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By Joseph Megel, Artist in Residence, Department of Communication Studies

The Process Series has been showcasing artistic works in progress on the UNC campus for the past five years. The Series can boast over 30 projects developed in that time, in all areas of the performing arts: theatrical, visual, musical and forms in between. Starting next year, the Process Series will be housed in the Institute for the Arts and Humanities and funded through a partnership among the IAH, the College of Arts and Sciences, and six participating departments: Dramatic Arts, Music, Art and Art History, English and Comparative Literature, Communication Studies, and African and Diasporic Studies.

Since I began the Process Series in 2008, as the Artist in Residence in UNC’s Department of Communication Studies, I have had the pleasure of working with dozens of artists to develop new works that explore the cutting edge of theater, dance, music, art, and more.

We have collaborated with faculty from all corners of the campus to engage the diversity of artistic talent at UNC and the local community. Partnerships with the Teatro Latino/a Series, several UNC academic departments, PlayMakers Repertory Company, and others, have sparked conversations across disciplines that connect faculty, students, and the Triangle audience.

The Process Series is a launch pad for further artistic growth, and projects developed through the Process Series have been subsequently produced across the country and around the world. “Poetic Portraits of a Revolution,” a spoken word performance conceived amidst the rapidly unfolding events of the Arab Spring and first performed in the Process Series in 2011, has toured venues and campuses throughout the state. The opera “Secret Agent,” by the composer/librettist team of Michael Dellaira and J.D. McClatchy, has seen full productions in New York, France and Hungary since its appearance in the Process Series in 2010.

Starting with the 2013/14 academic year, we are thrilled to be established as a program of the IAH. This new partnership will allow for increased resources for project development, greater opportunity for long-term growth, and a deeper integration into the campus community. I look forward to collaborating with the IAH leadership to expand and develop the Process Series over the coming years.

The 2013/14 season will include an experimental music performance; a cross-country collaboration on the development of a new play; a Southern-inspired oral history project; and an ambitious composing project featuring dozens of collaborators. We are exploring a wide range of artistic endeavors that draw from talent across our campus as well as across the country.

The audience is a crucial component of the Process Series, and we invite you to be a part of it. Following each performance, the artists and I turn to the audience to ask questions. We solicit your raw reactions, critiques, and impressions, placing the audience on the cutting edge of the creative process, and providing critical feedback that encourages artists as they delve more deeply into their work.

This summer will be spent finalizing plans, and then we’ll be up and running as an IAH program in the fall. We look forward to seeing you in the theater!

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