The University of North Carolina School of the Arts has a new publishing arm: UNCSA Media. The recording label showcases faculty and alumni projects of all disciplines and is designed to prepare students for the professional world. 

The school’s first release, Windows, features UNCSA faculty members performing works by contemporary female composers including a world premiere commission by Kamala Sankaram.

UNCSA Media, years in the making, uses the school’s vast alumni network to help creators compete in an increasingly challenging media landscape. The new platform allows artists to maintain ownership of their master recording and publishing rights.

Chancellor Brian Cole calls it a completely rights-friendly approach to the artists in their ecosystem. 

"It’s essentially an intellectual property strategy for UNCSA to be able to promote our artists, to be able to help our artists leverage the intellectual property for themselves, as opposed to the way that a large part of the different industries work, which is that other people primarily are leveraging the revenue potential and the value of intellectual property more than the artists themselves, more than the creators themselves," he says.

Cole says the new project has already generated experiential learning opportunities for current students — fostering an appreciation of the value of their own artistic creations, and the importance of owning their work.

The program is supported in part by the Thomas S. Kenan Institute for the Arts — a creative incubator for the school over the past three decades.

Cole says the goal will be to release two to three recording projects per year with plans for film, video and printed media projects already underway.

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