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Learn about the creative force that drives New York kids to give up their summer vacations for four weeks of intensive work and study. Read more

Albany, NY Documentary
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This project was successfully funded on June 12, 2014.

Learn about the creative force that drives New York kids to give up their summer vacations for four weeks of intensive work and study.

Albany, NY Documentary
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Paul Larson
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Paul Larson

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About this project

"My music teacher tells me that NYSSSA changes people. So I'm hoping if I do make it, it will change me immensely." - Lucas Orozco, auditioning choral student 

Mountain Lake PBS is proud to partner with the New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA) to celebrate young people who have their ambitions aimed at a career in the arts. 

We'd like to produce a short documentary about the summer school. NYSSSA is a 45 year old program of the New York State Education Department that operates 4-week residential programs in ballet, choral studies, dance, media arts, orchestral studies, theatre and visual arts, for approximately 425 of the state’s most talented youths. The schools provide intensive training in an environment where students experience the rigorous discipline of the daily life of a professional artist. 

Interview with NYC Ballet Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht, School of Ballet Artistic Director
Interview with NYC Ballet Principal Dancer Daniel Ulbricht, School of Ballet Artistic Director

"I'm a product of scholarships all my life... You have people who are driven to pursue their dreams, and you have an organization that is able to make them so accessible." - Daniel Ulbricht, School of Ballet Artistic Director 

The program is open to all high school age students who qualify, and no student who qualifies is denied NYSSSA’s opportunities because they cannot afford them. NYSSSA represents the wide spectrum of cultural, ethnic, social, and economic diversity that is New York State. 

New York Youth: Creative Summer is a short documentary that will follow students from audition through performance during their journey at NYSSSA. These talented teens represent the future of the Arts. You'll see their dedication, determination and drive. Some of the students come from rural areas where working with top professionals in the arts would not otherwise be an option for them.

Students auditioning for Ballet:  Morgan McDaniel and Darcy McLoughlin, with producer Paul Larson.  Photo by Daniel McCullum
Students auditioning for Ballet: Morgan McDaniel and Darcy McLoughlin, with producer Paul Larson. Photo by Daniel McCullum

Production on the show has already begun! Mountain Lake PBS cameras captured many of the NYSSSA auditions this past winter for some brief TV stories, but that does not guarantee the project will move forward. We need your help as we are seeking to fund the full project. No gift is too small to make this documentary a reality. Because a regional PBS station is shooting and editing the program, every gift is tax deductable and comes with fabulous perks.

You will be inspired by their discovery and growth as artists and as young adults.  You will become a part of the special community known as NYSSSA and learn why this program has been a life-changing experience for over 20,000 students for nearly a half- century!

Lauren Schrempp auditioning for Orchestral Studies.  Photo by Paul Larson
Lauren Schrempp auditioning for Orchestral Studies. Photo by Paul Larson

Risks and challenges

Any documentary faces significant challenges, and our biggest challenge to this documentary is raising the initial funds. Fact is, if this campaign is not successful, this film will not be made.

If we are successful in this campaign, we're confident this film will be great. While things don't always go as planned, the folks at both NYSSSA and Mountain Lake PBS are passionate professionals, capable of creating a stellar product.

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FAQ

  • PBS is NOT producing the film. Mountain Lake PBS is an independently licensed local TV station in Plattsburgh NY. We are a small group of talented media makers more akin to a independent production company than a large network. The greatest source of our funding comes from the local community and we only receive a small percentage of operating capital from the government and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. To produce truly local projects like this we need the support of the broader community. That's where you come in.

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  • Not exactly. We'd like to make efforts to ensure state officials will see the program, so that NYSSSA can continue to be a priority of the State Education Department and serve future generations of New Yorkers. We're also hoping to reach out to parents, families and educators who may not yet be aware of the wonderful opportunities NYSSSA offers. We want to make sure that every talented teen and dedicated teacher in the State know about this program.

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  • Ask any NYSSSA Alum, faculty or staff member- NYSSSA is NOT Camp! These special students work daily for 4 weeks, often 12 hours a day perfecting their art. We want to show the dedication, determination and drive that is so unique to this summer school. NYSSSA is ultimately about the people. We want viewers to experience the amazing artists from the New York City Ballet, Philadelphia Orchestra and other leading arts organizations that give their time, talents and support to these incredible students. This is a rare glimpse to see firsthand these students flourishing in a community of like-minded peers and mentors.

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Rewards

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    15 backers

    Your name on our website with gratitude!

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    13 backers

    NYSSSA Car Decal (plus the above)

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    40 backers

    A DVD of the film with bonus footage (plus all the above)

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    18 backers

    An exclusive project poster (plus all the above)

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    9 backers

    A personalized thank you and signed project poster (plus all the above)

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    12 backers

    Your name in the credit roll with Special Thanks (plus all the above)

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    4 backers All gone!

    A signed copy of former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Jenifer Ringer's new book, "Dancing Through It, My Journey in the Ballet". (includes DVD)

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    1 backer All gone!

    A signed copy of former New York City Ballet Principal Dancer Jenifer Ringer's new book, "Dancing Through It, My Journey in the Ballet" plus a private tour of the National Museum of Dance for 4 (includes DVD).

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    1 backer

    Credit as Honorary Associate Producer and Special Personal Thank You! (Includes DVD)

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    Pledge $1,000 or more

    0 backers Limited (1 left of 1)

    Phantom of the Opera Experience- 2 Orchestra Tickets to Phantom of the Opera on Broadway (subject to availability and limitations) and Phantom of the Opera Poster signed by select current Broadway Cast Members (includes DVD)

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    NYC Ballet Experience! Courtesy of Daniel Ulbricht, NYC Ballet Principal Dancer and NYSSSA School of Ballet Artistic Director: 2 tickets to a NYCB performance at Lincoln Center during the 2014-2015 season (subject to availability and excluding gala events and Nutcracker) a private tour of the NYC Ballet's theatre at Lincoln Center and signed pointe shoes from a NYC Ballet Artist! (Includes DVD)

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    0 backers Limited (5 left of 5)

    Associate producer status and personal tour of the NYSSSA School of your choice during the Summer 2014 or 2015 (includes DVD).

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Funding period

- (30 days)