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University of the Arts Celebrates

In 2018, UArts announced Uniquely UArts: The Campaign for Creative Capital to support four initiatives: enhancing the student experience, investing in faculty, re-envisioning campus and developing innovative programming. The goal was to raise $50 million.

Last month UArts President and CEO David Yager announced that the campaign far exceeded its goals and raised $67.2 million in a ceremony at UArts.

Nate Hamilton, who’s grandmother, gave “The single-largest donation to the campaign was $25 million from the estate of Dorrance “Dodo” Hill Hamilton, the late Campbell Soup heiress who served on the school’s board for decades, a number of them as board chair.” and Brian Effron, “I am honored to serve as the chair of this campaign,” said UArts Trustee and campaign Chair Brian Effron.”

Money from the just-completed campaign, dubbed “Uniquely UArts: The Campaign for Creative Capital,” will be spent and saved for a variety of efforts including the biggest chunk, about $24 million, will be kept in perpetuity in endowment.

Jon Lovitz, and Brenton McClosky

About $17 million is being used for capital projects, like a new student center in the former Gershman Y building at Broad and Pine Streets, the Laurie Wagman Recording Studios, and “Living Steps,” a new gathering space for students.

Lynn Sullivan, Marian M and Eleanor Davis
Lawrence Taylor and Ralph Cintino

Restricted funds totaling about $14 million are being used for programs and academic disciplines.

About $5 million is being set aside as discretionary funds — for expenditures like tuition relief, housing costs, food expenses, and art supplies.

$5.5 million will go toward scholarships.

Nate Hamilton, Harriet and Larry Weiss with Councilperson Mark Squilla

The University of the Arts Students

One of the recent improvements in the Hamilton Hall was the creation of Uarts Living Steps. Check out how they were created HERE


Photos: The Irvine is Online and Renting in West Philly

The Post Brothers‘ new luxurious living quarters is open and accepting tenants now. The Irvine Apartments, in a century-old former warehousing facility at 780 South 52nd Street near the Baltimore Avenue corridor.

According to a Globe Street article “This isn’t one of your cookie-cutter, ground-up luxury high-rise buildings. The Irvine has history and roots in industrial Philly. Our mission was to honor its history and character while creating an elevated, yet practical living experience,” says Michael Pestronk, CEO and co-founder of Post Brothers. “We’re keeping in line with the ever-growing cultural renaissance of West Philly, where we’re seeing an influx of new residents who really care about health, sustainability, and the concept of community, so we wanted to create an experience that echoes those values.”

I was there earlier this month for an open house. I met a lot of the new tenants including these three young ladies posing here with mom (2nd from left).  In 2017, the Post Brothers paid $2.4 million for the 115,835-square-foot building which had been a storage facility and then sat vacant for more than 10 years.  There will now 150 households at this spot.

Neon is prominent through out the building as it is here in the community room. Also on each floor when you get off the elevator their is a neon sign with the floor number illuminated.

The property includes a variety of both indoor and outdoor amenities, including:

  • A fitness center equipped with top-of-the-line cardio and exercise equipment such as Peloton bikes, Precor treadmills, stair-masters, HIIT options, and a variety of selectorized, plate-loaded and free weight stations.
  • A community garden where residents can plant and grow their own flora and produce
  • Fully-equipped outdoor kitchen with grills, dining tables and lounge areas
  • A K9 turf lawn and pet park
  • A co-working space that features a large open area with ample seating, natural sunlight and custom artwork
  • Concierge services including dry cleaning, package storage and online services
– They have lockers where you put your clothes and Tide Cleaners will pick up your clothes for dry cleaning and laundry service from the makers of Tide detergent. What a great idea.

The windows let a lot of light in making the living space bright and spacious. They must have knocked out a lot of walls to create these windows since it was a storage facility. The official word: The interiors include roller shades for apartment windows and customizable mill work for closets, along with full-size stainless steel appliances, antimicrobial quartz countertops, and tile backsplash in the kitchen.

Bathrooms feature matte black fixtures, artisanal tile surface, glass shower doors, rain-style shower heads and high-pressure body jets.

“The building was originally designed for storage,” says Post Brothers Asset Manager Josh Guelbart. “And then it sat vacant for 15 years, and people started painting really cool graffiti” on its walls. (Philly Mag Article)


Jefferson Celebrates Innovation – Check Out The Game Changers

Alumni, industry leaders, and students at the Jefferson University (Philadelphia University + Thomas Jefferson University) gathered for the Celebration of Innovation, on May 8, 2019 at the campus in East Falls.

Fashion designing students Alegra Pronesti and Tommy Heidbrecht created thought provoking clothing which challenging gender norms.

Guests walked through the galleries to enjoy the students’ collaborative work, as well as cocktails and heavy hors d’oeuvres which were served before a program which honored this year’s Leaders of Innovation and Lifetime Impact Award recipients.

Prof. Edgar Stach, Dipl.-Ing, AIA/IA, RA and student Alex Haba stand in front of his “Smart City” project which looks at Philadelphia in 2050 where land is at a scarcity and ventilated buildings are being built on top of the expressway capping as always dreamed by city planners.

Gayle Bart with her take on the how to bridge the gap between the City of Camden and the surrounding areas of the Camden Y to utilize the activities at the center.

Fashion design student Colton Snavely was inspired by art, nature and love to create this design that model Katrice Bailey is wearing.

Thomas Jefferson University student Shawna Henderson created a program for her local classmates where they would design white head scarves and gift boxes to give to patients at the Ronald McDonald House.

Dija Taib created a Think Tank on campus to encourage people to collaborate instead of being disconnected staring at their phones.

Jackie Webb, Natalie Stein, Lexi Patania, Bob Thompson, Yu Zhang and Evan Page created an award winning product called “Summit Sleeve”, which protects the battery of a Go Pro when used in sub zero weather.

Eryn Griffin, Patrice Sakalosky, Abbey Pitzer created “Farm to Fridge” for Professor Frank Baseman, MFA class. Farm to Fridge is a mobile market tool in order to help people with diabetes 2 eat healthy. People who live in rural areas use a mobile app to order fresh produce from local farms which will be delivered to their home.

Philadelphia University and Thomas Jefferson merged in 2017. The Celebration of Innovation is Jefferson’s platform for advancing the importance of higher education and innovation, and the impact they have on the global economy. Proceeds from the event provided scholarship support for students.

During the welcoming remarks, Stephen Klasko, President and Chief Executive Officer of Thomas Jefferson University and Jefferson Health, celebrated that Jefferson University East Falls was the #3 fashion design school in the country, and #7 in the world. He also stated that solving many of the worlds health crisis’ will be found in a joint effort between a health care system and a textile university through innovating methods.

Several alumni and a student were honored at the Celebration of Innovation: Thomas Shirley, Jr. Assistant VP of Women’s Basket ball, Theresa Chiarenza, Class of 2020 (who was given a $5,000 scholarship), David Z Tuttleman, ’83, Nicholas A. Siciliano III, PhD ’15, and Donna Nicoletti Ferrier, ’80.