Audubon Arts

Audubon Arts     JUNE 26 - AUGUST 4, 2017 

This summer program for children and teens has been an NMS favorite for more than 30 years! Using creative dramatics as a cornerstone, participants enjoy a wide range of artistic activities designed to encourage self-expression and creativity, culminating in performances of one-of-a-kind musical theater shows!


“This program seems to have liberated my daughter’s creative energy like no music or art education in school ever has.”Dirk B.

Color Groups

Children participate in age-based groups, accompanied by warm and supportive counselors who work with the children throughout the day. Each group, which is identified by a distinct color, enjoys drama, dance, music, art, and movement each day, under the guidance of our experienced artistic staff.

Children are grouped by grade, as follows:

  • Blue and Teal: children currently in Kindergarten and Grade 1
  • Green and Lime: children currently in Grades 2 and 3
  • Yellow, Gold, and Orange: children currently in Grades 4, 5, and 6
  • Red: children currently in Grades 7 and 8
  • Black (known as Theatre Group): children currently in Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12

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Artistic Productions

At the end of each three-week session, each Color Group presents its own original musical theater production. Participants contribute ideas for plot, dialogue, and character, and they create sets, costumes, and props. Each session of Audubon Arts culminates in vibrant in-house performances, recitals, gallery showings and, for our Theatre Group, a full-length musical theater production! The 2017 Theatre Group will perform Seussical.

Daily Schedule

We begin each day together in the Recital Hall at NMS, where we all sing one of our traditional morning songs.  Participants then proceed to their one-hour Intensive (see below for more information about our Intensives). We all gather again for morning snack, and then each Color Group participates in music, drama, dance, movement, and visual arts, according to its daily schedule. Each Color Group also has the opportunity to go outside each day for free play. We all gather at lunch to eat together and enjoy a daily "open mic" concert, and we come together for the final time each day to sing one of our afternoon songs before dismissal.

Intensive Choices

In addition to daily dance, movement, music, visual arts, and drama, children participate for one hour each morning in their choice of one of the following special activities (“Intensives”):

Beginning Piano (Blue/Teal, Green/Lime)
The fundamentals of piano playing, introduced through small-group instruction.

Beginning Percussion (Blue/Teal, Green/Lime)
An exploration of a variety of percussion instruments from around the world.

Vocal Ensemble 1 (Blue/Teal)
Vocal Ensemble 2 (Green/Lime, Yellow/Gold/Orange)
Vocal Ensemble 3 (Red, Theatre)
A broad repertoire of songs, including standards, show tunes, and pop songs, performed as an ensemble.

Art 1 (Blue/Teal, Green/Lime)
Art 2 (Yellow/Gold/Orange)

Art 3 (Red, Theatre)
An exploration of various visual arts media and techniques. 

DoSo Music (Green/Lime, Yellow/Gold/Orange)
An opportunity to play and sing popular music from diverse cultures as a member of a band, including guitar, piano, and drums. Beginners are welcome.

Dance Ensemble (Yellow/Gold/Orange, Red, Theatre)
Improvisational movement and study of modern dance and tap techniques for those with prior dance study.

Intermediate Piano (Yellow/Gold/Orange, Red, Theatre)
Intermediate-level piano instruction for those who have completed two or more years of individual study.

Creative Writing (Red, Theatre)
An exploration of creative writing exercises and techniques.

Daily Dose of Fun!

We host "open mic" concerts at lunchtime each day in the Park of the Arts, right behind NMS, and family members are welcome to join us! These concerts feature Audubon Arts participants, staff, and special guests. All are welcome to share a talent!


Midweek, everyone looks forward to Wacky Wednesdays, when participants and staff come to Audubon Arts in madcap outfits and off-the-wall attire.


Your child’s summer experience at Audubon Arts will include songs, smiles, hugs, cheers, and much laughter!

Schedule and Fees

Full Session (6 weeks): June 26 - August 4
Session 1 (3 weeks): June 26 - July 14
Session 2 (3 weeks): July 17 - August 4
* Please note that we are closed on July 4.

Monday - Friday, 8:45 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
*Extended-care options are available on a drop-in basis before and after regular program hours. Please see below for hours and fees.

Program Fees for Blue/Teal, Green/Lime, Yellow/Gold/Orange, and Red Groups:
Full Session (6 weeks: June 26 - August 4): $2,025
Session 1 (3 weeks: June 26 - July 14):       $1,175
Session 2 (3 weeks: July 17 - August 4):     $1,220

Program Fee for Theatre Group:
Full Session Only (6 weeks: June 26 - August 4): $2,435

Extended-Care Hours and Fees:
Early Drop-Off: 8:15 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.: $5 per day
Extended Day: 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.: $20 per day

Family Discount
We offer 10 percent off Audubon Arts tuition for each additional family member who enrolls in Audubon Arts. The discount applies to the least expensive tuition(s).

Financial Aid
Charitable contributions allow us to offer limited financial aid to those who demonstrate a need. The amount of aid awarded is based on household income, family size, and financial obligations, and is limited by the availability of NMS resources. Financial aid does not pay for tuition in full. Applications are kept confidential and must be updated yearly. A financial aid deposit of $250 is required when an application is submitted. Reduced tuition deposits will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

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Counselor-in-Training Program

The Audubon Arts Counselor in Training (CIT) Program gives participants the opportunity to work with children, alongside counselors and artistic staff. Participants develop leadership and communication skills, while broadening their performing arts knowledge and general work experience.

This program is available to participants aged 17 who are ready to take on the leadership role of helping younger children enjoy all Audubon Arts activities. CITs must apply and interview before they may be accepted into the program.

Upon successful completion of the CIT program, participants will receive a certificate of completion and a written evaluation. Successful CITs will have first consideration before other applicants for employment the following summer.

CIT Fee: $500 for the full six-week session

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“Free-flowing creativity, performance, humor, discipline, esprit de corps, friends, fun, great mentors… What else could you really ask for?”– Parent

How to Register

2017 Priority Enrollment Periods:
January 18, 10:00 a.m.: Open enrollment for 2016 Audubon Arts participants
January 25, 10:00 a.m.: Open enrollment for currently enrolled NMS students
February 1, 10:00 a.m.: Open enrollment for all others

* Please note that you will need a customer account to complete your registration. If you have enrolled at NMS any time since June 2010, your account has already been set up and you should have been sent your personal login and password information. If you have questions, please contact

To register without applying for financial aid, please choose the appropriate group for your child based on your child's CURRENT grade:

  • Currently in Kindergarten or Grade 1: Blue/Teal (children may be placed in either group)
  • Currently in Grade 2 or 3: Green/Lime (children may be placed in either group) 
  • Currently in Grade 4, 5, or 6: Yellow/Gold/Orange (children may be placed in any one of the three groups)
  • Currently in Grade 7 or 8: Red
  • Currently in Grade 9, 10, 11, or 12: Theatre

To register with financial aid for any Color Group, please click here.


Click on the questions below for answers to questions you may have about Audubon Arts: 

When is the tuition due?

A: Full tuition is due by June 15. If tuition is not paid by this time, you may lose your place.

You're full!  How do I get on that waiting list?

A:  If the group/session you want is full, you may join the waiting list through the links above. There is no charge for joining the waiting list and we will contact you if a place opens up.

What is the teacher:child ratio?

A: Each Color Group has at least two counselors with them at all times, and each activity is led by at least one artistic specialist. For our Blue/Teal Groups, the adult:child ratio is around 1:4. For all other Color Groups, it is 1:5.

Will my 7-year-old be in the same group as her 9-year-old friend?

A:  Children are grouped by grade, so a 7-year-old and a 9-year-old will tend not to be in the same Color Group. However, there are activities where we combine groups or participate collectively, such as our lunchtime concerts, so children in different Color Groups are able to spend time together each day.

My child has allergies.  What is your snack / lunch policy?

A: We cannot guarantee an allergy-free environment, but we do strive to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our participants. Each family is asked to make us aware of any allergies or other health conditions. If you would like to discuss any health concerns with us, please contact us before the start of the program.
We maintain a strict nut-free policy, and we ask participants to refrain from sharing food. We also ask participants to wash hands thoroughly after eating and throughout the day.
Snacks: We provide morning snacks for all participants, including our traditional chocolate chip cookies once a week. An afternoon snack is provided for those who use the Extended Day option.
Lunch: Participants bring their own lunches from home. We store lunches in unrefrigerated bins, so please use a cold pack to keep food fresh.

What should my child bring to Audubon Arts each day?

A: Participants should bring the following:
  • Refillable water bottle
  • Nutritious lunch that does not require heating or refrigerating
  • Weather-appropriate clothing (children spend time outdoors daily and should dress accordingly)

What should my child wear?

A: We move a lot, both indoors and out, so comfortable clothing and sneakers are recommended.

When will you confirm that we have a place at Audubon Arts?

A: When you enroll, you will be able to see if your chosen session and group is available. If the group is full, you may enroll on the waiting list and we will contact you if a space opens up. Confirmation of enrollment will be sent via e-mail.

What is included in the tuition?

A: In addition to a fun-filled day of music, drama, dance, movement, and art instruction, tuition includes daily morning snack, an Audubon Arts t-shirt, and an introductory lesson voucher for the participant or a family member. Theatre Group participants also receive one pair of tickets to their show and a Theatre Group t-shirt.

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Please contact Audubon Arts Director Gillian Eversman at 203-624-5189 x 26 or for more information.


We are always looking for creative and energetic people who love children and the arts to join our Audubon Arts staff! Please contact Gillian Eversman for information regarding available positions for Summer 2017.

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“I loved it so much, I can’t wait to do it again next year!”
Sarah, Orange Group participant, age 11