The New School Celebrates 100 Years of New

The New School, a long-standing Union Square institution, reaches an incredible milestone this year - 100 years of being a center for scholars, artists, and activists in New York City. To mark this occasion, they’ve programmed a year-long schedule of events, exhibits, and programs that will culminate in a week-long Festival of the NEW in October. More information about The New School's legacy can be found here, and further details about the Festival are below.

For 100 years, The New School has been a dynamic center for scholars, artists, and activists in Union Square and beyond. Today, the university begins a year-long celebration honoring its legacy of academic freedom, tolerance and free intellectual exchange, as it looks ahead to the next century. Throughout 2019, The New School will invite the public to join in commemorating the university’s distinctive academic and cultural contributions through a compelling array of programs, exhibitions, and musical performances.

“A century ago, The New School’s founders were among the first to recognize that contemporary higher education must have a global perspective. Our academic vision is more vital and relevant than ever in the 21st Century, where political, economic and cultural discourse take place on a global scale,” said David E. Van Zandt, president of The New School. “As we mark the university’s Centennial, we have much to be proud of and much to build on. The New School is an extraordinary university, a community ready for any challenge, because of the people who choose to learn, teach, and work here.”

Since its inception The New School has been an active and engaged community partner, and Union Square Partnership is proud to work alongside the university in efforts to better our community. Not only is The New School an engaged sponsor of Harvest in the Square which supports our work in the district, but The New School students are involved in a number of USP’s community programs. You’ll find The New School student jazz trio providing live entertainment at USP’s Annual Meeting + Networking Reception as well as every summer Thursday at Summer in the Square.

“The New School’s long history is entwined with our organization,” said Union Square Partnership Executive Director Jennifer Falk. “The University helped lead the renaissance of our community and the creation of New York City’s first Business Improvement District over four decades ago.”

The New School’s administration has continued the civic work that begun with former New School President Dr. John Everett, a founding Union Square Partnership board member. Read on for a testimonial on Dr. Everett’s impact on the Union Square community, written in by former Vice President for Development for the New School Albert Landa, in 1996 at the 20th anniversary celebration of USP.

“When Jack Everett became president of the New School in 1964, he recognized that its far-reaching influence as an educational pioneer and forum for new ideas was to a large degree due to its location in the Greenwich Village-Union Square area. Not only did it offer the best access to mass transit for potential students, more importantly it was a hothouse of new political, social, and artistic ideas, many of which were reflected in the university’s courses and taught by distinguished scholars, writers and artists who lived near the New School’s two interconnected buildings on 11th and 12th Streets between 5th and 6th Avenues (which then comprised its entire physical plant). Everett understood that this rare synergy between ‘town and gown’ could be the foundation of a relationship that met both institutional and community needs.

A 12th Street resident and inveterate neighborhood browser, he encouraged the development of close relationships with local civic groups that underscored their mutual interests. As a result, it was no surprise when Jack Everett and the New School responded with enthusiasm two decades ago to Charles Luce’s proposal that Con Edison and the New School partner the development of a new community-wide organization to lead a renaissance of the Union Square-14th Street area. That organization, first known as ‘Sweet 14,’ became the 14th Street-Union Square Local Development Corporation which in turn created the first business improvement district in New York City. Reflecting the combination of concerns and values one might expect of an organization combining business, higher education, health and social service organizations, and community activists, the LDC has established a new standard of civic leadership by achieving community renewal and development while maintaining a humane and democratic environment.”

For more testimonials on USP’s 20th anniversary, click here.

In the fall, the Centennial celebration will culminate in a week-long, interactive Festival of NEW, conceived and designed by The New School community. The university will open its doors to the public for performances, workshops, talks and exhibitions, bringing together the rich academic and cultural offerings to imagine what’s possible in the next 100 years. The vibrant programming will explore the concept of the “new”— what it has meant historically, what it means today, and how it may influence the future. The Festival of NEW will run from October 1 - 6, 2019. These and other Centennial events, milestones, and activities will be shared on The New School FacebookTwitter, and Instagram accounts. Join in with the hashtag #100YearsNew.