For over 45 years, The University of the Streets has played a vital role in the cultural, artistic, physical and emotional development of undeserved youth of the Lower East Side, while also providing an artistic haven for both aspiring and well known jazz musicians. Born out of the anti-poverty programs of the late 1960s, the U.O.T.S. began weekend jam sessions that featured some of the most revered jazz musicians in New York City.
“The University of the Streets is different from other ‘venues’ in NYC because its original focus centered around the idea of a program, where kids and teenagers in gangs could find an escape and a place to better themselves.” says Executive Director, Saadia Salahuddeen. Although UOTS has historically served the world-wide population of young adults, and will continue to do so, The Y.E.S. (Youth Encouragement Society) program will specifically target youth 8-19 years old. The Y.E.S. program is an outgrowth of UOTS’s rich history of community service in educational/cultural programming, and philanthropy. Its launch coincides with University of the Streets’ move to new headquarters at 2381 Belmont Avenue in the Bronx.
The non-profit offers will also offer structured classes that being January 18 and run the gamut from “The History of Hip Hop” , Zumba fitness and Yoga, to Life Drawing, Keyboard Lessons and ESL.
A Open House fundraiser gala is planned for January 9, 2016 from 2-5 PM. They are actively seeking young people to come and be enriched by all of their services. They also encourage members of the community to come and attend their Saturday night jam sessions. Check out the website at: www.universityofthestreets.org for the complete schedule, register and get more information or come by and visit or volunteer at 2381 Belmont Ave.
And most of all come welcome them to the Bronx!