A Message From Principal Vural

When the founding team of UAMA first opened its doors in 2005, the vision for a High School of the Arts that inspired young people to develop and channel their voice through creative expression was born. 

Having joined the UAMA family in 2010 as a career changer from the film and entertainment industry and then second year English teacher, I embraced the arts theme of the school and incorporated arts into the literacies and expressions of the students’ learning. 

Over the years I worked with other teachers and administration to bring college level courses to the school, first through AP classes, then in partnership with Bard College to develop the Bard Early College Academy at UAMA. 

As an Assistant Principal, I worked to connect with more partners and the Early College experience took off and grew to both on and off campus exposures, providing students with multiple pathways to earn over a year’s worth of college credits before graduation. 

When the opportunity arose to transition into the Principal role during the 2022-23 school year and take over leadership of the school, I listened to and surveyed all the school stakeholders: students, parents, staff, and everyone said the same thing: More Arts! In the Spring of 2024 we partnered with arts professionals and programs, hired two amazing fulltime music and art educators and launched the Creators Academy, a daily 90 minute arts block. 

Now in my second year as Principal, the vision is clear: Arts and Early College drives everything we do at UAMA. Students academic coursework is both aligned to standards and data driven in order to create collaborative conversations with students about their current levels of progress and set growth goals together. The Arts fuels our collective “why” as a school, we all, staff and students come here, because we believe that young people deserve the opportunity to be creative. That the very act of being a creator, can transform your potential and empower you to create yourself.

This year, we are growing our arts programs, expanding our recruitment and outreach, and preparing for the next four years of the school to be its best so far. We added the 21st Century Arts program to our admissions process for students to declare their interest in pursuing one of four majors: Studio & Digital Art, Modern Band & Music Production, Drama & Musical Theater, and Dance & Choreography. Students in each major will take a four-year arts sequence with a Senior Project Seminar in the 4th year, where students will create their own Final Arts Project (an exhibit, album, original compositions, scripts, and performances).

For those students and families looking for a school that will provide your students with the access to the tools to create their own artwork while they complete High School and begin Early College, consider applying to either program code L02R (Bard Early College Academy @ UAMA) or L02A (21st Century Arts).

To our current students in all grades, I can’t wait to see what you create!

Samir Vural


Urban Assembly School of Music and Art

Home of the

Creators Academy: 21st Century Arts

Bard Early College Academy

“Part of teaching is helping people create themselves.”  

Maxine Greene, arts education philosopher