University of the Arts Receives $1 Million State Grant for Creation of New Student Center

January 27, 2021

President David Yager announced that the university is the recipient of a $1 million Redevelopment Assistance Capitol Program (RACP) grant from the commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This crucial funding will enable the university to develop a new Student Center to support UArts’ community of visual and performing artists.

“At University of the Arts, we believe that creativity is the true catalyst for social and economic change and the most essential skill for success in today’s global, technology-driven society,” President Yager said. “Now more than ever, we need to invest heavily in human creativity in order to build a more innovative and adaptable future for the next generation of thinkers, doers and dreamers—and that is just what this grant will allow us to do with the Student Center.

“On behalf of the entire university community, I want to offer my sincere thanks to Gov. Tom Wolf for choosing UArts to receive this very competitive funding, as well as Senator Larry Farnese, Representative Brian Sims and all the members of the Pennsylvania General Assembly who supported this project.”

With more than 65 percent of UArts students currently utilizing Gershman Hall’s classrooms on a weekly basis, the new space will not only act as the heart of student activity on campus, but will also be a vehicle to kindle human creativity and innovation in Philadelphia and beyond. The new center will provide an important gathering and learning space that is currently lacking on UArts’ very urban campus. It will also feature a gallery space, a film screening room and a performance center to showcase works of art by the university’s extremely diverse and talented student body, as well as performing and visual arts talent from around the globe.

fitness center rendering
Renderings by JacobsWyper Architects

“The construction of the new University of the Arts Student Center is a significant win for the entire university community,” said Paul Beideman, president of Avenue of the Arts Inc. “It will create a hub to foster human creativity and artistic growth for University of the Arts students for decades to come. But, importantly, it is also a significant win for the entire Avenue of the Arts and Center City neighborhoods in Philadelphia. It will be an imaginative space to share works by performing and visual artists from beyond university borders and will create a destination for arts and cultural enthusiasts from across the city, the region and the commonwealth. It will add a much-needed boost to our hard-hit restaurant and entertainment industry by patrons who travel to the university to view exhibitions and shows at the Student Center. This project is exactly what we need on South Broad Street at this moment.”

With shovels ready to hit the ground, this project will create dozens of high-quality, good-paying jobs in downtown Philadelphia over the course of the project. Consistent with its ongoing commitment to creating as diverse a student body and facility as possible, the university will ensure that at least 25 percent of those employed on the project are from minority populations and that at least 40 percent of those who are hired throughout the course of this project are based in Pennsylvania.

For naming opportunities, contact Vice President for Development and Alumni Relations Andrew Pack at