Visionary Gift Launches Transformational Campaign

October 22, 2018

PHILADELPHIA, PA October 22, 2018 -- The University of the Arts is proud to announce the launch of “Uniquely UArts: the Campaign for Creative Capital.” The $50 million fundraising campaign will impact every facet of the UArts experience from investment in faculty and visiting artists, to new indoor and outdoor community spaces, to innovative programming that will offer students fresh perspectives on the visual and performing arts they pursue.

A $25 million bequest from Campbell’s Soup heiress Dorrance Hamilton, a longtime UArts trustee, provided the catalyst for the Uniquely UArts campaign. The bequest matches her previous gift in 2007, making Hamilton’s support of UArts unprecedented in the school’s history. Her vision for UArts was inspiring and steadfast. As Hamilton stated herself, ““I’ve always maintained that the arts have the power to transform society, and I see no reason why the epicenter of the coming creative revolution should not be at the University of the Arts”

Hamilton’s gift, and the support of alumni and friends it has already inspired, will allow UArts to fully realize its slogan, “The Place of Choice.” As UArts President David Yager explains, “This gift is transformational for current and future UArts students. For more than 30 years, Dorrance Hamilton demonstrated her dedication to young artists, performers and designers through her service as a trustee and her extraordinary philanthropy. As the foundational piece of the “Uniquely UArts” campaign, this new gift will help us realize her bold vision of what this institution can become—how it can truly change the lives of young creatives, and through them change the world.”

“I am honored to serve as the chair of this campaign,” said UArts Trustee and campaign Chair Brian Effron. “I’m very excited about the many transformational changes that this historic effort will bring, and how those changes will greatly benefit our talented students, now and far into the future. This is truly a key moment for the University.”

The Uniquely UArts campaign goal of $50 million—$34 million of which has been raised during the effort’s “quiet” phase—will allow the University to reach a new level in arts education through four critical strategies:

Supporting student success by enhancing the student experience – through innovative design technology, upgraded learning environments, and collaborative living residential spaces that will give UArts students the advantage of world class resources and experiences.

Investing in faculty as leaders in their fields – by providing enhanced opportunities for artistic exchange and collaboration for existing faculty, attracting new instructors at the pinnacle of their careers; and enriching the dialogue on campus with visiting artists from around the globe.

Re-envisioning the UArts campus – by creating a bustling Makerspace, an innovative Center for Immersive Media, a model professional dance theater, a state-of-the-art recording studio, a renovated Art Alliance to showcase work, new green spaces, and a vibrant student center that will add a fitness center, café, gallery, screening room, and community gathering places to the Gershman Y building at Broad & Pine Streets. These capital improvements will enhance Philadelphia’s Center City for the entire Avenue of the Arts community.

Developing innovative programming – With programs such as the new International MFA in Dance, which launched in Paris in the summer of 2018, UArts will push beyond the traditional boundaries of creative training.

The current demand for creative content, and workers who can apply creative approaches to any industry, has never been higher. The Uniquely UArts campaign will transform the UArts campus, sustain its community, and highlight its role as a leader in arts education -- nurturing visionary students who will drive the creative economy in all fields.

For more information on Uniquely UArts: The Campaign for Creative Capital, please visit after November 5, 2018.