Sacred Heart’s extensive visual and performing arts program is a key component of our curriculum. We offer a wealth of opportunities for students to think independently, to exercise their imagination, to trust their intuition and to grow in patience and self-control. We emphasize that the quality of the product reflects the quality of the process. Through critical observation – watching and listening – we inspire and encourage aspiring artists, musicians, and actors to actualize their dreams.
The Visual Arts program is designed for creative visual expression and literacy through disciplined work to develop individual gifts. Effective and affective learning that incorporates historical perspective and theory in addition to studio practice offers students opportunities for growth in imaginative, intellectual, emotional and sensory abilities through guided experiences in each art medium. Courses include sculpture, photography, ceramics, painting/drawing and film/video. Advanced Placement courses are offered in all media, including AP Studio Art Portfolios in 2-Dimensional Design (including photography), 3-Dimensional Design (including ceramics and sculpture) and Painting, Drawing, Print-Making and Mixed-Media.
In the courses comprising the Photography and Film/Video curricula, students are introduced to the history of both media via slides, periodicals, videos, guest speakers and field trips. Students experience the creative process in the photo/art medium and are encouraged in their engagement with personal creative expression through class discussion, group critiques and research utilizing the photo/film library materials. Learning to use both traditional darkroom methods and digital applications, students have access to school equipment for shooting and editing. Student work is displayed throughout the year and during the school’s Annual Film Festival and is entered in the New York State Scholastic Art Awards competition every year.
The performing arts of drama, music and dance have always been a dynamic component of the educational experience at 91st Street.
The heritage of Otto Kahn’s home and his support of the arts resonate throughout our buildings; how appropriate that the former home of the man considered to be the greatest arts patron of the 20th century provides the space for a program rich in arts education. Even with such a significant legacy, however, the performing arts curriculum at Sacred Heart has become more vibrant than ever before.
The Performing Arts offer students an opportunity for self-exploration, pursuit of excellence, and pride in their accomplishments in a public setting. Experts are discovering more and more evidence that the performing arts are essential to opening the mind to other disciplines, helping with spatial reasoning, learning about other cultures, and language processing and teamwork. Skills in dance, music, and drama develop poise, self confidence, empathy, ease in public presentation and physical coordination. Through performance, young people can discover abilities and resources within themselves that they never knew they had.
One factor that makes Sacred Heart’s performance curriculum especially effective is a superb faculty made up of accomplished artists in their chosen field who are active performers as well as educators. Here at 91st Street we are able to work under the belief that performing arts education should be integrated into the school curriculum. As a result, Sacred Heart is one of the few schools with drama and music classes from Pre-Kindergarten through 12th grade. Each child participates in at least two music and/or drama classes from Kindergarten to 9th grade, accompanied by a full complement of after school electives in those disciplines. In addition each student performs at least twice a year throughout Lower and Middle School, and girls can elect to be in full-scale musical and dramatic productions in Middle and Upper School. Add a chorus in each division as well as Bell Choir, Madrigal and Dance elective groups which perform both at school functions and at special events in the surrounding metro area and it’s clear that performing arts are thriving.
Our students are encouraged to think independently, to exercise their imagination, to trust their intuition and to grow in patience and self-control."