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Celebrating music, dance, and theatre

Supporting the performing arts

Collaborating across campus and in the community

Why create an Institute for the Performing Arts?

Creative activity and the performing arts are vital to the success of a major research university. The University of Rochester has long enjoyed world-class programs in the performing arts through the Eastman School of Music and our department of music, theater program, and dance program in the School of Arts and Sciences. The city of Rochester is home to a vibrant performing arts community.  The combination of a rich arts environment on campus with a strong local and regional arts community makes the University of Rochester the ideal place for the Institute.

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Meet the Director

Director of the Institute for Performing Arts, Missy Pfohl Smith, is also the director of the University of Rochester Program of Dance and Movement and founder and artistic director of BIODANCE, a contemporary repertory dance company based in Rochester. A collaborative artist, educator, performer and choreographer, Missy enjoys creating site specific work that has been called "gorgeous... astonishing… exceptional” and “an absolute masterpiece." Read the message from the director to learn about Missy’s vision for the institute.

Our Mission

The mission of the Institute is to support, cultivate, and promote engagement in the performing arts, encompassing scholarship, performance, and attendance at events, within the College, the university, the Rochester community, and the Western New York region.

Vocal Point performing on stage.

Performing Arts Spotlight

University takes the stage at 10th annual KeyBank Rochester Fringe Festival

The recently opened Sloan Performing Arts Center on the River Campus gives Rochester’s arts community a new venue to shine.

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Artist Jay Yan poses for a photo as he installs a mosaic mural consisting of nearly 8,000 stainless steel pieces in the main entrance of the recently completed Sloan Performing Arts Center. (University of Rochester photo / J. Adam Fenster)

Feature Story

Mosaic graces walls of new River Campus performance space

Chinese American artist Jay Yan installed a mural made of nearly 8,000 mirrored discs in the University of Rochester’s Sloan Performing Arts Center.

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The College offers over 200 courses in the performing arts. About 30% of River Campus undergraduates participate in the performing arts each year. The performing arts tradition at UR reaches back over 100 years!

Support the Institute

Rochester is uniquely positioned to advocate, promote, and cultivate the performing arts on campus, in the community, and in the region. If you would like more information about the performing arts at Rochester, including ways of playing a role in supporting our efforts, please Contact us.

Learn More

Want more information about the Institute for Performing Arts? Contact us.