"We have a responsibility to serve the communities that nourish us. . . Artists have special obligations to their communities and special talents and capabilities others do not. . . [for] solving real problems using creative means." – UArts Academic Plan

NEUARTS: Neighborhood Engagement at the University of the Arts is a new initiative utilizing course time for community engagement. Formerly referred to as "community service," engagement shifts the focus to mutuality and shared learning. Students have the opportunity, working with faculty, to use their art skills to make a difference in the local community and to be inspired by the stories of the people we meet. Created as a response to budget cuts in art education and cultural funding, NEUARTS seeks to develop long-term relationships with organizations within its immediate, under-resourced neighborhoods.

For decades, individual faculty have involved students in community performances, as well as design projects, media and mural arts. This new initiative builds on this history by mapping previous engagement projects and project leaders and seeking out new partnerships in the Point Breeze, Grays Ferry and South Philadelphia areas.

What makes NEUARTS unique is its emphasis on college students working with faculty during class time to make a change through art. At the center is the idea of working with our community partners to find solutions to their self-identified challenges, to be partners through art for change.

NEUARTS aims to excite and connect faculty, train students in a variety of real world art skills, and help transform our local community. Engagement courses can be life changing. Seek them out as electives or through the University Common Curriculum Collaborative Studio course. Projects can be short term or long term, individualized as an independent project or experienced as a designated class. Whether you are a faculty member or a student, if you have an idea for engaging the local community through art or are seeking to find projects to join, contact

The University of the Arts extends its appreciation to the corporate and foundation partners whose monetary donations help the NEUARTS program to achieve its goals:

  • Zeldin Family Foundation
  • Dolfinger Foundation
  • Beneficial Bank
  • Blick Art Supplies
  • Philly Rising, A Project of the Mayor’s Office
  • An anonymous donor
  • The Franklin Institute