Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts
Usdan Center for the Creative and Performing Arts is the nation’s preeminent not for profit summer day school of the arts. Now in its 45th year, Usdan has been declared a “Best Of” camp by TimeOutNY/Kids, and the Center has been profiled in The New York Times and Time Magazine. Usdan offers 40 programs in seven departments: Music, Art, Theater, Dance, Writing, Chess, and Nature. Each summer’s day, 1,600 children, ages 8 – 18, board buses bound for Usdan’s idyllic 200-acre campus in Wheatley Heights, Long Island. They come from virtually every town in the New York metropolitan area.
When a high school trumpet student from Central Islip sent an application to spend his summer studying at Usdan Center for the Arts, it was with the enthusiastic endorsement of his school’s Band Director. In advance of Chris’s 2012 Season scholarship audition, his teacher sent a prophetic message to Usdan’s teachers and conductors. It stated that Chris was a student of talent and promise, and that a summer at Usdan would be life changing for him. Chris simply needed, his teacher wrote, a sponsor to realize his dream of study with great teachers and performers. That sponsor was the Claire Friedlander Family Foundation, as Chris became one of seven students for who the Foundation’s generosity provided transformative summers of artistic awakening, high achievement, the support of a diverse and tolerant community, and friendshipsfor a lifetime.