“New York City has always been the center of innovation, but it is time that New York City level up and finally become a leader in the digital gaming space,” said Mayor Adams. “It’s time to take advantage of all the talent we have here in New York by investing in the future of gaming. This $2 million investment will help us reach more than 1,000 students over the next three years and diversify the gaming field. This is how we get stuff done for our young people and for New York City!”

Urban Arts, in partnership with the Mayor’s Office, City University of New York (CUNY), and the Harlem Gallery of Science, is building Gaming Pathways to encourage local, Title 1 high school students to harness their creativity and access technology to define their futures within NYC’s $2B digital sector with a first-ever public-option Digital Game Design Bachelor’s Degree.

Urban Arts's rigorous video game design curriculum will be expanded to high school students in Harlem, Upper Manhattan, and the Bronx, charting new paths to personal, academic, and career success in their own backyards.

Equipped with Urban Arts programming, these students, freshly qualified and encouraged in the digital space, can attend City College’s new Digital Game Design Degree program with further entry into NYC’s booming digital economy with local, high-paying jobs.

“We are thrilled to be a founding partner on this groundbreaking initiative,” said Philip Courtney, CEO, Urban Arts. “At Urban Arts, we are committed to helping New York City public school students explore their creativity and harness technology to defy the odds and define their futures. With this game-changing initiative, we have an unprecedented opportunity to create pathways for our talented students to contribute to New York’s, and their own, economic success.”

“Gaming pathways provides New York City students with a first-rate opportunity to access high-paying careers, while expressing their creativity in the city they love and call home,” said Kevin Wright, Chief Growth Officer, Urban Arts.

When Urban Arts teaches their own culturally-responsive AP Computer Science Principles curriculum, their 84% pass rate more than doubles the city average. Further, Urban Arts connects students with mentorships and internships with studios and corporations like NBCUniversal Take-Two Interactive #BadRobot & many more, ensuring significant change, transforming the face of industry, and generating a positive impact on the City’s tech future.

Urban Arts is a key component in NYC’s Economic Recovery Blueprint. Attracting a diverse, skilled and inclusive workforce is an industry priority and an equity imperative. The quality of a child’s education shouldn’t depend on their zip code.

We're full STEAM ahead.