Russian Aesthetic Center Idea


Idea School - Training the Creative Mind

At "Idea", the Russian aesthetic center for children, the process of training the imagination occurs through games and creative assignments during our courses in Russian, art, and sculpture. Our school is located at 1550 Bath Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11228. Lessons run on Fridays (5-8 pm), Saturdays, and Sundays (from 10 am to 1 pm and from 1:30 pm to 4:30 pm). Our staff can be reached by phone: 917-325-4628 or by email: marinakorenfeld@gmail.com but first please Visit our FAQ section here.


Instructors

  • Tamara Sukhonos
  • Marina Korenfeld
  • Eli Bezimansky
  • Natalya Sukhonos

Summer Camp

In camp "Idea" our programs become more advanced and intense. Offering immersion that is not possible over the fragmented school year.

The wonderful natural surroundings, friendly company, and the ability to devote a greater amount of time to projects in art and sculpture enable children to become easily immersed in the atmosphere of creativity. The main events of our summers include games, Tamara's reading by the fireplace, strolls in the forest, Friendship Club with Natalya, competitions ('Mythological Creatures", "Historical Figures", "My favorite alien", "Best New Yorker", "Color Day", "Mister and Miss Idea", "Neptune Day", and many others), creative writing assignments with illustrations, unique birthday celebrations full of surprises, Russian Day, and, of course, our theatrical performance, the main event of the summer. Click for more info...

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School Breaks

During school vacation the students of the aesthetic center "Idea" have the opportunity to become seriously engaged in their favorite activities (we work from 10 am to 5 pm). Trips to museums, the Botanical Gardens, the zoo, drawing from life and the exploration of New York, the incredible city in which we live. Children play sports, watch and discuss movies and perform exercises in dance and theater. This program is both for fall and spring vacations.

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Mid Winter Recess

During the last ten years we've developed the wonderful tradition of taking our students abroad during the February break. We've conquered Prague and Rome, Barcelona and Berlin, Paris, Andalusia and Tuscany, and Lisbon.

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Tamara Sukhonos - Director & Language Instructor

Theater-director/ teacher, 25 years of experience

Education– Theater College, Dnepropetrovsk, Ukraine
Theater Institute, Kharkov, Ukraine

Performances directed at “Idea” – “Cinderella”, “The Dragon”, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, “The Snow Queen” adapted by Schwartz, “The Marriage” by Gogol, “The Adolescent” by Fonvizin, “Two Arrows” by Volodin, “The Little Prince” by Exupéry, Chekhov’s “Proposal”, etc.

Tamara uses her experience of theater directing only for educational purposes. She thinks that children will benefit from experimenting with all art forms. Nonetheless, it is detrimental to make them aspire to stardom and misuse their talent.

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Marina Korenfeld - Drawing & Painting

Printmaker, art teacher

Education- Odessa Theater Art College, Odessa, Ukraine
BFA School of Visual Arts, New York

Marina is a member of the Art Students’ League, New York. She won a Merit Scholarship. She has the unique capacity to constantly generate ideas and creative projects.

Marina believes that every person must be insatiably fascinated with herself, with other people, and with the world around her. She believes that you can uncover and explore the child’s inner world through her emotional involvement and interest in her own actions. And the best way to teach the child how to make use of this interest (in any of its potential aspects) is to help her develop an interest in art and art-making.

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Eli Bezimansky - Sculpture

Artist-Sculptor

Education - Moscow Art School, Russia
Fashion Institute of Technology, New York

Eli’s versatile projects range from mobile sculptures to landscaping. The creation of a Japanese pond with lilies, goldfish, and wild irises was a collaborative project which involved many teens at “Idea”. Eli’s other projects include chimes, the planting of trees (each bears the name of a camper at “Idea”), clay compositions, and the design of t-shirts and other household objects.

He is the art director for our plays and the costume designer of our plays and contests.

Eli thinks that that path to the development of the child’s inner world lies through artistic creation.

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Natalya Sukhonos - Creative Writing

Education- B. A., Yale University
Ph.D. Comparative Literature, Harvard University
Natalya speaks five languages and holds a Post-Doc at Stanford University.

In the summers, she teaches creative writing and Spanish and holds “Friendship Club” at “Idea”.

Natalya believes that education can and should be enjoyable. Her dissertation on play in modern literature explains that play can open up our abilities to understand the world and interact with it more fully. Natalya believes that, when children collaborate on an artistic project, this brings them closer than ordinary communication. For they’ve entrusted to each other their most sacred possession – their imagination. Participating in a play or in a dance, creating a group story or painting, children become co-conspirators and take pleasure from the fact that a rush of creativity can give rise to a small miracle on a blank sheet of paper or an empty stage.

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More Info

Camp "Idea" is located on 17 acres of forest, far away from the City's hustle and bustle. We have a pool, a volleyball field, vegetable and flower gardens, and a raspberry grove. Our comfortable house has seven bedrooms, a library, a living room, and a dining room.

Our morning begins with a mandatory set of physical exercises that lasts 45 minutes. Our classes and programs always run according to a predetermined and carefully constructed plan. On principle, we do away with Internet and TV and do not allow any electronic games or devices at camp .

Our goal at Camp "Idea" is very simple -- to breathe, to watch, to feel, to hear, to sense the nature all around us.

Aside from creating and maintaining a unique, friendly, and creative atmosphere, we direct our attention towards awakening and developing each child's creative nature. For this purpose, we've been creating all kinds of competitions and contests where children learn about teamwork and collective creativity. Some of our favorite competitions include "Day of Color", "Historical Figure", and "Storybook Character".

Some of our past performances include:

  • “Cinderella,”
  • “The Dragon,”
  • “The Emperor’s New Clothes,”
  • "The Marriage” by Gogol,
  • “The Adolescent” by Fonvizin,
  • “Two Arrows” by Volodin,
  • “The Little Prince” by Exupéry,
  • Chekhov’s “Proposal,”
  • "Snow Queen" Eugene Schwartz,
  • "Alice in Wonderland" Lewis Carroll.

Old or young, everyone participates in our plays; the participants are incredibly engaged in the performances, and exulted to be working on them together. After their stay at camp they return home filled with impressions and ideas, more mature, more active, and more curious.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much do the weekend classes cost?
A: 1 month of classes costs $200, which needs to be paid at the start. There is a 10% discount for the second child in the family ($180 for the month).

Q: How much does a week of camp cost?
A: $750.

Q: How long is each class?
A: Each class is three hours. This includes a class of Russian, followed by a break with educational games (it is recommended to bring a some food and drink in a lunch box), and class in art or sculpture.

Q: Do you need to bring your own paints and brushes to class?
A: No, but at the beginning of every school year, please bring $100, which covers all class materials.

Q: At what age can a child attend the center "Idea"?
A: Ideally, starting from 5 years of age.

Q: At what age can a child attend camp "Idea"?
A: This will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Q: As a student of "Idea", can you do without homework?
A: No.

Q: Does "Idea" hold prep sessions for getting into colleges and specialized high schools?
A: Yes, and with great success.

Q: How can you participate in a performance given by "Idea"?
A: You should attend the summer camp. Rehearsals take place over the course of 4 weeks.

Q: What is nutrition like at camp "Idea"?
A: We have home-cooked meals four times a day.

Q: Is there swimming at the camp?
A: Yes, we swim at the lake.

Q: How many children are there in each group?
A: Up to 10 kids.

Q: How often do the children memorize poetry at "Idea"?
A: Very frequently and on a regular basis.

Q: Are there authors to whom you resort on a regular basis? In other words, does "Idea" have a canon?
A: Yes, indeed. They are
L. Tolstoy
A. Pushkin
A. Chekhov
A. Green
A. Tarkovskiy
I. Bunin
L. Ulitzkaya
D. Kharms
K. Chukovskiy
B. Zakhoder
A. Usachev

We study Pushkin, at first his poetry, and then "The Queen of Spades", "The Shot", "The Captain's Daughter", "Eugene Onegin".
Anton Chekhov's "Kashtanka", "The Proposal", "The Bet".
Kuprin's "Barbos and Zhulka", "White Poodle", "Yu-yu"
Paustovsky's "The Old Chef", "Cat the Thief", "Warm Bread"
Leo Tolstoy's "Stories for Children". With the older group we've studied "War and Peace" for three years
Antoine de Saint Exupery's"The Little Prince"
Yanusz Korczak's "King Matt the First"
Sholom Aleichem's "Boy Mottle".

Q: Do you select your students based on talent? What if a child doesn't know how to draw?
A: No, we don't. All children are talented.

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