Kimmel Center Purchases Merriam Theater with New Partnership with UArts

The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts and The University of the Arts announce a new partnership that will both energize the arts scene in Philadelphia and, at the same time, expand arts education programming to young artists and art lovers. The two iconic institutions in Philadelphia will further shape the arts landscape by increasing arts educational offerings for students of all ages.

In a joint statement today, Kimmel Center President & CEO Anne Ewers, and The University of the Arts President David Yager, announced the details of their partnership that will: create a school-time performance series designed to, in time, expose every student in Philadelphia to an arts experience at the Kimmel Center cultural campus; provide The University of the Arts students access to artists performing on the Kimmel Center’s cultural campus through residencies and master classes; create credit-based, competitive projects for The University of the Arts students and alumni culminating in showings and exhibitions on the Kimmel Center cultural campus; and develop cross organizational opportunities for staff and faculty including lecturer appointments, mentorships, and cross-organizational committee work.

As part of this new partnership agreement, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is purchasing The Merriam Theater in the amount of $11 million. The theater was built in 1918 and purchased by the school in 1972. The Kimmel Center has managed and operated The Merriam Theater for seven years and there will be no operational changes under a lease agreement with The University of the Arts. The Kimmel Center’s purchase of The Merriam Theater is made possible by a $5 million grant from the William Penn Foundation and the Kimmel Center Board of Directors has contributed $5 million through the Center’s Comprehensive Campaign.

“We are excited to expand our reach in the arts education arena while also securing The Merriam Theater for generations to come,” says Anne Ewers, President & CEO of The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts. “As this partnership develops we will continue working toward our shared mission and goals and, together, create a positive impact on the Philadelphia arts community.”

“For 140 years, the University of the Arts has been a leader in the arts and education in the Philadelphia region and beyond,” says David Yager, The University of the Arts President. “Our innovative approach to developing the next generation of artists, designers, and creative leaders is unique, and partnering with an organization like The Kimmel Center extends the reach of our exceptional faculty and students even further into the community.”

The University of the Arts
Celebrating its 140th anniversary this year, the University of the Arts (UArts) is one of the nation’s only universities dedicated solely to educating students in the visual and performing arts, design and writing. UArts is a leader in educating creative individuals through an innovative, flexible, rigorous and well-rounded curriculum that prepares students to be the creative leaders of tomorrow, whether in a specific artistic discipline or by applying their arts education to virtually any career. The alumni of the University are leading some of the Philadelphia region’s most important cultural institutions and positively impacting the creative economy nationally. With nearly 1,900 students enrolled in undergraduate and graduate programs on its campus in the heart of Philadelphia’s Avenue of the Arts, UArts students collaborate across disciplines, and benefit from being in one of the nation’s most culturally vibrant cities.


Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts
Located in the heart of Center City, Philadelphia, The Kimmel Center’s mission is to operate a world-class performing arts center that engages and serves a broad audience through diverse programming, arts education, and community outreach. The Kimmel Center campus is comprised of the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts (Verizon Hall, Perelman Theater, SEI Innovation Studio, and the Merck Arts Education Center), the Academy of Music (owned by the Philadelphia Orchestra Association), and the University of the Arts’ Merriam Theater. The Kimmel Center is also home to eight Resident Companies: The Philadelphia Orchestra, Opera Philadelphia, The Pennsylvania Ballet, The Philly POPS, PHILADANCO, The Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia, The Philadelphia Chamber Music Society and Curtis Institute of Music. With nearly 9,000 seats per night, The Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts is the region’s most impactful performing arts center, and the second largest in the country. TD Bank, America’s Most Convenient Bank, is the season sponsor of the Kimmel Center’s 2016-2017 Season. American Airlines is the official airline of Broadway Philadelphia. For additional information, visit