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Fast Facts


NC State LIVE’s mission is to connect artists and audiences in a meaningful exploration of the diverse cultures and issues that define our communities and world. We accomplish our mission through a programming philosophy that embraces diversity and an audience development philosophy that emphasizes engagement, education and collaboration.


NC State LIVE (known as “NCSU Center Stage” from 1983-2015 and “Stewart Theatre Presentations” from 1972-1983) has a 48-year history of presenting diverse, relevant, and inclusive performing arts programming to the Triangle community. The artists presented are critically acclaimed, internationally recognized, and have won awards ranging from the MacArthur “genius” Fellowship to the National Medal of the Arts. NC State LIVE seeks artists that are innovative, driven by relevant social issues, and reflect the diversity of our communities.

Believing that the arts are an effective vehicle for exploring and understanding contemporary life and can be an important medium for dialogue with our communities, NC State LIVE seeks to program artists who are committed to engaging our community and patrons beyond the performance (through events like artist talks, classroom presentations, and educational programs created in partnership with campus and community organizations).

Artists presented in recent years include Malian guitarist Habib Koité & Bamada, genre-bending violinist and activist Daniel Bernard Roumain, Grammy-award winning jazz composer Esperanza Spalding, Ukrainian experimental folk band DakhaBrakha, urban-latin contemporary dance company Contra-Tiempo, vertical performance pioneers BANDALOOP, socially-engaged dance company Urban Bush Women, bhangra brass band Red Baraat, and Japanese taiko drummers Yamato. Our 2020-21 season features a residency with social justice driven North Carolina-based artists Culture Mill and Shana Tucker, a series of free outdoor pop up concerts and drive-in concerts with local artists such as Rissi Palmer and Jennifer Curtis, and interactive digital engagements with artists across the globe including musicians like Afro-jazz composer Arturo O’Farrill, the Chicano band Las Cafeteras, and house choreographer Ephrat Asherie. Click here to learn more about past seasons and click here for NC State LIVE’s Fall 2020 lineup.



NC State LIVE’s professional performing arts series addresses the broad cultural needs of both the University and the greater Triangle community and typically includes the following annually:

  • Mainstage Series of jazz, theatre, world music, contemporary dance, and multidisciplinary projects (15-20 performances a year);
  • Kidstuff Series serving families with children in grades K-5 (2 performances per year);
  • School Matinee Series serving approximately 4,700 children per year in grades K-5 in Wake and Johnston Counties, public, private, charter and home schools (8-12 performances per year);
  • LIVE@Lake Raleigh a free series of outdoor, family-friendly concerts on Centennial Campus featuring North Carolina musicians (4 concerts per year);
  • NC State LIVE@The Pour House Music Hall series in one of the Triangle’s most beloved music venues highlighting international artists on the rise;
  • Community engagement with artists through workshops, master classes, informal performances, conversations, and other educational opportunities (30-50 events per year developed with campus partners and with organizations rooted in the community).

Community Engagement

At the heart of NC State LIVE’s programming is our dedication to campus and community engagement, developed in alignment with the University’s values and land grant mission and rooted in social justice. We believe that the arts are an effective vehicle for exploring and understanding contemporary life and can be an important medium for dialogue with our communities. Read more about NC State LIVE’s community engagement work on our About Us page.