Volume 22, Number 03 | The Newspaper of Lower Manhattan | May 29 - June 4, 2009

Hard times hit luxury kids center

MiniMasters, an early childhood arts center in Tribeca, closed its doors for good on May 1, another victim of the recession.

Founded in 2006, miniMasters offered language and arts classes to young children, along with a Suzuki instrument program, and focused on building community among parents and caretakers. The Suzuki classes cost just over $2,000 for a 16-week session.

“The economy hit us like a ton of bricks,” said co-founder Anh Steininger. “People just stopped signing up and the company went insolvent.”

Steininger said she had hoped another company would buy miniMasters, but she and her partners settled for a different offer from Kidville, which hosts children’s classes at several locations in the city, including in Tribeca. Kidville agreed to offer all miniMasters patrons a series of credits on Kidville classes valued at over $500 to make up for the remaining miniMasters classes that were not held.

Steininger said she’s been spending more time at home with her children since miniMasters closed.

“It’s been very heartbreaking,” she said of the business closing. “It was a labor of love more than anything else.”

— Julie Shapiro




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