Fast Facts


NC State LIVE (known as “NCSU Center Stage” from 1983-2015 and “Stewart Theatre Presentations” from 1972-1983) has a 47-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. The 2018-19 season included a development and community outreach residency with David Rousseve/REALITY’s dance/theatre, Egyptian accordion player Youssra El Hawary, street-dance legends Lil Buck and Jon Boogz, Afro-Cuban musicians Pedrito Martinez and Alfredo Rodriguez, and a performance by the all-female mariachi band Flor de Toloache. Click here to learn more about past seasons and click here for NC State LIVE’s Fall 2020 lineup.


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’s professional performing arts series addresses the broad cultural needs of both the University and the greater Triangle community and 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;
  • NC State LIVE’s Mini-Grant Program, which provides funding to faculty and staff to develop and implement interdisciplinary programs to enhance student learning throughNC State LIVE’s programming;
  • 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).

An example of a recent NC State LIVE initiative with major local and statewide impact was The Nile Project (March 2017). Hailing from countries across the Nile River basin, this group of masterful musicians and educators was able to connect deeply with our campus and community partners, opening a dialogue on water sustainability, environmental and social justice issues by using music as a catalyst. After two years of planning, NC State LIVE hosted the Nile Project for a week-long residency (March 15-21, 2017) to serve NC State and the broader community with a powerful artist-based project that supported our community’s deep commitment to sustainable practices. Over the course of the week we collaborated with nearly 30 community and campus groups to create and produce a residency that included two successful public performances, a Student Leadership Summit, a community-created mural designed by local artist Dare Coulter, a panel discussion and pop up performance at the Walnut Creek Wetlands Center, and the keynote address at the statewide Annual Water Conference of the Water Resources Research Institute held in Raleigh.