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Encyclopedia > University of the Arts (Philadelphia)

University of the Arts

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Established 1985, 1877, 1870
Faculty 114 full time, 420 part time
Students 2,300
Location Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Urban
Colors Purple, red, & green                  
Website http://www.uarts.edu

The University of the Arts (UArts) is one of the nation’s oldest universities dedicated to the arts. Its campus makes up a significant 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 date of establishment or date of founding of an institution is the date on which that institution chooses to claim as its starting point. ... A faculty is a division within a university. ... Alternate uses: Student (disambiguation) Etymologically derived through Middle English from the Latin second-type conjugation verb stŭdērĕ, which means to study, a student is one who studies. ... For other uses, see Philadelphia (disambiguation) and Philly. ... This article is about the U.S. State. ... The city of Los Angeles is an example of urbanisation Urbanization or Urbanisation (see difference in spelling) means the removal of the rural characteristics of a town or area, a process associated with the development of civilisation. ... School colors are the colors chosen by a school to represent it on uniforms and other items of identification. ... This article is about the color. ... For other uses, see Red (disambiguation). ... Olive is a dulled, darker yellowish-green color typically seen on green olives. ... A website (alternatively, Web site or web site) is a collection of Web pages, images, videos or other digital assets that is hosted on one or several Web server(s), usually accessible via the Internet, cell phone or a LAN. A Web page is a document, typically written in HTML... The Avenue of the Arts is a section of Center City, Philadelphia beginning immediately south of the Philadelphia City Hall (Penn Square) on Broad Street and running roughy south till Washington Ave. ... Center City District, highlighted on a map of Philadelphia County. ...



The University was created in 1985 with the merger of the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (PCPA) and the prestigious Philadelphia College of Art (PCA).

These founding institutions have a long history and are notable, not only for their graduates, but also for their professors and teachers, many luminaries in the field of the arts.

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. Nadia Chilkovsky Nahumck (1908-2006) was a pioneer in modern dance, dance pedagogy and Labanotation. ...

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. The Philadelphia Museum of Art, located at the west end of the Benjamin Franklin Parkway in Philadelphias Fairmount Park, was established in 1876 in conjunction with the Centennial Exposition of the same year and is now among the largest and most important art museums in the United States. ...

Twelve years after the merger, in 1997, the University added a third academic division, the College of Media and Communication.

Year History
1870 Philadelphia Musical Academy founded
1876 Pennsylvania Museum School of Industrial Art (PaMSIA) founded
1877 Philadelphia Conservatory of Music founded
1893 PaMSIA moves into Broad and Pine streets building designed by John Haviland in 1824
1938 PaMSIA becomes the Philadelphia Museum School of Industrial Art (PhMSIA) and begins to grant academic degrees
1918 The Shubert Theater opens on South Broad
1947 Philadelphia Dance Academy founded
1949 PhMSIA becomes the Philadelphia Museum School of Art
1950 Philadelphia Musical Academy begins to grant Bachelor of Music degrees
1959 Philadelphia Museum School of Art receives accreditation and becomes the Philadelphia Museum College of Art
1962 Philadelphia Musical Academy merges with Philadelphia Conservatory of Music and continues under the name of the Philadelphia Musical Academy
1964 Philadelphia Museum College of Art separates from the Museum to become the Philadelphia College of Art (PCA)
1972 Philadelphia Musical Academy acquires Broad Street’s Shubert Theater
1976 Philadelphia Musical Academy becomes the Philadelphia College of Performing Arts (PCPA)
1977 Philadelphia Dance Academy joins PCPA and becomes the School of Dance
1983 PCPA introduces School of Theater Arts
1985 PCA and PCPA join to become the Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts
1987 Philadelphia Colleges of the Arts is granted university status by the Pennsylvania Secretary of Education Thomas Gilhool and becomes The University of the Arts; Peter Solmssen named first president
1991 The Shubert Theater renamed Merriam Theater
1994 The University opens the Philadelphia Arts Bank Theater
1996 The College of Media and Communication is founded
1998 The University purchases the 211 South Broad Street Building and dedicates it to Ambassador Daniel J. Terra
2005 The University of the Arts Center for the Creative Economy established


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, ten students may take classes at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia. The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, offers bachelors, masters, and doctoral degrees in a variety of health-related disciplines, including pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Marketing and Management, pharmacology, physical therapy, biology, chemistry, toxicology, cell biology, biochemistry, medical technology, and bioinformatics. ...

College of Performing Arts

  • Majors: Dance, Music and Theater Arts
  • Minors: Music Education and E-Music
  • Graduate programs: Jazz Studies, Music Education

College of Art and Design

  • Majors: Animation, Crafts, Film/Animation, Film/Digital Video, Graphic Design, Illustration, Industrial Design, 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, 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, E-Music, E-Publishing, Game Design, Information Architecture, Multimedia, Narrative Video, Screenwriting, Strategic Advertising, Web Design, Web Drama

Facilities and collections

The University's campus is located in Center City Philadelphia's Avenue of the Arts cultural district and comprises 10 buildings with more than 850,000 square feet. UArts maintains several collections, galleries, and theaters that are of interest to students and/or patrons of the arts.

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 approximately 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 has 10 galleries including one curated by students. Recent exhibitions include: Vito Acconci, 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.

UArts theaters include the Merriam Theater (seats 1,840), the Levitt Auditorium (seats 850, standing-room only for up to 1500), a black box theater, and the Arts Bank (seats 230). The black-box theatre is a relatively recent innovation, consisting of a simple, somewhat unadorned performance space, usually a large square room with black walls and a flat floor. ...

Notable Alumni

(In alphabetical order)

Bo Bartlett 
Contemporary realist painter concentrating mostly in large figurative work.
Irene Bedard 
Actress who played the model and voice of Disney's animated movie Pocahontas; has appeared in over 30 television and movie productions.
Stan and Jan Berenstain 
Authors and illustrators of the children’s books The Berenstain Bears
Tallia Brinson 
Musical Theater major who, following graduation, immediately went on a national tour of Rent, portraying the role of Mimi.
Brothers Quay 
Timothy and Steven, award-winning stop-motion illustrators and filmmakers.
Ken Carbone and Leslie Smolan 
Partners in their New York City strategic graphic design firm.
Stanley Clarke 
Emmy and Grammy-winning jazz bassist.
Joe Dante
Motion picture director (Gremlins I, Gremlins II, Space Balls, Rock 'n Roll High School with the Ramones).
Heather Donahue 
Star of the groundbreaking independent film The Blair Witch Project.
Wharton Esherick 
Dean of American Craftsmen.
David Ewing 
Emmy and HUGO award winner.
Paul Goldberg 
Los Angeles based studio / touring drummer, and producer; has performed on numerous Film, and TV soundtracks, and performed with many legendary artists. Paul has been featured in Modern Drummer Magazine, and he also teaches a selective group of professional drummers.
Judith Jamison 
Dancer, choreographer; artistic director of Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater; made her New York debut with American Ballet Theatre in 1964.
Rick Kidney 
Produced Hollywood blockbusters Forrest Gump and Goodfellas.
Broadway actress who won a Tony Award for her lead role in Oprah Winfrey’s production of The Color Purple.
Jared Leto 
Actor and Musician. Acting credits include My So-Called Life and Fight Club. He is the lead singer of the band 30 Seconds to Mars.
Noel Mayo 
Industrial design pioneer.
Dr. Sam Micklus
Founder of the Odyssey of the Mind program.
Ana Ortiz 
Actress noted for her portrayal of Hilda Suarez on the television show Ugly Betty. Ana has also worked in theater and in film.
Irving Penn 
Leading American celebrity portraitist and fashion photographer; photographed over 100 covers of Vogue magazine.
Florence Quivar 
International mezzo soprano opera singer with New York’s Metropolitan Opera; has won critical acclaim for her performances.
Arnold Roth 
Cartoonist who worked for Time, The New Yorker, Sports Illustrated and Playboy.
Charles Santore 
Illustrator and graphic designer.
Cal Schenkel 
Illustrator and graphic designer, best known for designing many of Frank Zappa's early album covers. He also appears in two Zappa movies, Uncle Meat and Video From Hell.
KaDee Strickland 
Actress who has been in several films. She was nominated in 2004 for a Teen Choice Award for her role in “The Grudge.” In 2006 she received the University of the Arts’ “Silver Star Alumni Award.”
Nicole Tranquillo 
Voice major who was one of the final 24 contestants on the sixth season of American Idol.

Irene Bedard (22 July 1967) is an actress best known for her portrayal of Native American characters in a variety of films. ... Stan and Jan Berenstain are best known for creating the childrens book series The Berenstain Bears. ... Rent is a rock musical, with music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson[1] based on Giacomo Puccinis opera La bohème. ... Stephen and Timothy Quay (born 17 June 1947 in Norristown, Pennsylvania), identical twin brothers better known as the Brothers Quay or Quay Brothers , are influential stop-motion animators. ... Stanley Clarke (born 30 June 1951) is an American musician and composer known for his innovative and influential work on double bass and bass guitar as well as his numerous film and television scores. ... Joe Dante (born November 28, 1946 in Morristown, New Jersey) is an American film director and producer of films generally with humorous and scifi content. ... Heather Donahue (born December 22, 1974 in Upper Darby, Pennsylvania) is an American actress most famous for her role, which she undertook under her real name, in the movie The Blair Witch Project. ... The Blair Witch Project is a 1999 independent horror film, financed and distributed by Artisan Entertainment. ... Music Stand by Wharton Esherick, cherrywood, 1962, Metropolitan Museum of Art Wharton Eshericks woodblock print for Song of the Broad-Axe by Walt Whitman, 1924 Wharton Esherick (1887-1970) was a sculptor who worked primarily in wood. ... Paul Goldberg Paul Goldberg (born 25 April 1959) is an American jazz/rock/R&B drummer. ... Judith Ann Jamison (born May 10, 1943, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania) is an American dancer and choreographer, best known as the artistic director of the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater. ... For the main character of the same name, see Forrest Gump (character) Forrest Gump is a 1994 drama film based on a 1986 novel by Winston Groom and the name of the title character of both. ... Goodfellas (also spelled GoodFellas) is a 1990 film directed by Martin Scorsese, based on the book Wiseguy by Nicholas Pileggi, the true story of mob informer Henry Hill. ... LaChanze (whose name means one who is charmed) is an African-American actress, singer, and dancer. ... The Color Purple is a Broadway musical based upon the novel The Color Purple by Alice Walker. ... Jared Joseph Leto (born December 26, 1971) is an American actor and musician. ... For other uses, see My So-Called Life (disambiguation). ... Fight Club[1] (1996) is the first published novel by American author Chuck Palahniuk. ... 30 Seconds to Mars (or Thirty Seconds to Mars) is an alternative rock band from Los Angeles, California, featuring actor Jared Leto as the lead vocalist. ... Odyssey of the Mind (often called OotM and OM, but see below) is a creative problem-solving competition involving students from kindergarten though college. ... Ana Ortiz (born January 25, 1971) is an American actress and singer. ... Ugly Betty is an Emmy-winning[1] American television comedy-drama series starring America Ferrera, Eric Mabius, Rebecca Romijn and Vanessa Williams. ... Irving Penn photo, Nubile Young Beauty of Diamaré, 1969. ... Florence Quivar (b. ... Arnold Roth (born February 25, 1929, in Philadelphia, PA) is an American cartoonist. ... Cal Schenkel was a visual collaborator of Frank Zappa. ... Frank Vincent Zappa[1] (December 21, 1940 – December 4, 1993) was an American composer, musician, and film director. ... Uncle Meat, released in 1969, is the soundtrack to Frank Zappas long-delayed film of the same name. ... Video From Hell is a video released in 1987 by Frank Zappa. ... Katherine Dee KaDee Strickland (born December 14, 1977)[1] is an American actress. ... The sixth season of American Idol premiered on the FOX Broadcasting Network on January 16, 2007 and will run until May 23, 2007. ...

External links

Philadelphia Portal
  • University's Official website
  • University Archives

  Results from FactBites:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania - encyclopedia article about Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (5188 words)
Philadelphia (sometimes referred to as "Philly" or "the City of Brotherly Love") is the fifth most populous city in the United States United States of America—also referred to as the United States, the USA, the U.S. America, the States, and (poetically) Columbia—is a democratic federal republic of fifty states located primarily in central North America.
Philadelphia is one of the oldest cities in the United States United States of America—also referred to as the United States, the USA, the U.S. America, the States, and (poetically) Columbia—is a democratic federal republic of fifty states located primarily in central North America.
Philadelphia served as the temporary capital for a decade, until 1800, when the Capitol building in the new Federal city of Washington, DC was opened.
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