In many ways, Manhattan is the cultural barometer of the U.S. — if not the world. From its world-class museums to the impressive roster of events at Central Park (and throughout the public park system), it seems there’s a critically acclaimed exhibition, show, or institution waiting around every corner. It makes sense, then, that the borough is also home to one of the country’s premier cultural and community centers: (do we need to write THE?) 92Y.
This nonprofit center “seeks to create, provide and disseminate programs of distinction that foster the physical and mental health of human beings throughout their lives, their educational and spiritual growth and their enjoyment.” If that sounds a bit general, it’s because the range of programs is so comprehensive. The center works within “the context of Jewish values and American pluralism,” yet also aims to serve people of all backgrounds and faiths. Luckily for residents of the Upper East Side at The Hayworth, 92Y is just a short walk from home.
No matter which stage of life you’re in, learning is the most effective way to continue growing and engaging with the world. If you want to exercise your creativity, consider taking a class through the 92Y Gilda and Henry Block School of the Arts. This top-notch arts program has something for every age and interest, including the School of Music, the Harkness Dance Center, and an Art Center that offers courses in ceramics, jewelry, fine art, and design. There is also a long list of creative classes geared toward young children, such as A Course of a Different Color, which promises a freewheeling exploration of paint, collage, sculpture, and printmaking for kids aged 5 to 7. There are classes for working with clay, stones, musical instruments, colored pencils, crochet needles, collage materials, and more. The more formal Continuing Education workshops also encompass a wide range of interests and needs, including Advanced Fiction and Advanced Poetry.
If taking a semester-long class sounds like too much of a time commitment for your schedule, attending an event may be a more realistic option. Talks, tours, and dance performances are just some of the happenings you will find during a typical week at 92Y. Hear Zadie Smith in conversation with Jennifer Egan or join with Toshi Reagon, Anna Deavere Smith, and Jacqueline Woodson in A Tribute to Ntozake Shange. The never-ending schedule of events is so dynamic that there’s sure to be something that will pique your interest.
Finally, spend a little time focusing on your health and wellness at the May Center, a state-of-the-art gym with a 75-foot indoor pool. The center also offers a team of nutrition and heart-health specialists ready to help you reach your goals. Sometimes, the best way to get over a fitness plateau is to surprise your body, and with more than 100 different workout classes, 92Y will...keep your body guessing? Keep your muscles on their toes?
With all these dynamic, high-quality programs aimed at boosting your physical, mental, and emotional health, it’s hard to imagine a better neighborhood team than The Hayworth and 92Y.