Setting the stage for positive change and creative excellence

As one of Canada’s most comprehensive school for arts, culture, and design, York University’s School of the Arts, Media, Performance & Design (AMPD) is a credible leader in preparing artists, performers, creators and designers to compete, succeed and inspire positive change in today’s creative industries and in the world around them.

With community outreach, industry exposure and immersive experiential learning infused across all AMPD programs, AMPD is increasing access and representation for diverse and marginalized communities, applying artistic discipline to shed light on contemporary social and cultural challenges, and preparing students to lead and adapt to emerging roles, opportunities and innovations in the rapidly changing world of arts and culture.

AMPD offers opportunities to engage diverse communities through the creative arts – whether by mentoring elementary and high school students in the Experiential Arts Education Program, discussing Filipinx history, identity and culture at FilipinNext at York University, or encouraging young musicians from Black, Indigenous and other marginalized communities to deepen their interest in contemporary music at the Nick Nurse Foundation Summer Jazz & Groove Lab.

AMPD also connects students with leading artists, industry professionals and creative organizations. Dance students performed in Colossus at the Meridian Arts Centre as part of TO Live alongside professional dancers and choreographers, while design students and alumni showcased their work for industry and the community alike at events such as a fourth-year exhibition and the DesignTO Festival 2023.

Helping to transform curiosity into purpose, AMPD even creates space for students to participate in unique, hands-on learning opportunities. AMPD hosted the first-ever York University Game Jam for students to conceptualize, design and build socially responsible games to help address the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and welcomed Grammy-winning drummer Terri Lyne Carrington to mentor and perform alongside aspiring jazz musicians through the Oscar Peterson Artist-in-Residence program.

AMPD also hosted a six-week summer intensive course, Shooting the Set, through the York University Motion Media Studio (YUMM) at Cinespace. Students transformed ideas into short films, gaining experience with greenscreen cinematic techniques, pitching stories, screenwriting, directing, producing, acting and editing for film and television.

In September 2024, AMPD will launch a new Creative Technologies (BFA) program at the York University Markham Campus. Anchored in critical entrepreneurship, students will combine creative practice and theory with technological expertise and experiential learning to tackle real-world problems, create digital projects for creative industries, develop professional skills and collaborate with art and business organizations. AMPD has been recognized locally, nationally, and globally for its impact on tomorrow’s creative leaders and positive changemakers, ranking among the Top 100 Performing Arts Universities in the world by the 2024 QS University World Rankings and the Top 5 Arts, Performing Arts & Design Universities in Ontario in the 2023 Times Higher Education Rankings.

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