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Principal's Message

Welcome to Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts (UASPA)!
It is my honor and privilege to have the opportunity to lead and serve the amazing UASPA community! In partnership with The Urban Assembly, UASPA opened its doors in September 2006 with 70 students. Since then, we have grown to serve 400 students each year in our home in Harlem. UASPA has been my home since the doors opened. In 2006, I was the founding History Teacher; in 2010, I became one of the founding Assistant Principals; and since 2014, I have been leading the community as Principal.
UASPA is the only college preparatory, non-audition performing arts high school in New York City. The school was founded on the belief that all students deserve access to a rigorous academic and artistic high school experience regardless of prior access or ability. We are committed to this mission and, therefore, we do not screen or audition any of our students. Our motto is “education equals options.” At UASPA, we help students create a vision for themselves and make that vision a reality. Through rigorous academic programming, our four year advisory sequence focused on the development of social-emotional skills, and our partnership with College Bound Initiative, 100% of our graduates are accepted into college with financial aid.
In addition to our strong academic, artistic, and social-emotional learning programs, what makes UASPA special is that our community is like a family. Students, families, and staff build strong, supportive relationships and our alumni continue to come back to visit every year - we even have alumni who are now working and teaching at our school! As a result of this family-like atmosphere, we get to know our students very well!
Thank you so much for exploring our website to learn more about UASPA and I invite you to come in for a visit soon to see what our community has to offer!
Meghan McMahon, Principal

At A Glance

  • getinvolvedAccess for ALL We are the only non-auditioned performing arts HS in NYC
  • PartnershipsKey partnerships help enrich our academics and arts programs.
  • Rigorous Academics100% of our graduates are accepted to college
  • College BoundWe offer 5 AP classes, dual enrollment classes with SUNY, and have a National Honor Society Chapter.
  • Rigorous ArtsA four year rigorous arts curriculum in dance, theatre, and vocal
  • brainstorm Social-EmotionalDevelopment We offer a four year Resilient Scholars Program to provide our youth with academic and life skills necessary for post-secondary success.

About Us and Mission Statement

About Us: 
The Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts (UASPA) was founded in 2006 as part of the Urban Assembly Network. The Urban Assembly is a non-profit organization whose mission is to establish and support small public high schools with exciting curricular themes and a hands-on approach to instruction. The Urban Assembly network provides instructional and operational support to our school. To learn more visit:
At UASPA, we believe that all students deserve access to a rigorous academic and artistic high school experience; therefore, we do not screen or audition our students and we attract students from all five boroughs of New York City, who may not have had previous access to artistic study. We have partnerships with key organizations, such as Tony Bennett Foundation/Exploring the Arts, Martha Graham Dance Company, and EPIC Theatre Ensemble, that support our teachers with improving instruction by infusing the arts into their classrooms and providing students with exceptional art and career based learning experiences. We are also partnered with College Bound Initiative (CBI), a vital partner, that enables us to maximize students' college awareness, access, placement, and financial aid awards.
At UASPA, we believe that “education equals options,” meaning that students’ education and knowledge will provide them with the skills necessary to pursue the post-secondary path of their choice, whether that be in the arts or in another field. Our staff reflects these principles; for example, the Principal is a dancer who pursued a career in education, the Guidance Counselor is a vocalist who pursued a career in counseling and teachers who have backgrounds in all areas of the arts who pursued a career in teaching.
The Urban Assembly School for the Performing Arts (UASPA) aims to sustain a challenging college-preparatory curriculum that infuses the performing Arts into all aspects of the academic experience. By using the Arts as a teaching tool and providing students with the means to express themselves, UASPA will breathe life and confidence into all members of our school community. We will use the cultural and professional resources of New York City to ensure that students receive a rigorous education which exceeds state standards, are successful in earning a college degree, and have a vision for what their future holds.

Recent News

2023 Spring Performance Season

Tickets for Spring 2023 performances go on sale on April 1, 2023. Click below to see the flier with more information.


Are you interested in a performing arts high school where you do not have to audition for acceptance? Click below to see more information on when our open houses will take place.