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.
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 $500. Its members can purchase discount tickets to some 92Y events.