Since Philip Courtney's appointment as Executive Director in 2003, Urban Arts Partnership has increased it service its services to NYC teachers and students by a factor of 10, serving 60 Title I public schools in the 2012 school year. He has served a principal role in co-founding four new small schools across New York City, in which innovation and the arts play a central role in addressing education improvement. In addition, he is the author of numerous plays that have been performed Off-Broadway. He has a long track record of supporting inner-city students through arts programs and is a recognized leader in arts education, has been a major contributor to the NYCDOE Blueprint of the Arts standards, and served on the panel for the New York State Council on the Arts. He is a graduate of Columbia University's Executive Education program.
He is part of The 2050 Group, a new group of thought leaders invested in exploring new models for arts integrated learning in our public education system. The mission of the group is school reform that favors learner-centered experiences, where the arts are celebrated, and cultural diversity and inclusiveness are met with pedagogical rigor. The group's activities include a private discussion group, staging public events, and publishing.