Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

Ashokan Center Inc.

Where Nature Inspires

aka Ashokan Center

Olivebridge, NY


Our mission is to teach, inspire and build community through shared experiences in nature, history, music and art.

Ruling Year



Mr. Jay Ungar


Ms. Molly Mason

Main Address

477 Beaverkill Road

Olivebridge, NY 12461 USA


Nature, Community, Environment, Environmental Education, Art, Music, Dance, Stewardship, Schools, Families, Place-based, Education, Citizen Science, Water, History, Environment, Conservation





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Environmental Education and Outdoor Survival Programs (C60)

Arts, Cultural Organizations - Multipurpose (A20)

Water Resource, Wetlands Conservation and Management (C32)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve New!

People often are disconnected from nature, even the source of basic life needs of food and water, and how their actions have an impact on the world we share. Children from urban areas may never have seen the stars. Mechanical noise over shouts the sound of bird song and water. A sense of community has been lost and history has been forgotten. In Ashokan’s rural area, scattered small communities lack a central gathering place. We believe that traditional music and dance fills a need to find age-old ways to connect with the past, find self-expression in the present and bring people together, making the world a little better in the process. Without preservation efforts, the rich history of the rural Catskill Mountains will disappear, along with traditional skills like blacksmithing. The Ashokan Center is located just a few miles from the Ashokan Reservoir, a major source of New York City's drinking water, yet most people do not know the history of the accession of the rural towns.

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Natural Science Series

Where we workNew!

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have and haven't they accomplished so far?

1. Provide hands-on, inquiry based educational programs in science, nature, environment, living history, writing, and arts 2. Bring together a multi-generational community of people to learn and share music, laughter, camaraderie 3. Affirm an active and powerful commitment to sustainable living 4. Provide stewardship for the Ashokan Center's 385 acres of forests, fields and water 5. Preserve historic structures and regional archives to provide opportunities to experience living history 6. Support and promote preservation and innovation in traditional music and dance to help keep these traditions vital and accessible in a changing world

1. Engaging and evolving educational programs to let students experience outdoor education and aligning programs with science standards 2. Offering opportunities for gathering communities of people, including lectures, festivals, concerts and music workshops 3. Implementing sustainable alternative energy practices like solar power and providing educational models for sustainable living 4. Using native plantings, removing diseased trees when necessary, monitoring forest health, managing invasive species 5. Maintaining historic structures such as Winchell's Inn and offering colonial crafts including blacksmithing, broom making and tin smithing 6. Providing an environment that fosters the free exchange of ideas among passionate musicians and dancers of all ages

The Ashokan Center (under the State University of New York Ashokan Field Campus) was an early leader in outdoor environmental education, with programs dating back to 1967. Educational programs serve about 5,000 students per year, with experienced program leaders and environmental education Musicians Jay Ungar and Molly Mason have lead Music & Dance Camps at Ashokan since 1980, bringing extraordinary musicians and performers to teach. The mission of Music & Dance is to support and promote preservation and innovation in traditional music and dance. Our goal is to help keep these traditions vital and accessible in a changing world by

Ashokan conducts assessments and tracks responses from teachers and schools to evaluate educational programs. Progress is clearly indicated by the number of people who attend lectures, festivals, concerts and Music& Dance Camps. Attendance at all these events is tracked and compared from year to year.

WHAT WE’VE ACCOMPLISHED The Ashokan Center has made great strides during the first ten years as an independent nonprofit. Here are a few of our key accomplishments: • We completed an all-new facility upstream from the release channel. This $7.25 million project replaced the aging creekside buildings with new, sustainably designed facilities, including a 200-seat performance hall, classroom spaces, dining hall, and lodging for 150 students or guests. • Thanks to a generous gift from Bob Holum in memory of his beloved wife, we constructed “Binnie’s Bathhouse,” a new facility with outdoor showers. • We restored the historic 1885 Turnwood Covered Bridge • We installed solar power to provide all of the electric needs for the campus. • We’ve expanded Ashokan's pioneering environmental education programs to serve nearly 5,000 school children each year. • We’ve raised funds to allow students from underserved schools to experience Ashokan. • We launched numerous community events, including the three-day festivals of music and joy, the Winter and Summer Hoots. • We’ve welcomed world-class musicians to teach at the renowned Music & Dance Camps each summer. • We developed a scholarship fund for young musicians. • We planted a kitchen garden. • We united nature, education, and music programming under one roof!

External Reviews


Ashokan Center Inc.

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2017, 2016 and 2015
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?