CityGAP is an outdoor, NYC-based, experiential program for students 18-22. We engage with New York as a classroom, laboratory, studio and community, wrestling with urgent challenges facing the city. Our program is for young people who want to connect with the world, explore their passions, master life skills and do relevant work with a supportive group of peers.
CityGAP serves young people from around the world seeking a meaningful, creative, and collaborative experience outside in New York City. Our ideal participant is a young person who wants to do hands-on work with peers and expert partners on relevant challenges in the city. We partner with city officials, artists, policymakers, journalists, performers, activists and entrepreneurs. Participants work on both group and individual projects, producing a portfolio of original work in a variety of media.
Participants: 10-12 participants between ages 18-22
Program parameters: We meet outdoors, in-person three days a week, for 4-6 hours with breaks, and indoors or remotely two days a week for 2-4 hours twice a week. The rotation will be determined by the participants and program leaders, and subject to change due to partners’ schedules and the weather.
Example weekly schedule:
- in-person and in the field on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
- indoors/remote or independent work on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Program: We begin with two weeks of the “Form Follows Function” project, in which we explore the origins and organization of NYC, and learn to navigate and collaborate. We explore NYC’s street grid, transportation network and neighborhoods, architecture and monuments, and unique social geography, and look at the city through our “5 Living City Lenses.”
We then move into a Group Project designed with input from the participants. The final products, determined by the participants, may include: exhibitions, design projects, podcasts, videos and documentaries, model-making, public art projects, websites, op-eds, policy proposals, performance, walking tours, etc.
Individual participants will also engage in their own Personal Project on a topic they choose, in consultation with the program guides. The program will conclude with an online and/or in-person exhibition of work, including partners, parents and invited guests.
Cost and Session Information
Fall: September 13 - December 17, 2021
Spring: February 22-May 27, 2022
$8500 per semester
Financial aid available upon request
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I am deeply grateful for what CityGAP offered Julian, Pelumi, Mateo, their families, their friends, and the restaurant industry. I so appreciate how you structured CityGAP: highly collaborative, demanding but supportive, focused but loosely enough so that each student could explore a personal interest. It was very clear to me from last night's presentations that these students have emerged from CityGAP with increased confidence. The single subject mentality offered by high schools and colleges sets students up for a rocky transition into the messy, complex, and interwoven reality of the real world, where nothing starts or stops inside of discreet boxes; where everything has its tendrils. I have no doubt that what Mateo experienced over the past semester at CityGAP will serve him in countless ways as he navigates through college and life. - Justine S. (CityGAP parent)
My son participated in the CityGAP program last semester, and finding it was like a gift. What has made the current moment so difficult for some parents is that just when their kids most desperately needed something fulfilling and enriching to do, the majority of substantive gap programs shut down. Yet here was CityGAP, with a program that was COVID safe, intellectually engaging and socially rich. Having watched them pull this off, I was then tempted to ask, “Why hasn’t everyone been doing this?” I suspect it has to do with the fact that Meyers and Gallo each have decades’-worth of robust NYC contacts in the arts, city government and non-profit activism, and years’ experience putting them to educational use. The remaining piece, which they crafted superbly, was a protocol enabling groups to meet regularly all over the city without danger of infection. On consideration, perhaps nobody else coud have managed this. There is an additional attraction to CityGAP. One of the many dispiriting aspects of COVID is anxiety that the nation may not be able to recover economically, and a sense that there is nothing the average person can do about it. CityGAP features the very people in New York who are doing something: the activists, key city employees, the creators. I could not have guessed that my son would have had the opportunity to be exposed to their practical, optimistic efforts. As a proud New Yorker, I was especially thrilled. But I think that anyone can be excited about their child’s witnessing first-hand a great city meeting a great challenge. What CityGAP offered my son was vastly richer than a see-all-the-shows trip to New York; this is an invaluable trip into its indomitable soul. - David V.B. (CityGAP parent)