UArts Capital Campaign Raises $67.2 Million

Restricted funds for programs and academic disciplines, renovations of historic buildings, and scholarships are among the enhancements to the arts school

The University of the Arts has completed its first-ever comprehensive capital campaign, raising money for campus renovations, scholarships, endowment, and more. The arts school on South Broad Street aimed for $50 million in gifts when it launched the effort in 2018, but has ended up exceeding the goal by a considerable amount.

Money from the just-completed campaign, dubbed “Uniquely UArts: The Campaign for Creative Capital,” will be spent and saved for a variety of efforts.

  • The biggest chunk, about $24 million, will be kept in perpetuity in endowment.
  • About $17 million is being used for capital projects, like a new student center in the former Gershman Y building at Broad and Pine Streets, the Laurie Wagman Recording Studios, and “Living Steps,” a new gathering space for students.
  • Restricted funds totaling about $14 million are being used for programs and academic disciplines.
  • $5.5 million will go toward scholarships.
  • About $5 million is being set aside as discretionary funds — for expenditures like tuition relief, housing costs, food expenses, and art supplies.

The university, which typically has about 1,500 students, offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in its music, art, dance, theater, film, design, and other schools, and traces its roots to 1876.

One major element in the campaign was the renovation of the Philadelphia Art Alliance building. The school took over the alliance and acquired its Italian Renaissance-style structure in 2017, giving the university a presence in Rittenhouse Square for art exhibitions and other events.

In addition to the immediate material benefits to the university, the completion of a first-ever comprehensive campaign helps to establish a tradition of philanthropy that had been lacking compared with some other schools.

The needs are ongoing. Still unfunded: a renovation of the Arts Bank at Broad and South Streets, and a new dance studio for the Gershman building. Those projects likely won’t be funded through another large capital campaign, but by holding conversations with individual donors, said David Yager, University of the Arts president and CEO.

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