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Art Summer Camp Classes on Long Island

Please note that the majority of the below information pertains to our planned 2020 camp season. We will be releasing our 2021 camp program on December 1, 2020. For Usdan updates, please visit our Usdan Updates page.

Summer Camp Programs For Kids

Usdan is divided into nine departments: Art, Music, Dance, Theater, Chess, Creative Writing, Nature & Sustainability, Recreational Arts and Discovery.*

Each student chooses three classes – a Major, a Minor and a Recreational Activity. The Major class is two periods, the Minor class is one period, and the Recreational Activity is one period. Students choose a Major from the Art, Music, Dance, Theater, Chess, Creative Writing or Nature & Sustainability departments. Students choose a Minor from the Art, Music, Dance, Theater, Chess, Creative Writing, Nature & Sustainability or Recreational Arts departments. Students may choose a Recreational Activity from the Dance, Chess, or Recreational Arts departments.

*Discovery students have a preset multidisciplinary program, and do not elect a Major, Minor or Recreational Activity.

Students can choose to enroll in 7-week,  4-week, or 3-week sessions. Students in the 7-week sessions may select classes for all 7 weeks, or change classes after the first 4 weeks. A limited number of classes are 7, 4, or 3 weeks only. 

2020 Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts - 7, 4, and 3 week sessions

7-week session: June 29 - August 14, 2020, weekdays (Closed Friday, July 3)
4-week session: June 29 - July 24, 2020, weekdays  (Closed Friday, July 3)
3-week session: July 27 - August 14, 2020, weekdays

2020 Summer Art Classes (in alphabetical order)

For more information, please email enrollment@usdan.org

Use the filters to customize the list of summer art classes based on your child's age and interests.

Have questions? Please see our FAQ page, or contact us at 631.643.7900 or questions@usdan.org. Click here to view Student artwork.

Art Adventure

Available for 2 week, 4 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Chess

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major and Minor and Recreational Activity classes.
Chess

Comic Art (Major)

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Contemporary Forms (Junior)

Available for 4 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Contemporary Forms (Senior)

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Creative Writing (Major)

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Dance Adventure

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Discovery

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Junior Instrumental Ensemble

Available for 3 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Metalsmithing (3 week)

Available for 3 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Musical Theater

Available for 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Painting & Drawing

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major and Minor classes.
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Photography

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major and Minor classes.
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Sculpture

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Senior Instrumental Ensemble: Jazz Ensemble

Available for 3 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Sewing & Fashion Design

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Sustainable Design

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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The Usdan Troupe

Available for 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Vocal Ensemble (Major)

Available for 3 week, 4 week, 7 week sessions.
Major classes.
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Art Adventure

  • An audition is required to first determine acceptance into the program.
  • This Major can be taken in two-week block increments. The summer is divided into two-week blocks, giving students the option to change their Major, or stay in their same Major, every two weeks. Some of our campers love to explore different Departments and some choose to focus on one.

An exploratory experience for young artists led by experienced art educators and professional artists. Investigate the full spectrum of Usdan’s art offerings, including drawing, painting, and sculpture for a comprehensive and immersive summer arts experience. Both traditional and contemporary media and practices are explored. 

Art Adventure Majors spend their days in open-air studios engaging in a combination of direct instruction, studio work time, collaboration with other young artists, and sharing and reflecting on their work. All levels welcome.

“You do a lot of fun things, and you have amazing teachers, friends, and things to do!”
-Penina 

“You get to experience all kinds of art in just one class.”
-Sara

For information on COVID procedures in this Department, please visit our COVID Updates page.

In addition to their three-period Major, students enjoy a rotating one-period Recreational Activity every day with their group. Visit our Recreational Activity page for more information.

Chess

Chess

Usdan offers a unique, individualized program for young chess players to hone their experience through tutoring and game play. The Usdan Chess Ladder groups students in varying levels, from absolute novices to advanced players. Individual and group lessons are conducted by highly-ranked tournament players with decades of experience at many of New York’s best schools. 

“What I like most was that I got to play many different people with no pressure.” -Dylan

“I was able to play a lot of chess and learn from my mistakes” -Noah

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Comic Art (Major)

Graphic novels and comics—and the mythology behind them—are heavily ingrained in pop culture. This course offers an introduction to classic cartooning techniques and characters, including thumbnail sketches and breakdowns, penciling, inking, and page layout. Students develop and design their own characters and stories from conception to finished product. All levels welcome. For major classes, a brief placement form will be sent after enrollment. 

“We learned techniques and were also free to work on our own stuff.” -Anya

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Contemporary Forms (Junior)

Contemporary Forms draws on modern dance techniques and current day practices to help students build a strong technical foundation. Students cultivate dynamic movement principles including weight, flow, opposition, phrasing, and breath. Each class begins with a grounded warm-up, before moving across the floor into more intricate combinations. The class culminates with a performance showcasing a piece the students have been working on. A brief placement form will be sent after enrollment. 

 

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Contemporary Forms (Senior)

Contemporary Forms draws on modern dance techniques and current day practices to help students build a strong technical foundation. Students cultivate dynamic movement principles including weight, flow, opposition, phrasing, and breath. Each class begins with a grounded warm-up, before moving across the floor into more intricate combinations. The class culminates with a performance showcasing a piece the students have been working on. A brief placement form will be sent after enrollment. 

 

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Creative Writing (Major)

An open environment for young storytellers to write poetry, short fiction, and playwriting in small collaborative groups. Students build imaginative narratives and find their creative voices, while developing concrete elements of storytelling like structure, point of view, and conflict and resolution. The summer culminates with the publication of every student’s work in Usdan’s student-authored literary magazine.

“It encouraged me to be more creative than I thought I could be.”- Rina

“It's a writer's dream. My ideas couldn't flow until I went there. My favorite part was the way every student and the teacher supported each other.” -Soleil

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Dance Adventure

An exploratory dance experience open to all levels. Students are introduced to a variety of forms, based on the faculty expertise, which may include ballet, hip hop, and/or contemporary. This class offers a supportive space for students to try a variety of dance genres. The class culminates with a performance showcasing pieces the students have been working on. A brief placement form will be sent after enrollment.

Please note: Dance classes will be run based on student selection. Some classes with low enrollment may not be offered, but each student will be placed in one of their selected classes.

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Discovery

The Discovery program provides an exciting exploration of the arts for students currently in Kindergarten or First grade. Surrounded by Usdan’s woodland campus, and with the Discovery Center as a base, children are placed in small groups with a college-age counselor to guide them throughout their adventurous day. Children have music, art, dance, and swim multiple days a week. Additional weekly activities draw from Usdan's diverse arts offerings, such as theater, nature, archery, chess, and photography, as well as opportunities for other choices throughout the week.

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Junior Instrumental Ensemble

Junior instrumentalists are placed in small ensembles at an appropriate level based on a placement audition. These ensembles consist of an orchestra or band conducted by a member of our music faculty, or smaller chamber groups. Chamber music students are coached by Usdan’s renowned faculty over the course of the three weeks.  Major includes one hour group lesson and one hour in chamber groups by level. Students must have at least one year of prior instruction and the ability to read music. Available for band and orchestra instruments only. 

 

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Metalsmithing (3 week)

(The 3 week session is for 5-6 grade returning campers or new campers with experience)

Students learn to design and create art from metal with basic metalsmithing skills and techniques. Create your own unique sculptures, jewelry, cutlery, mobiles, and more using hammering, raisting, chasing, soldering, acid etching, bezel stone setting, and bead stringing. All levels welcome. Additional fee of $600 for 7-weeks, $350 for 4-weeks and $250 for 3-weeks.

“Metalsmithing is a class where you can experiment, and it's really fun. I liked the whole atmosphere of the class and that you have a lot of freedom to try new things.” -Madison

“There are few limitations, lots of freedom, lots of variety of projects....and blowtorches.” -Margot

“You can’t do this at home!” -Samuel

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Musical Theater

An amazing opportunity to study musical theater through the entire cycle of a production, including audition, rehearsal, blocking, staging, choreography, ensemble-work, and performance. Students participate in the audition process and learn how casting decisions are made, discover the joys of collaboration, and develop responsibility as they work together to put on the show. Additional fee of $600 for 7 weeks and $350 for 4 weeks.

“The show, rehearsal, and auditions are very professional. My favorite part was the way the company becomes a family and the way the show comes together.” -Myla

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Painting & Drawing

The fundamental ingredients to any practicing artist’s education. In this inviting open air studio, young artists will learn traditional and contemporary principles and elements of 2D art through mediums such as acrylic, watercolor, ink, graphite and more. Through creating life drawings, landscapes, portraits, and abstract work, students will gain exposure to contemporary artists and artmaking practices. All levels welcome. A brief placement form will be sent after enrollment.

“We get to be creative, have freedom, and we learn a lot about painting!” -Ella

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Photography

Using Usdan's lush wooded campus as a backdrop and their fellow students as photography subjects, students do a deep dive into the principles of composition and lighting, while using Mac computers for imaging, photo enhancement, printing, and digital presentation. Students must supply their own digital camera. All levels welcome. For major classes, a brief placement form will be sent after enrollment. Additional fee of $600 for 7-weeks, $350 for 4-weeks and $250 for 3-weeks.

“Photography class teaches you valuable information on how to take better photos.” -Jenna

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Sculpture

Sculptors explore three-dimensional forms in wood, plaster, wire, metal, and more. Inspiration is all around as students experiment with new materials and imagery—both representational and abstract—and work together with classmates to produce large scale installations and sculptures. All levels welcome. 

“In this class you can use different materials to create cool sculptures. I LOVED mixed media. I made a cool mask, based on Chuycels.” -Emile 

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Senior Instrumental Ensemble: Jazz Ensemble

Digging deep into the most American of music forms, students in this class will work in small and medium sized ensembles, with and emphasis on improvisation and collaboration. Repertoire will reflect the many styles and eras of jazz, from the earliest forms to contemporary jazz. Available for Saxophone, Trumpet, Trombone, drums, guitar, piano and bass. Beginner to advanced students welcome. Students will be grouped according to experience and interest, based on a placement audition. 

Please note: Senior division instrumentalists are asked to rank their choices on the application. The specific classes that are offered will be based on this ranking and students will be placed in the most appropriate group after a placement audition. Placement audition instructions will be sent after enrollment. Some classes with low enrollment may not be offered, but each student will be placed in one of their selected classes.

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Sewing & Fashion Design

Create personal style and wearable art from concept to construction as part of Usdan’s Sewing and Fashion Design program. Students of all levels welcome. Students will be placed into one of two groups based on past experience and interest. Level I introduces students to sewing machine operation and patterns; Level II offers advanced techniques and free design. All levels welcome. A brief placement form will be sent after enrollment.  Additional fee of $600 for 7-weeks, $350 for 4-weeks and $250 for 3-weeks.

"We were so expressive in our pieces and were able to accomplish so much in only 3 weeks." -Aaliyah

"I enjoyed learning to sew quickly and confidently so I can sew things on my own in the future." -Gari

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Sustainable Design

By popular demand- this is now a major class! Inspired and created in conjunction with artist Olafur Eliasson's Little Sun Project, this course teaches students to use unconventional materials to create sustainable solutions and environmentally-focused art and design. Students will create things out of nothing, using materials such as sunlight, recycled and found objects. In the beginning of the summer, the class will decide together the projects they would like to work on. The results are unexpected and the process is fun! In past years, students worked as a team to make a wind powered air conditioner, a bike powered generator and a solar BBQ. This class is open to thinkers from all disciplines.

“I enjoyed the tasks that we had to complete using mostly things we found on our own.” -Luke

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The Usdan Troupe

  • An audition is required to first determine acceptance into the program.

A unique opportunity to participate in the entire process of producing theater, from audition to performance. Former company members describe it as “summer stock theater for teens.” The Troupe presents one fully staged musical production every year. Recent performances include The Secret Garden, Finian’s Rainbow, Grand Hotel, Sunday in the Park with George, Carousel, and Cabaret. The Troupe requires an audition and is a full three-period program, no minor. Additional fee of $600. 

“My favorite part was everything! The students...teacher... their talent...how much I learned and the overall experience changed my view on performing.”  -Alaina

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Vocal Ensemble (Major)

There is nothing more exhilarating th​an collective voices raised in song. Develop your voice and technique in the study of the fine art of this musical craft. Learn proper breathing technique and diction while studying popular vocal arrangements. The first four weeks of the season are devoted to standard choral repertoire; the last three weeks focus on light classical and Broadway standards. Each class features live piano accompaniment and each session will culminate in a live performance for the camp community and families.   

“We learn in a great environment!” -Anthony

“We sing and perform a very wide range of music that is amazing to sing. I enjoyed the whole process of learning the music...and seeing it all come together is an amazing thing”  -Kennedy