Visual and Studio Art Classes

Art classes meet four or five periods per week. The art classes are taught from an approach that relies heavily on studio and material experience. There are, however, elements of discipline-based art education (DBAE). DBAE is centered on a systematic sequential teaching method that emphasizes four areas of the arts: art production, art criticism, art history, and aesthetics. This approach to art education provides a wide range of learning techniques that can act as a conceptual bridge to other subjects. Skills as well as creativity are developed during this process.

Beginning in 2012, Stevenson has had professional collaborations with multiple galleries and artists. This opportunity for public affirmation of students’ efforts allows them to build pride and confidence in their own abilities and provide a forum for positive and reinforcing interactions between parents and their children.

Performing Arts

One of the best ways for students to engage in the Stevenson community is through the Performing Arts. If you’re looking to test your abilities as an actor or improvisor, to take part in classical or contemporary productions, or are inspired to develop original performances, you will find that Stevenson offers countless opportunities for students to be in the spotlight.

At Stevenson, students of the Performing Arts are not only given the academic and therapeutic resources they need to succeed, they’re offered the full scope of theatrical opportunities uniquely and abundantly available here in New York City. Stevenson’s Performing Arts classes offer diverse experiences, from fully staged theatrical productions, to performing with professional improvisors at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, to taking part in the New York City Shakespearean Monologue competition. Stevenson students have also performed in off-broadway theatres around the city, attended private backstage tours of Broadway Theatres, worked one-on-one with specialists in magic, musical theatre, and stage combat, corresponded with professional playwrights from around the world, and have even had their original scripts published and performed by a Broadway theatre company. 

All students are invited to take part in Stevenson’s Performing Arts regardless of their background in performance or prior experience. Each class is designed to create a comfortable classroom community where students feel safe to experiment and inspired to perform. This individualized approach to teaching each class establishes a safe space for newer performers to learn from those with more experience, while students with more experience continue to build and grow their own repertoire of skills and talents on stage.

Each unit of learning with students is experiential and exploratory, which means students often engage in activities that deepen their understanding outside the more formal limitations and constructs of a classroom space (which often means students are on their feet, not seated at desks). Using performance as a mechanism to fully immerse students in a text can transform a solo reading experience into the expression or embodiment of emotional literacy and comprehension. Performance gives students a sense of agency, allowing them to articulate their learning as they sculpt, evaluate, and evolve their knowledge and understanding of text. They engage empathically with characters in plays, and consider cultural and historical contexts to drive and refine artistic choices in performance. Whether Stevenson students are reading aloud the works of Shakespeare or writing and performing original monologues, each students’ unique voice is not only validated, but applauded.


Photography and Film

Photography and Film classes are led by full-time staff, who are also established professionals in the media field.

Throughout a year in Film, students can expect to explore overarching ideas: filmmaking as a juxtaposition of images that advance a story, film having three phases (each with their own rules and traditions), and every story having a beginning, middle and end. While exploring such big ideas, students may work with specific topics like composition of visual images, the elements of a non-dialogue screenplay, and key skills such as footage organization and project setup.

Throughout a year in Photography, students can expect to explore such overarching ideas as the importance of exposure, focus, white balance, and lens selection; the role of a clear primary subject in the photographic frame; and photography’s need for purpose, meaning, and stopping power. Like all of our work in the Arts at Stevenson, class experiences integrate both thinking and doing—direct opportunities to practice the craft and conceptual grounding to deepen an understanding of those tasks.

Art Manifest

Art Manifest is an annual celebration of and immersion in varied art forms for the entire Stevenson community. Students, faculty, and staff participate in multiple days of workshops, art projects, and literary readings, as well as dramatic and musical performances. We extend invitations to professionals who work in fields like culinary, visual, dramatic, literary, dance, music  to come and share their process/experience.  We also go to visit such artists on their home turfs for a deep New York City arts experience.  Just some of our participants have included Tony Danza – actor/author, Lexi Fridell – Broadway actress, senior editor Tracy Sherrod, Stevie Phillips – Broadway producer, and Lauren Fox – actress/entrepreneur.