What’s New With U? – Week 1

What’s Inside

What’s New With U? – Week One

As the final buses pulled into the lot and kids ran onto campus for the first time this summer, old friendships were rekindled and new ones blossomed. On the way to their first period, students hugged those they missed, introduced themselves to new campers, and chatted excitedly about what they’re looking forward to this summer.

The Opening Ceremony got underway with a riveting faculty performance by Sam Dillon, our talented Jazz Conductor, and the much-anticipated unveiling of the “Friendship U”  — designed by our very own Samantha Mason. When the bang of the gong rang out over McKinley Amphitheater, everyone cheered, knowing that Usdan Summer Camp for the Arts officially began its 2019 season.

This week, students and staff were delighted to welcome the incredible musical and dance performances to the stage. On Tuesday, The Brown Rice Family’s palpable energy filled the Amphitheater with their upbeat music which incorporates reggae, hip-hop, dancehall, afro-beat, and jazz stylings. They roused our campers to dance alongside their incredible rhythms and show off their cool dance moves. On Wednesday, we witnessed the wonders of CONTINUUM Contemporary Ballet as they showed us what it means to celebrate a spirit of dancemaking that is inspiring, collaborative, and progressive.  The week was closed out by Faculty from the Music department giving us a taste of tango, flamenco, classical, and even original music on a variety of instruments. We can’t wait to see what the next Festival Performance has in store.

See U next week.

Here’s Looking at U

Every newsletter, we will have a compilation video and collection of photos from the previous week. Scroll through and click on photos to enlarge.


#AMoreSustainableU: Sustainability Tips and Tricks

Our goal to make Usdan the place that we wish the world could be. With that in mind, we approach this summer with optimism and hope as we implement a few small changes which we think will have a big impact on our community, and, just maybe, through you—our camper families—on the world.

We are minimizing the physical documents we mail you; replacing trash bins with recycling bins on campus; going completely off the electrical grid across many of our studios. Along with this, we want to encourage Usdanites to be as mindful about the natural world on and off-campus. All summer, we are sharing Sustainability Tips & Tricks on our Green Sign that students can read as they enter the main campus every morning. 

Friday Inspiration: “The first thing I have learned is that you are never too small to make a difference.” – Greta Thunberg


Gearing Up: Merch Item of the Week 


Each week, we’ll be sharing with you a featured merch item from our store. This week, it’s Usdan PopSockets. You can order this and more at the Usdan shop online or at our Welcome Center.



Up Next: Upcoming Events and Programming

We’re kicking off our second week with a diverse array of musical and comedic pieces from distinguished artists and performers.

You’re always welcome to join us for a performance and backstage lunch. To arrange to attend the backstage lunch, contact us at RSVP@usdan.org at least 24 hours in advance.

The full event calendar can be found here. Next week’s performance schedule is below: 

Monday, July 8
Festival Guest Performance – The Knights
12:10 PM and 12:35 PM

Tuesday, July 9
Festival Guest Performance – Betty
12:10 PM and 12:35 PM

Wednesday, July 10
Festival Student Performance 
12:10 PM and 12:35 PM

Thursday, July 11
Festival Guest Performance – Lakou Mizik 
12:10 PM and 12:35 PM

Friday, July 12
Festival Performance – The Red Trouser Show
12:10 PM and 12:35 PM


Administration Corner

Join us for our The Sassafras Bash, our summer Gala, on July 25th. Dinner tickets are going fast, so get yours here. Children are welcome at the Gala dinner with a Gala ticket or are invited to The Seedling Shindig, a free party for kids of dinner attendees. 

We have an app now! Search and download “Usdan Summer Camp” from the Google or Apple App Store and have all important camp information right at your fingertips. 


Executive Director Lauren Brandt-Schloss is giving us a blast from the past with these polaroid photos. We love the vintage look of Lauren’s pics from this week. 


What Do U Think? Weekly Poll Question

What is your child’s goal for this summer? Tell us at tellus@usdan.org.