 1, is a half-time, secondary appointment that will allow him to maintain his role with Carolina Performing Arts and as a professor of the practice in the department of music.
“I am extremely pleased to have one of the nation’s leading arts administrators direct this important University initiative,” said Chancellor Carol L. Folt, who chose Kang for the cabinet-level position. “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.”
Kang will be responsible for programming arts events, activities and installations across campus, creating 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.
“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. 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. Carolina Performing Arts has commissioned nearly 50 new works by some of the world’s most renowned artists.
Previously 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 the Institute for International Education’s Artist Protection Fund and the boards of the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for 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 completed the Strategic Perspectives in Nonprofit Management program at Harvard Business School.