The Urban Assembly School of Music and Art (UAMA) is a small arts and music-based public high school in Downtown Brooklyn/DUMBO founded in 2005. UAMA infuses a rigorous college preparatory curriculum with intensive arts elective courses and arts integration. UAMA is distinguished by its Extended Studio program, which offers diverse arts electives taught by professional artists during the school day, with an emphasis on the use of new technologies and commercial art forms. These include graphic design, hip hop dance and production, fashion, business entrepreneurship, and digital photography. We are the only arts-focused public high school that does not require special auditions or portfolios for application , believing that any student will benefit from arts education.
UAMA is one of 19 innovative small schools managed under the umbrella of the Urban Assembly (UA) in partnership with the New York City Department of Education and New Visions for Public Schools. The Urban Assembly is a nonprofit organization with a proven track record of creating and managing a community of New York City Public Schools dedicated to preparing students from under-resourced neighborhoods for success in four-year colleges, through innovative partnership-based programming. Like all UA schools, UAMA receives funding for general education expenses from the New York City Department of Education, but offers special theme-based programs funded by a 4-year startup grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and other private funding streams.
UAMA’s special programs are largely made possible by partnerships with organizations in the nonprofit and private sectors, as well as colleges and universities. Our partners provide and supplement onsite programming and offer hands-on learning opportunities in professional venues. Key cultural partners include The Brooklyn Academy of Music, Pratt Institute, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Smack Mellon Gallery, Eyebeam, and many others.
UAMA currently serves over 400 students in grades 9-12, with about 100 students per grade. We primarily serve Brooklyn but our students come from all 5 boroughs of New York City. 80% of students qualify for free or reduced lunch. Our average class size is small, teaching and learning is communal, and student achievement is regularly assessed through both intensive portfolio review and the New York State Regents examinations.
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