Skip to main content

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.

Upcoming Events

  • Loading events...

More Events

In the News

More News


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.

Performing Arts Spotlight

Visiting Artist Meredith Monk

Meredith Monk is an artist whose work spans decades and connects to fields as diverse and music composition, vocal performance, dance, film. For an artist who defies typical categories, the collaboration between Eastman and IPA was a good fit. It exposed music students to elements of dance and movement that are less a part of their curriculum, and it taught dancers how to incorporate music, vocalization and the associated rhythm into their practice.

Watch on YouTube

Performing Arts Spotlight

Program of Dance and Movement students perform "Window Dressing"

Meliora Weekend 2016 featured an innovative performance by students in the Program of Dance and Music. Watch a brief video that gives a glimpse into the students' experiences in working on this exciting event.

Watch on YouTube


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.