District Information

 Arts

The Arts in Eastchester are supported by a dedicated and resourceful staff of teachers.

In our schools, Cultural Arts grants provided by the District, the PTAs and the Eastchester School Foundation help bring teaching artists into the classroom to study works of art with their guidance.

Each year the schools hire independent visual and literary artists, musicians and dance choreographers through the BOCES Arts-In-Education program.

Additionally, the Middle and High schools participate in the Lincoln Center Institute program, which features performances at Lincoln Center and a residency in the classroom with their teaching artists. Participation with Lincoln Center Institute began in the early 1980s, and has been a flagship program in our curriculum through the grade levels and disciplines. We are fortunate to be within the instructional radius of Lincoln Center, and to have the administrative support for this program. Lincoln Center Institute units typically include studies in Art, Dance, Music, and Theater.

A typical unit might focus on a particular art form, visit a focus site or view a performance, and build a unit of study with a teaching artist in the classroom. The unit of study involves at least four visits of the teaching artist in the classroom, matched by four support lessons by the teacher. Each unit includes viewing the work of art and a sustained residency with a teaching artist. The purpose is to draw personal, social, cultural or aesthetic meaning from the work. In a group setting, a deep understanding of the work is established by sharing multiple perspectives and responses.

In order to be part of the program, teachers first train in a Summer Institute offered by LCI. The Summer Institute offers many workshops in aesthetic education, including art, music, dance, and theater, for beginners and advanced level participants. There are also workshops for administrators and school coordinators. Ideally, this initial relationship over the summer becomes increasingly collegial, allowing for a real collaboration during the school year.

The annual Arts Festival is a program that brings together the accomplishments of all our students K-12 in a week-long celebration of the arts. Displays include student artwork led by their art teachers, art club advisors, and visiting artists. A vast array of work that fills an entire gym space is set up each year ranging from paintings, drawings, prints, book arts, sculpture and photography.

Students from Greenvale, Anne Hutchinson and Waverly schools visit the Arts Festival. The children are led through the exhibits by High School students as part of a High School Docent program. The Art teachers provide gallery hunts to help students better appreciate and understand the work. The exhibit is open to students, parents and visitors.

Aside from the art exhibition, the festival is filled with performances and hands-on activities. During the weekday evenings the schools perform their Spring Concerts, as well as The Players Club Cabaret Night and Jazz Band.

Jazz Co., Eastchester's Middle and High School Dance Company, performs twice during the Arts Festival week. Now in its twenty-seventh season, Jazz Co. has been a strong member of the performing arts in the community, and has maintained professional, high-quality dances each year. The company consists of about 100 students in grades 9-12.Jazz Co. hasshowcased works by numerous New York City and Westchester choreographers and student choreographers. In addition to the high school troupe, dance groups also work in the spring with the Middle School and with the district's fourth and fifth grades.

Arts Festival performances culminate with annua lHigh School Film Festival showcasing student films produced in their Film and Video Production classes.

Hands-on activities are organized through the Art Club and PTA on Saturday afternoon of the Arts Festival. The HS Art Club hosts Children's workshops in which HS students lead guided art activities for our younger artists. The children are able to make a variety of art projects, and take them home that day. Exposure to a multitude of techniques such as beading, mask making, sand painting, puzzle design, etc. are just a few of the activities offered during the workshops. Recently,the EHS PTA sponsored a Cyanotype workshop for students and parents, in which participants made fabric designs with photo images transferred through the Cyanotype contact printing technique.

Outside of the Arts Festival, our students participate in a variety of other local and regional shows, including the College of New Rochelle Womens Show, the Pace Gallery Small Works Show, the Holocaust and Human Rights Exhibition, the Osilis Gallery Exhibition, the NY Center for Architecture Foundation, All Fired Up Celebration, and the Eastchester Public Library Senior Show.

Through the multitude of arts activities and events offered, the students of Eastchester are able to take advantage of many rich cultural experiences. Teachers and students share their enthusiasm and accomplishments in a variety of ways that benefit the community as a whole in an exciting and educational manner.

General Information