Usdan Center Receives Grant From Newsday Charities for Students in Westbury School District
April 24, 2009
(Long Island, N.Y.) Usdan Center, America’s largest not-for-profit summer arts day camp, and recently declared a “Best of” for 2009 by Long Island Press, received a grant in the sum of $20,000 from Newsday Charities, a fund of the McCormick Foundation, on March 31 at the Long Island Children’s Museum. The grant is to benefit students in the Westbury, Long Island school district. It will help the Center to provide students from the District with a summertime experience of quality arts education in a safe and beautiful environment, and will provide financial assistance to children and families that would otherwise not be able to afford a summer at Usdan Center. Students from the District will be selected by coordination between Usdan Center and Westbury School District faculty and staff.
Usdan Center has introduced the arts to more than 50,000 Tri-State Area children since it founding in 1968. The Center is open to all young people from age 6 to 18. No audition is needed for most programs – rather, admission is based on an expression of interest in the arts. Each summer, 1,600 students are transported to the Center in air-conditioned buses each day. One-third of Usdan’s students attend on scholarship. Although the mission of the Center is for every child to establish a relationship with the arts, the unique stimulation of the Center has caused many to go on to arts careers. Alumni include singers Jane Monheit and Mariah Carey, actresses Natalie Portman and Lisa Gay Hamilton, and members of major music, theater, and dance ensembles such as the Boston Pops and the New York City Ballet.
In addition to its regular programs, Usdan offers special opportunities for advanced high school-age performing and visual artists. These include Music Staff Internships, a Summer Ballet Intensive, and a year-round program of immersion in the visual arts for selected high school students, the Usdan Honors Art Collective. The Collective, open to talented art students in grades 9 to 11, begins at Usdan Center during the summer, and continues through the following May with bi-weekly meetings at Usdan, and at New York’s great museums and galleries.
PHOTO: Newsday Charities, March 31 ceremony: From left to right: Tim Knight, Publisher, Newsday; Patrice Frank, Director of Development for Usdan Center For the Creative and Performing Arts; Ken DePaola, Executive VP Sales and Marketing, Newsday; Deidra Parrish Williams, Director Community Affairs and Media Relations, Newsday; and Paul Fleishman, VP Public Affairs, Newsday.