UPCA recognizes the critical role the arts play in providing life-changing experiences and opening doors for both young and old. Washington Heights has traditionally been underserved in terms of access to art programs, in part due to a lack of dedicated space. UPCA creates new educational programs and hosts organizations that already have a track record of providing excellent arts instruction.
UPCA launched its Community Art Programs by recruiting two El Sistema-inspired youth orchestras, the Harmony Program and WHIN Music Project. Every year we host a master class with the New York Philharmonic for the The Harmony Program. Students in WHIN have been challenged to stretch the bounds of classical music by performing "Ode to Joy" with students in our West African drumming program and performing live to a video created by a local filmmaker. Another hallmark of our community art programs are the annual "Young People Perform!" nights that showcase students across art disciplines. Most Community Arts Programs are FREE.
UPCA’s current programming partners include:
WHIN Music Project
Orchestral, choral, and percussion instruction in the El Sistema tradition for students 5-17 who train from 12-6pm on Saturdays.
El Sistema-inspired string orchestra for 4-7th graders - most of whom are playing an instrument for the first time - Monday-Friday from 3:30-5:30pm. Students annually perform with members of the New York Philharmonic during Youth Orchestra Day at the Palace.
Creative Art Works
Drawing, painting, collage, and sculpture around a relevant theme, such as the Harlem Renaissance, for 3rd-5th graders 20 Saturdays a year, 10am-noon.
Harambee Dance Company
Traditional West African rhythms on djembe and dunun drums for youth 6th grade and older meet Monday and Wednesday year round from 5-6pm.
Musical theatre training and college prep for 3 weeks in the summer (all day) for 3rd-11th graders.
Dance Project of Washington Heights
The largest program we host with over 30 tap, ballet, hip hop, and creative movement parent and me classes four days a week for over 500 toddlers to teens. Students are charged based on a pay-what-you-can system. Classes are Saturday - Monday and Thursday.
Contact our program partners directly to learn about enrollment opportunities.