University of the Arts (Philadelphia)

University of the Arts
Established 1985, 1877, 1870
Endowment $24.6 million[1]
President Sean T. Buffington
Academic staff 114 full time, 420 part time
Students 2,300
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States
Campus Urban
Colors red, white

The University of the Arts (UArts) is one of the United States' oldest universities dedicated to the arts. Its campus makes up part of the Avenue of the Arts in Center City, Philadelphia. The University is composed of three colleges: the College of Art and Design, the College of Performing Arts and the College of Media and Communication.



The University was created in 1985 by the merger of the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (PCPA) and the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA), two schools that trace their origins to the 1870s.

In 1870, the Philadelphia Musical Academy (PMA) was created. Seven years later, the Philadelphia Conservatory of Music (PCM) was founded. In 1944, the Children's Dance Theatre, later known as the Philadelphia Dance Academy (PDA), was founded by Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck. In 1962, the PCM was merged into the PMA. In 1976, the PMA acquired the PDA and renamed itself the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (PCPA). After establishing a School of Theater in 1983, the institution became the first performing arts college in Pennsylvania to offer a comprehensive range of majors in music, dance and theater. This institution is now the College of Performing Arts.

In 1876, the Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PaMSIA) was founded as both a museum and an art school. In 1938, the museum changed its name to the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the school became the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art. In 1964, the school became independent of the museum and renamed itself the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA). This institution is now the College of Art and Design.

Twelve years after the merger, in 1996, the University added a third academic division, the College of Media and Communication.


Undergraduate students take two-thirds of their classes from one of the three component colleges of UArts and one-third of their classes from the Division of Liberal Arts. Graduate students work within one of the colleges. Under an exchange agreement, all students may take classes at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.

College of Performing Arts

  • Majors: Dance, Music, Acting, Musical Theatre, Technical Theatre and Directing, Playwrighting and Production
  • Minors: Musical Theatre, Music Education, E-Music, and Music BTE (Business, Technology, and Entrepreneurship).
  • Graduate programs: Jazz Studies, Music Education

College of Art and Design

  • Majors: Animation, Crafts, Film/Animation, Film/Digital Video, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, Metal/Jewelry Arts, Painting/Drawing. Photography, Printmaking/Book Arts and Sculpture
  • Minors: Animation, Book Arts, Figurative Illustration, Film/Digital Video, Narrative Video, Photography, Studio Photography and Typography
  • Concentrations: Digital Fine Arts, Art Education Pre-Certification and Art Therapy
  • Graduate programs: Art Education/Teaching, Book Arts/Printmaking, Ceramics, Crafts Post-Baccalaureate, Industrial Design, Museum Studies (programs in Museum Communication, Museum Education, and Museum Exhibition Planning and Design:, Painting and Sculpture

College of Media and Communication

The College of Media and Communication is divided into the following major disciplines: Multimedia, Communication, and Writing for Film & Television.

  • Majors: Communication, Multimedia and Writing for Film & Television
  • Minors: Documentary Video, Multimedia, Narrative Video, Screenwriting, Web Design
  • Communication Concentrations:, Documentary Video, Media Studies, Narrative Video, Professional Writing, Screenwriting

Facilities and collections

The University's campus, located in Center City Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts cultural district, includes 10 buildings with more than 850,000 square feet (79,000 m2).

The Albert M. Greenfield Library houses 152,067 bound volumes, 6,936 CDs, 14,901 periodicals, 16,820 scores and 1965 videos and DVDs. The Music Library collection holds about 20,000 scores, 15,000 books, 10,000 LP discs, and 5,000 CDs. The visual resources collection includes 175,000 slides. Additional university collections include the University Archives, the Picture File, the Book Arts and Textile Collections, and the Drawing Resource Center.

UArts' 10 galleries includes one curated by students. Exhibitions have included Vito Acconci, R. Crumb, Rosalyn Drexler, April Gornik, Alex Grey, James Hyde, Jon Kessler, Donald Lipski, Robert Motherwell, Stuart Netsky, Irving Penn, Jack Pierson, Anne and Patrick Poirer, Yvonne Rainer and Andy Warhol.

The University of the Arts currently has 7 theaters. The Merriam Theater is the largest on campus with a seating capacity of 1,840 people. The Levitt Auditorium in Gershman Hall can seat 850 but there is also standing-room-only for up to 1,500. Also in Gershman Hall is a black box theater used for student run productions. There is also the Philadelphia Arts Bank which seats 230. The university also owns the Drake Theater which is used primarily by the College of Performing Arts Dance Department. The Caplan Performing Arts Center (formerly the Skyline Performing Arts Center)(located on the 16 & 17th floor of Terra) which opened in 2007 currently house two theaters. The black box seats 100 and the recital hall seats 250.

Notable alumni


External links

Coordinates: 39°56′46″N 75°09′58″W / 39.946°N 75.166°W / 39.946; -75.166

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • University of the Arts — may refer to: *University of the Arts Bremen in Bremen, Germany *University of the Arts London in London, England, United Kingdom *University of the Arts (Philadelphia) in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, United States …   Wikipedia

  • Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia — The Avenue of the Arts is a segment of Broad Street in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, that includes many of the city s cultural institutions, most notably the theater and museum districts south of City Hall.The name Avenue of the Arts originated in… …   Wikipedia

  • University of the Sciences in Philadelphia — Infobox University name= University of the Sciences in Philadelphia motto= The first college of pharmacy in North America established=1821 type=Private president=Philip P. Gerbino, PharmD city=Philadelphia state=Pennsylvania country=USA undergrad …   Wikipedia

  • Cornish College of the Arts — Established 1914 Type Private, non profit Location Seattle, Wash …   Wikipedia

  • Avenue of the Arts, Inc. — The Avenue of the Arts, Inc. (AAI) is an independent non profit organization created in 1993 to coordinate and oversee the growth and development of the Avenue of the Arts, Philadelphia. Over the past 13 years, AAI has played a vital role in the… …   Wikipedia

  • Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany (Philadelphia) — Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany Church of St. Luke and The Epiphany …   Wikipedia

  • Norwich University College of the Arts — Established 1845 Type Public Principal Professor John Last Location …   Wikipedia

  • First university in the United States — is a status asserted by more than one U.S. university. In the U.S. there is no official definition of what entitles an institution to be considered a university versus a college, and the common understanding of university has evolved over time.… …   Wikipedia

  • New World School of the Arts — Established August 1987 Type Public Magnet Students 489 Grade …   Wikipedia

  • Native American women in the arts — Women in Native American communities have been producing art intertwined with spirituality, life, and beauty for centuries. According to mixed media artist, Nadema Agard, Native American women have always been an integral part of the creative… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”

We are using cookies for the best presentation of our site. Continuing to use this site, you agree with this.