What’s New With U? – Week 6

What’s Inside

What’s New With U? – Week Six

It’s Week 6 and we said “Good Morning, Good Morning” to a full week of theater performances, music moments, fashion shows, film festivals, and more.

On Monday, Jazz musician Grace Kelly wowed us with her colorful look and energetic music. Mother Nature took Usdan Troupe’s Singin’ in the Rain medley quite literally with the unexpected drizzle outside the Amphitheater. Our Wednesday Festival transported us to the arcade, as International Contemporary Ensemble (ICE) and the Contemporary Classical Chamber Ensemble debuted their innovative collaboration, featuring sounds from our Video Game and Design students. On Thursday, the Amphitheater stage transformed into a fierce runway when Sewing and Fashion students got to strut their sartorial stuff. Trés chic! Then, on Friday, the Senior Instrumental Ensembles played us into the weekend.  

Around campus, things were bustling, too! We ‘wuved’ the adorable cast of Doo-Wop Wed Widinghood and danced the morning away in the Discovery Open Dance classes. We snagged front-row seats to the Animation classes’ Junior and Senior Film Festivals and strolled through the Art Open Studios.

Two special guests also joined us on campus this week:

John Sabraw, an artist who paints with pollution (see more below), showed Usdan’s young artists and scientists how to mix his special pigments into paint.

And, Meredith O’Connor, viral music sensation and anti-bullying spokesperson, met with our Leadership Institute. A native of Long Island, Meredith shared her personal stories in the hopes of empowering young leaders here at Usdan. Broadway World talked about her visit here.

See U next week — the final one of the 2019 season.

Here’s Looking at U

This week, we asked Usdan campers “What does Usdan look like to U?” If pictures could speak a thousand words, they had plenty to say! Thank you to all the student photographers who contributed to this week’s newsletter:

Andrew G.
Ben S.
Bradley Z.
Christina P.
Esti R.
Jake B.
Julia F.
Maddie D.
Nydia T.
Sadie G.
Sara R.
Riya D.
Vassilia S.

Summer Learning #Goals

Take a look inside the Usdan classroom to see how our teachers and staff are collaborating with students and what their summer goals are. For this week’s segment, we asked Andre Feliciano, Usdan Artist and Sustainable Design instructor to weigh in.

Andre’s guiding question for the summer is:

“How can I impart themes of sustainability and creativity on my students that they will carry with them even after the summer?”

Andre aimed to explore themes of sustainability with his students through projects that involved using resources already at their disposal rather than creating more waste, such as the colorful art they created of old cardboard and packaging. They even built an enormous solar BBQ structure that they used to pop popcorn and bake pizza. Yum!

Additionally, projects like the rainwater collector they built in Organic Gardening helped his students understand that creating sustainable art is not just about using sustainable items, but helping the environment and nature itself. Andre says, “In a garden, we harvest tomatoes, lettuce, and other produce. In our class, we can harvest electricity from a hammock swing or the unique vibrations of musical instruments.”

Andre hopes his students understand we can use energy from our environment without actually harming nature itself, “We have the capacity to use energy organically to create sustainable art.”

#AMoreSustainableU: Sustainability Tips and Tricks

Artist and activist John Sabraw collaborates with scientists and environmentalists to find solutions to issues of sustainability. On Monday, John met with Usdan art students to talk about his work cleaning up acid mine drainage in Ohio. Partnering with engineers, he extracts iron from the polluted water to create pigments that are then turned into paint. Learn more about his work here.

Since not everyone can transform pollution into paint or make treasures from trash, here are five sustainable tips and tricks from sustainability advocate, Andre Feliciano:

  1. Eat less red meat and more vegetables. Did you know that approximately 1,800 gallons of water to produce just 1 pound of meat? Along with that, livestock production creates more greenhouse gases than all the cars, trucks, planes, and trains in the world. Even eating vegetarian one day a week can make a huge difference.
  2. Ride your bike more! Cycling uses minimal fossil fuels and is a pollution-free mode of transport.
  3. Be nice to others and think collectively. Work with your community to create more eco-friendly spaces and educate those who might not know about living sustainably.
  4. Create projects with a long-term mentality instead of short-term. Think about how the art you create and the objects you use to create will make a positive, lasting impact.
  5. Smile at your teachers. That generates a lot of positive energy.

Finally, here’s bit of inspiration take us into the weekend:

“The earth has music for those who listen.”- William Shakespeare

Gearing Up: Merch Item of the Week

This week’s merch item is the Usdan baseball cap.

Whether you prefer a simple style or a more colorful one, these hats will shade you on the sunniest campus days.

You can snag one of these caps for $12, and find more merch at the Usdan shop online or at our Welcome Center.

Up Next: Upcoming Events and Programming

Can you believe there’s only one week of camp left?

It’s been an incredible summer, full of creativity, fun, and learning, and friendship. Next week will be the culmination of all their hard work.

As always: You’re invited to join us for a performance and backstage lunch. Just contact us at RSVP@usdan.org at least 24 hours in advance to reserve your place. (If you plan to be on campus past 1:30 p.m. to experience all these exciting performances, we ask that you please do not park in the bus field.)

The full event calendar, including in-studio showings, demonstrations, and tournaments can be found here. Festival Performances are recorded and can be found on our YouTube page. Next week’s schedule is:

Monday, August 12
Festival Student Performance – Music
12:10 p.m.
M17 Traditional Classical Chamber
M14 Traditional Classical Chamber Select Students
12:35 p.m. 
M8 Traditional Classical Chamber
M4 Traditional Classical Chamber

In-Theater Performances
Singin’ in the Rain – Troupe at 10:30 a.m. &  1:30 p.m.

Tuesday, August 13
Festival Student Performance – Dance
12:10 p.m.
Sr. Dance Ensemble Major
Jr. Contemporary Major
Jr. Dance Adventure Major
Jr. Hip-Hop Minor Periods 1 & 2
Jr. Broadway Jazz Dance Minor

12:35 p.m.

Sr. Dance Ensemble Major
Sr. Advanced Contemporary Major
Sr. Hip-Hop Minor Periods 3 & 4
Sr. Broadway Jazz Intermediate Minor Period 4

In-Studio Readings and Performances
Jr. Creative Writing Minor Period 1 at 10:00 a.m.
Jr. Performance Poetry & Podcasting Period 2 at 11:05 a.m.
Sr. Creative Writing Minor Period 3 at 1:15 p.m.
Sr. Creative Writing Minor Period 4 at 2:15 p.m.

Jr. Chamber Ensembles at 1:30 p.m.
Jr. Brass Sectionals M10 – Periods 3 & 4
Jr. Chamber Ensemble M3 – Period 4
Jr. Upper Strings Sectional M17 – Period 4
Jr. Chamber Ensemble M29 – Period 3
Jr. Chamber Ensemble M2 – Period 3
Jr. Lower Strings Sectionals M8 – Periods 3 & 4
Jr. Woodwinds Sectionals M18 – Periods 3 & 4
Jr. Chamber Ensembles M4 – Periods 3 & 4

Wednesday, August 14
Festival Guest Performance – Dorrance Dance
12:10 p.m. and 12:35 p.m.
In-Theater Performances
Dracula – Drama Lab at 10:30 a.m. & 1:30 p.m.

Student-Only Events 
1:15 p.m.

Junior Parade
Senior Carnival

Thursday, August 15
Festival Student Performance 
Discovery at 11:00 a.m.
Jr. Vocal Ensemble at 12:10 p.m.
Sr. Vocal Ensemble at 12:35 p.m.

In-Studio Showings and Performances
Jr. Beginner Ballet Minor/Recreation Period 1 at 10:00 a.m.
Jr. Dance Adventure Minor/Recreation Period 1 at 10:00 a.m.
Jr. Hip-Hop Minor/Recreation Period 1 at 10:00 a.m.
Jr. West African Fusion Minor/Recreation Period 2 at 11:05 a.m.
Jr. Tap II Minor/Recreation Period 2 at 11:05 a.m.
Jr. Tap I Minor/Recreation Period 2 at 11:05 a.m.
Jr. Hip-Hop Minor/Recreation Period 2 at 11:05 a.m.
Sr. Intermediate Tap Minor/Recreation Period 3 at 1:15 p.m.
Sr. Beginner Broadway Jazz Period 3 at 1:15 p.m.
Sr. West African Fusion Minor/Recreation Period 3 at 1:15 p.m.
Sr. Hip-Hop Minor/Recreation Period 3 at 1:15 p.m.
Sr. Modern/Contemporary Minor/Recreation Period 3 at 1:15 p.m.
Sr. Modern/Contemporary Minor/Recreation Period 4 at 2:15 p.m.
Sr. Beginner Tap Period 4 at 2:15 p.m.
Sr. Hip-Hop Minor/Recreation Period 4 at 2:15 p.m.

Jr. Advanced Beginner Piano Minor at 10:00 a.m.
Silent Film Orchestra at 10:30 a.m.
Jr. Absolute Beginner Piano at 11:05 a.m.
Sr. Advanced Beginner Piano Minor at 1:15 p.m.
Guitar & Songwriting at 1:15 p.m.
Absolute Beginner Ukulele at 2:15 p.m.
Sr. Absolute Beginner Piano Minor at 2:15 p.m.

Matinee Idols Showcase
Seniors 10:30 a.m.
Juniors 1:30 p.m.

Friday, August 16
Festival Student Performance –  Closing Ceremony
12:10 p.m
In-Theater Performance
DIY Theater at 10:30 a.m. 

Administration Corner

Socialize with Usdan

Usdan is all about fun-making, friend-making, and freedom-making. We want you to keep in touch with us as this happens every single day. A day at Usdan involves everything from gorgeous greenery, spectacular learning, creative thinking, delicious ice cream, and so much more.

You can find all this content on our Instagram page and YouTube channel. Follow our Instagram for daily content, and subscribe to our YouTube to get notifications when we upload Festival Performances and weekly recap videos.

Sign up for next summer

We can’t believe that the summer is coming to an end!

If you’re already excited about the prospect of joining us next year and want to ensure your child gets their top class picks, join our Return2U program and pre-register now for the 2020 season.

Between today and the last day of our 2019 season (August 16), you can sign up for Return2U and receive 2019 rates and other perks. Additionally, if you pre-register before August 15 for 7- and 3-week campers, your child can ring our end of the session gong (a high honor around here). You must enroll in the same session length or longer than in 2019. Return2U closes at 11:59 p.m. on August 16, so don’t miss out.

There’s an app for that!

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.

What Do U Think? Weekly Poll Question

This week, we asked campers: How would U describe Usdan? Tell us at tellus@usdan.org.

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