The United Palace of Cultural Arts (UPCA) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit founded in 2012 with the mission to uplift, educate, and unite our Northern Manhattan community and beyond through art. To achieve this goal, UPCA serves as the bridge between the community and the landmark United Palace, Manhattan’s 4th largest theatre.
UPCA helps key community-based arts and cultural organizations to present their work at the United Palace by underwriting some production costs and facilitating production staff and ticketing operations (if necessary). With our support, these organizations: (1) realize their artistic vision in a major cultural venue; (2) grow their audience; (3) develop the experience and expertise to work in a professional venue; and (4) support the development of local artists and crafts-people.
This strategy has been a win-win-win. Artists, many of them local children, get to perform on the same stage as international superstars, such as Lin-Manuel Miranda, Romeo Santos, and Lenny Kravitz. Local audiences get to experience great art in their neighborhood, which has no dedicated theatre spaces. Finally, UPCA fulfills its mission to serve the community since most of the events are free. UPCA is operated independently from the United Palace.
Last year UPCA’s nine (9) Community Arts Events featured 1,100 artists, about 90% under the age of 18, and attracted close to 7,000 guests. Most events were in the spring when educational organizations hold end-of-year performances and are free to the public.