"Through the Arts,
We quicken the creative spirit in the individual and community and foster brotherly love.”

Our Mission

Founded in 1967 by artist/teacher/philosopher Maurice Phillips, and a group of young artists, UTA pioneered as one of the first not-for-profit organizations of its kind to serve as a resource and platform for artists of color and the community from a multicultural perspective. Founding members include UTA’s current Artistic-Executive Director, Sajda Musawwir Ladner, Sheila Rohan, UTA’s Performing Arts Coordinator - a dancer, choreographer and original member of The Dance Theater of Harlem, and Andrea Phillips, a prominent Staten Island visual artist. UTA has been providing an array of life enrichment programs to Staten Islanders for nearly 50 years - our mission is to "quicken the creative spirit in the individual and community and foster brotherly love.” Since our inception, UTA has been a thriving force, fostering cultural and artistic development in the community.

UTA works with professional artists to provide instruction in and exposure to, an eclectic blend of fine and performing arts, cultural, educational and social programs for children and adults. UTA’s signature programs include visual arts, sewing, music, vocal and dance training. Our classes are offered in schools, museums, homeless shelters, group homes, senior citizen and community centers located across Staten Island. UTA is, in fact, one of few organizations providing "mobile" arts and cultural courses in an effort to make them more accessible to underserved populations.

As we forge ahead and expand our reach in the 21st Century, UTA's kaleidoscopic view remains rooted in its mission. We believe the arts serve as an effective platform and vehicle for promoting inspiration, change and connections across the worldwide community. Taking children abroad to experience different cultures; securing a home base that will enable us to expand our activities and vision; discovering new avenues of learning and teaching are but a few of the aspirations that UTA cherishes. Whatever we do, it will be done with love. We welcome your ideas. This is a community-based organization, embracing the world; and as the song says - WE ARE THE WORLD!