(Grades 2–12 | 4- and 8-week sessions)
Usdan’s Classic program provides an immersive arts experience and fosters friendship and shared enthusiasm among young artists in grades 2 through 12. Our program offers instruction by experienced educators and professional artists in seven Departments: Art, Chess, Creative Writing, Dance, Music, Nature & Sustainability, and Theater. All that is needed to attend is an open mind and an excitement for the arts.
Students may choose a Major within any of our Departments. Majors include three periods, or approximately three hours of instructional time. During those three periods, students immerse themselves in an area of study that they are passionate about, while also enjoying a variety of art experiences within their chosen Department. In order to keep our community as safe as possible, students will stay in their assigned group of 15 students maximum for the entire camp day.
Our 4- and 8-week sessions are divided into two-week blocks, giving students the option to change their Major every two weeks. Some of our campers love to explore different Departments, and some choose to focus on one. While most Majors are divided into two-week increments, select performing arts Majors, including Musical Theater Performance, Instrumental Ensemble, and Vocal Ensemble, are four weeks long. The Usdan Troupe Major is eight weeks long. Please visit our Departments page and Classes page for more information on your child’s Department(s) or Major(s) of interest.
The day is enriched by a one-period Recreational Activity to support campers’ creative development by encouraging movement and play, and to get them inspired by the natural world.
Usdan students in grades 2 and 3 (formerly Partners in the Arts) are met by their lead faculty each morning and travel to their classes together to support their growing independence. This additional support helps our younger students feel comfortable and confident as they learn, make friends, and have fun.
A sample student schedule:
10:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m.: Major
12:10 p.m.–12:50 p.m.: Lunch / Free Time (with Major group)
1:00 p.m.–1:50 p.m.: Recreational Activity (with Major group)
2:05 p.m.–3:05 p.m.: Major
To better understand changes made to our Classic program to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty, please visit our COVID Updates page.
(Grades K–1 | 4- and 8-week sessions)
The Discovery program provides a fun and exciting exploration of the arts for students currently in kindergarten or 1st grade. Surrounded by Usdan’s woodland campus, and using the Discovery Center as a base, children have experiences in Music, Art, Dance, Nature & Sustainability, and Recreational Arts led by professional artists and educators. Two college-age counselors help guide each small group of 12 students throughout their adventurous day, while also creating diverse and engaging activities that are tailored to students’ interests, fostering a safe, nurturing, and positive atmosphere.
After completing their 1st-grade summer at camp, children from the Discovery program head into Usdan’s Classic program feeling confident and excited because they have spent their summer getting a taste of its many opportunities.
To better understand changes made to our Discovery program to ensure the health and safety of our students, staff, and faculty, please visit our COVID Updates page.
Usdan Artist in Residence Program
Every summer, Usdan brings world-class teachers and visiting artists—actors, directors, playwrights, painters, sculptors, musicians, composers, dancers, poets, and novelists—to teach and collaborate with Usdan campers ages 5 to 18. It’s a two-way exchange, because we know experienced artists and young creators learn from each other and contribute to one another’s work and development. Usdan has developed a program for students that builds on this premise.
The goal of the Artists in Residence program is to harness the creativity, concerns, and intelligence of youth in contemporary art-making—by involving youth in the creative process as collaborators in the generation of a new work. Each Artist in Residence collaborates with a group of students through research and creative sessions to create a new piece. You can learn more about the program by visiting our Artists in Residence page.