Poly Prep inaugurates the arts center

A rendering of the Center for the Arts. Rendered courtesy of Poly Prep

DIKER HEIGHTS — Poly Prep Country Day School, Brooklyn’s largest independent coeducational day school, officially opened a $12 million arts center. The project, originally launched in 2012, is now officially underway to add 10,000 square feet of rehearsal, exhibition and teaching space to its Dyker Heights campus.

The event began with a special performance by students and special guest artist and alumnus, Douglas Jabara ’84.

Speakers included Audrius Barzdukas, School Principal, Dan Dougherty, Director of Music, Laura Coppola, Charles and Valerie Diker Chair of Visual Arts.

The revolutionary. Photo courtesy of Poly Prep

The audience at the grand opening included the Poly community, students, and special guest actor Paul Rudd, who is best known for his role as Scott Lang in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Also known for his roles in ‘Role Models’, ‘I Love You, Man’ and ‘Dinner for Schmucks’.

The construction of the Center for the Arts expands Poly Preps’ mission and provides facilities that match its innovative programs in music, dance, theater, drawing, painting, ceramics and digital arts. This expansion will allow Poly Prep to deepen its long-standing relationships with community partners and local arts organizations, including the Brooklyn Museum and the Elizabeth Streb Dance Company, as well as with individual guest artists who serve residencies and participate in master classes.

The revolutionary. Photo courtesy of Poly Prep

Poly Prep’s Music Director explains, “Poly’s Arts Partnership Program gives our students the opportunity to experience the creative process through artist visits, performances, hands-on learning, collaborations, and more. We are proud of our long-term partnerships with the Brooklyn Museum, choreographer Elizabeth Streb and the Cora Dance company. Additionally, we are thrilled to announce a new collaboration with acclaimed muralist and Poly Parent Lee Qiuñones, who will be working with our Advanced Drawing class this spring.

The new Arts Center increases the capacity of our programs. It elevates the Poly’s Arts Center to the highest level, offering large rehearsal spaces and the first-ever professional-level gallery to exhibit student works and pieces on loan from galleries and museums.

Poly Prep has already raised some $10 million for the project through the generosity of key stakeholders and donors in the Poly Prep community. She is seeking an additional $2 million to complete the project for the 2023-24 academic year.

William E. Bennett