Suzanne and Nathaniel Usdan Center For The Creative and Performing Arts

Suzanne And Nathaniel Usdan Center For The Creative And Performing Arts

Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts (often referred to as "Usdan Center") is a not-for-profit summer arts camp situated on 200 woodland acres (0.81 km2) in Wheatley Heights, Long Island, NY. Usdan opened in 1968 and now enrolls 1,600 students ages 6–18. Now in its 45th season, Usdan has been declared a “Best Of” camp by TimeOutNY/Kids, and by NY Metro Parents. The Center has been profiled in the New York Times, Time Magazine, and in numerous print and online publications. Usdan's 40,000 alumni include actresses Natalie Portman, Jackie Hoffman, Olivia Thirlby, Stacey London, and Lisa Gay Hamilton; singers Jane Monheit, Taylor Dayne, and Mariah Carey; Tony-Award nominated playwright Michele Lowe, Grammy-Award winning producer Adam Abeshouse, Broadway personality Seth Rudetsky, Juilliard conductor Adam Glaser, and members of major American orchestras, dance and theater companies. The camp is named for the daughter of the late philanthropist Samuel Lemberg.

Usdan was established to provide children with the arts as a companion for life through great teaching and the camaraderie of fellow students whose bond is their love of the arts. The Center features more than 40 programs of study. The Music Department offers orchestra, band, chorus, guitar, chamber music, jazz studies and piano. The Dance Department offers Ballet, Modern, Jazz, and Tap dance. The Theater Department offers Musical Theater, Technical Theater, and Drama. The Visual Arts Department offers Painting, Ceramics, Sculpture, Jewelry, Photography, Illustration and Book Design, Video Arts, Fashion Design, Cartooning, Video Game Art and Design and Animation. Other "majors” include Creative Writing, Chess, Nature and Ecology, and Organic Gardening. A special feature of each student’s program is attendance at the Center's series of daily assemblies known as the Festival Concerts. These are performances by distinguished artists and by Usdan students as well. World famous artists who have appeared on this series include Andre Watts, Yo-Yo Ma, The King's Singers, Earl Wild, Ruggiero Ricci, James Galway, Canadian Brass, Tokyo String Quartet, Emanuel Ax. Jazz artists have included Jimmy Heath, Marian McPartland, Billy Taylor, Randy Brecker, Bobby Watson, and Jane Monheit. Dance companies include New York City Ballet, Dance Theater of Harlem, the José Limón Dance Company. Cast members from current Broadway shows perform on this series, and many also work with students as visiting master teachers.

The camp is divided into four divisions based on grade level: Discovery - Grade K and 1; Partners in the Arts - Grades 2 and 3; Junior - Grade 4 through 6; Senior - Grade 7 through 12. Students have a choice of classes from the following disciplines: Music, Art, Theater, Dance, Writing, Chess, Nature and Ecology, Organic Gardening. Students choose a "major" class that meets for two fifty-minute periods daily, and they also have a "minor" that meets for one period daily. All students have an hour of swim daily. The Center enrolls students for 3, 4, or 7 weeks.

Usdan’s modern campus includes 70 award-winning studios and theaters, including the campus centerpiece, the Andrew and Lily McKinley Amphitheater, a 1,000-seat state of the art theater for the Center's daily artist and student concerts. Other signature buildings include the Samuel and Lucille Lemberg Drama Center, with three theaters, six teaching studios, and costume and set shops. The Block Media Arts Center contains broadcast quality production studios. The Maurice B. Hexter Center is a recital hall and conference center that also houses Usdan's chess program. Art students exhibit the work in the Goetz and Hexter galleries. Usdan is a beneficiary agency of UJA-Federation of New York, and the Center is chartered by the Regents of the State of New York.

Read more about Suzanne And Nathaniel Usdan Center For The Creative And Performing Arts:  History, Discovery Program, Partners in The Arts, External Links

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