Reconnecting with Live Performance

As the fall season begins, catch up with the director of Carolina Performing Arts

Alison Friedman

As the fall season begins, catch up with the director of Carolina Performing Arts

After nearly a year at the helm of Carolina Performing Arts, Alison Friedman is ready for some breathtaking, emotionally potent live performance.

Friedman was named the inaugural James and Susan Moeser Executive and Artistic Director at Carolina Performing Arts in October 2021, just as the omicron wave of the COVID-19 pandemic further postponed in-person performances.

Before coming to Carolina, the Brown University graduate spent two decades working in Asia. Most recently she was artistic director for performing arts for the West Kowloon Cultural District Authority in Hong Kong, one of the world’s largest arts and cultural developments. Before that she was founder and executive and creative director of Ping Pong Productions, a pioneering nonprofit performing arts exchange organization based in Beijing that presented more than 250 performance and outreach events annually across five continents.

Friedman believes in the power of art as a space for connection.

“How do we see our shared humanity?” she asked. “The arts can do that like nothing else. In seeking a platform to continue this work, I realized there isn’t a more exciting place than America’s oldest public university — a major global public research university in the American South. In 10 months, I’ve met the most phenomenal students, who are deeply engaged and interested and talented and thoughtful.”

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