United Under Arts was founded in October 2019 by Serena Ding, a then junior at Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music and Art and Performing Arts, a prestigious dual mission school known for its premier arts education and for being the inspiration of the movie Fame. She trained with the Alive Inside Foundation // Music and Memory and was greatly moved by their documentary “Alive Inside,” which depicted elderly dementia patients “coming alive” to music from their childhood. After training with the foundation, she volunteered weekly at a nursing home in Queens, NY by playing her saxophone and witnessed firsthand how music brightens the elders’ days and helps connect people of all backgrounds and ages. Due to these experiences, she became determined to provide opportunities in the arts for as many underserved populations as possible and thus founded United Under Arts.
The first chapter was established in NYC and held its first event, a concert at a nursing home and rehabilitation center, in December 2019. After the initial success of this event, United Under Arts expanded to create other events like arts and crafts classes and music exposure workshops and run donation drives to collect arts supplies and devices for underprivileged communities.
Today, United Under Arts is a global nonprofit with middle school, high school, and college students from all over the world working together to create a better, brighter, and more connected future through the arts.