The 92nd Street Y is a hybrid institution with the attributes of both a performing arts center and a college. The Young Men's Hebrew Association was founded in 1874 to assist immigrants. In 1900 the Y opened at its East 92nd Street location. Thirty years later it was replaced with a larger structure that today is 375,000 square feet and includes a fitness facility and residence for young travelers. In October 2008, 92YTribeca opened on 200 Hudson Street as the 92nd Street Y's downtown art and entertainment venue.
Particularly impressive is the range of notable figures the Y is able to bring in to perform, lecture and speak. Architecture and archaeology, investment strategies, biodiversity, American foreign policy, dining out, personal growth, smoking cessation and language instruction are among the many subject areas explored. At the Poetry Center, readings have been given by Nobel Prize-winners Toni Morrison and Derek Walcott, and authors Margaret Atwood, Salman Rushdie, Norman Mailer, Mavis Gallant, Anthony Hecht, Mario Vargas Llosa, Tracy Kidder, Galway Kinnell and Terrence McNally. The center also conducts writing workshops.
The concert series includes performances of orchestral and chamber music, jazz piano and young concert artists. A range of courses in the arts is offered through its School of Music, the Dance Center and the Arts Center. There are also many activities on Jewish culture and religious life, in addition to celebrations of Jewish holidays.
Programs for Seniors
The senior center at the 92nd Street Y, called 60+, is heavily subsidized and offers many classes. An annual membership costs $395. Its members can purchase discount tickets to some 92Y events.
The 92nd Street Y Harkness Dance Center is a dance education program for young dancers of all levels. The center's Young Masters' Program offers more serious students the opportunity to take two to three classes a week and perform with the Y Repertory Ensemble. 92Y Art Center offers numerous fine arts classes for children ages 3 to 17. The Young Artists' Program provides serious music students ages 8 to 18 with private instruction, music theory classes and performance experience. 92Y School of Music offers a broad selection of music programs, including the Y Children's Chorale and lessons in violin (Suzuki technique), piano, voice, guitar and computer music. Additional classes and programs available are Sunday Science Spectacular, a series of participatory seminars for parents and children exploring paleontology, chemistry, entomology, animal studies and more; Camp Yaffa for the Arts, an arts-based summer day camp; Arts and Recreation for Children with Special Needs, an after-school program; and a program of Shabbat (Jewish Sabbath) activities on Saturdays for families with young children. Call for a program catalog.
Musical Introduction Series and Dance Introduction Series: These programs bring chamber music to children in kindergarten to grade 3 and dance to children in grades 4 to 6. Through professional development programs, in-school visits by teaching artists, curriculum materials and a concert, a connection between music and dance is established.
Schools Partnership Program: A multidisciplinary program featuring year-long residencies by artists in music, visual art, drama and dance, along with special performances both at the Y and in school. Talented students have an opportunity to participate in the Afterschool Scholarship Program for study in music, visual art or dance at the Y's School of the Arts.
Programs for Teachers
Dance Education Laboratory (DEL): The Harkness Dance Center offers a two-year training program for dance educators for which credit can be arranged through SUNY Empire State College. DEL is an interactive laboratory serving dance teachers and specialists, classroom teachers with an interest or background in movement and professional dancers moving into the teaching profession.