"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 45 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!