From the original brochure: “Audubon Arts ‘84 is a five week arts program for children 5-12 featuring music, drama, and the visual arts. The program provides an interdisciplinary approach to the arts that stresses student self-expression. Each student will participate in a wide range of music, art, drama and recreation activities designed to encourage exploration and creativity…. Students will devise a theatrical project that will be performed at the end of the five weeks. Audubon Arts ‘84 is an introduction to the arts that will provide the student with a foundation for further artistic growth and exploration.”

The first summer was led by Robert Eberle (later, he became the Executive Director of Neighborhood Music School), Hope Hartup, and Bill Brown, assisted by teachers from NMS and Creative Arts Workshop, and classes met in both buildings. Four decades have passed, and through it all, this beloved summer program continues to grow and thrive.

The magic of Audubon Arts lies in the imaginative creativity of the participants and staff who spend their summers here, and we look forward to celebrating together on July 13 from 12:00-6:00 pm!

Join us for our
Showcase of Summers: Celebrating 40 Years of Audubon Arts!



Color GroupsArtistic ProductionsDaily ScheduleFeesHow to Enroll

Color Groups

Children in grades K-12 participate in age-based groups, accompanied by warm and supportive counselors who work with the children throughout the day. Enjoying activities designed to encourage self-expression and creativity, each group has drama, dance, music, art, movement, and outside time every day. Under the guidance of our experienced artistic staff, their work culminates in performances of one-of-a-kind musical theatre shows!

For Summer 2024, we will have 8 groups, named after colors (Violet, Blue, Teal, Green, Yellow, Orange, Red); our oldest participants
(8th-12th grades) are called the Theatre Group. 

The Theatre Group has an Onstage track and an Offstage track! Both work together for most of each day, and will have time to work independently within their tracks.
  • Onstage: Participants who wish to act, sing, and dance in front of an audience will sign up for the Onstage track. Between auditions, rehearsals, and dress run throughs, all 6 weeks are necessary, so the Onstage track is a Full Session option only.
  • Offstage: Participants who wish to work behind the scenes on the technical aspects of the production (costumes, props, set, light, sound, front of house) will sign up for the Offstage track. There is much to do - creating plans and designs, building all elements, and running the show - so participants can choose to attend either Session 1, Session 2, or the Full 6-week session.

Artistic Productions

Over the course of a three-week session, each group (Violet, Blue, Teal, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red) creates its own original musical theatre production. Participants contribute ideas for plot, dialogue, and characters, and they create the sets, costumes, and props. Each session of Audubon Arts culminates in vibrant in-house Color Group performances.

This year, our Theatre Group will present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee* in a unique setting - the stage at New Haven Academy!

Daily Schedule

We begin each day together for a program-wide morning check-in, when we all sing one of our traditional morning songs. Each Color Group then heads to their “den” where they have a morning meeting and discussion time. Next comes music, drama, dance, creative intensives, workshop, and visual arts, according to our daily schedule. Everyone has an opportunity to go outside each day for free play. Midday, all groups gather outside for lunch, then enjoy a daily “open mic” concert together, and we rejoin at the end of each day to sing one of our afternoon songs before dismissal.


  • Session 1 (3 weeks): June 24 - July 12
  • Session 2 (3 weeks): July 15 - August 2
  • Full Session (6 weeks): June 24 - August 2
    • Please note that we are closed on Thursday, July 4 in observance of Independence Day.


  • Monday-Friday, 9:00 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.

Daily Dose of Fun!

Every day, participants are busy working together with their friends and our caring, supportive, and talented staff to create unique shows with drama, dance, music, and art. Our Lunchtime Concerts are held outdoors in the Park of the Arts, right behind NMS, and feature Audubon Arts participants, staff, and special guests. All are welcome to share a talent! Midweek, everyone looks forward to Wacky Wednesdays, when kids and adults come to Audubon Arts in madcap outfits and off-the-wall attire. Your child’s summer experience at Audubon Arts will include many songs, smiles, cheers, and much laughter!

Health Measures

The safety and good health of our participants and staff is our top concern. We will follow all current NMS Covid Guidelines, which are regularly updated in response to current public health guidance. You can find our current guidelines here.


Please contact Audubon Arts Director Anne Tubis at 203-624-5189 x 31 or atubis@nmsnewhaven.org for more information.

Hours and Fees

Program Fees for All Groups:

  • Session 1 (3 weeks, June 24 - July 12):                     $1,350
  • Session 2 (3 weeks, July 15 - August 2):                   $1,416
  • Full Session (6 weeks, June 24 - August 2):            $2,490
    • 6-week rate is 10% less than the combined fees of Sessions 1 & 2!

Regular Program Hours for All Groups:

  • Monday-Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

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

Sibling Discount:

We offer 5% off Audubon Arts tuition when a family registers two or more siblings.

Deposit and Payment Plan:

A $300 deposit is due at the time of enrollment, with the remaining payments due in installments (February 15, March 15 and April 15). A modest 3% finance charge is applied to all payment plans at NMS. If you choose to pay in full at the time of enrollment, there is no finance charge.

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 annually. To apply for financial aid, please first enroll your child in the appropriate group, then contact Audubon Arts Director Anne Tubis at 203-624-5189 x31 or atubis@nmsnewhaven.org for the financial aid application.

Waiting List:

If your preferred session or group is full when you try to enroll, place your child on the waiting list. This helps us determine if new groups can be opened. There is no cost or obligation, and when spots become available, we will offer them to those on the waiting list in the order in which they joined.

Refund Policy for Audubon Arts

The required deposit of $300 and all other tuition fees paid are fully refundable through April 30. All fees minus the $300 deposit are refundable through May 14. All fees become fully non-refundable and non-transferable after May 14.

How to Enroll

2024 Priority Enrollment Periods:

  • January 10, 10:00 a.m.: Priority for those enrolled in Summer 2023 and siblings
  • January 17, 10:00 a.m.: Priority for currently enrolled NMS students and siblings
  • January 24, 10:00 a.m.: Open enrollment for everyone

Enroll into Current Grade:

  • Grades K-5 – children currently in Kindergarten and Grades 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5
  • Grades 6-8 – children currently in Grades 6, 7, and 8
  • Grades 9-12 – children currently in Grades 9, 10, 11, and 12


Music & Lyrics by
William Finn

Book By
Rachel Sheinkin

Conceived by
Rebecca Feldman

Additional Material by
Jay Reiss

Originally Directed on Broadway by James Lapine

Originally produced on Broadway by
David Stone, James L. Nederlander, Barbara Whitman, Patrick Catullo
Barrington Stage Company, Second Stage Theatre