Art in its various forms has been a part of our school since its inception. Frederick Gunn wove music into the early fabric of the school and organized plays for his students and town residents, which led to the establishment of Washington’s amateur theatre group, the Dramalites. This commitment to making art part of the everyday experience for students, and finding ways to connect the school with the community through art, is renewed today with the opening of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. This beautiful new building supports The Frederick Gunn School’s Vision for Arts and Community and the continued growth of the school’s visual arts, music, theatre and dance programs. In addition to providing a place for students to develop and showcase their artistic abilities, the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center is creating opportunities to expand on new and existing partnerships between the school, local arts organizations, and the community.
Be Amazed. Be Amazing.
At The Frederick Gunn School, we ask students to learn to take public risks, to be makers not consumers, to be citizens who imagine a beautiful future without cynicism, to face failure with hope.
Vision for Arts and Community at FGS
Our Vision for Arts and Community at The Frederick Gunn School outlines four elements – Creation, Risk, Connection and Wonder – that are essential to each student’s experience in the arts.
At The Frederick Gunn School, we invite our students to be creators and makers. Whether in the visual or performing arts, students are asked to leave their mark on the world, to challenge someone to see the world in a new way, to express their perfectly unique point of view.
The arts also break down barriers for those who are nervous about trying new things, as well as those who want to actively engage in the arts for the rest of their lives. “I know of so many students for whom the arts had a real transformative impact during their time here and who are grateful for all the great work that goes into allowing students to have that experience,” Head of School Peter Becker said.
All students are required to take the equivalent of one credit in art. This can be accomplished through three single-term courses or one full-year course in our music, drama or visual arts programs. While the requirement is one credit, our students are encouraged, and often do take more than the required classes. The goal is for every student to recognize and appreciate the valuable role that art plays in our lives. “It is unique in its ability to draw forth parts of who we are as humans that other pursuits cannot. Art enables us to see, to hear, to listen, to feel, and ultimately to think in ways we would not without it,” Becker said.
Thirty-one students in the Technique & Artistry co-curricular program as well as the Introduction to Printmaking and Digital Photography classes at Gunn will have their original artwork featured in the Kent Art Association’s 31st Student Art Show. The opening is this Saturday, February 18, from 2 to 5 p.m., with an awards presentation at 3 p.m., at Kent Art Association, 21 South Main Street in Kent.
The Frederick Gunn School Theatre Program will present Head Over Heels: The Musical on February 23, 24, and 25 at 7 p.m. in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. Family, friends, and the community are welcome to attend. No registration is required. Admission is free.
Four student-artists from The Frederick Gunn School were selected to participate in the annual Connecticut Regional Scholastic Art Awards, the largest juried student art exhibition in the state. Their work will be featured through February 3 at the Donald and Linda Silpe Gallery at the University of Hartford.
Ten students in the Gunn Music Program traveled to Avon High School on November 12 to audition for the Connecticut Music Educator Association (CMEA) Northern Region Music Festival. Of those 10, six students were selected to perform at the regional music festival, January 13 and 14, 2023, at New Britain High School. The festival ensembles will include a concert band, orchestra, mixed choir and jazz ensemble.
The Frederick Gunn School Music Program will present Somewhere in My Memory, Music for the Holiday Season, featuring 48 student musicians in String Ensemble, Vocal Ensemble, and Jazz Band along with special musical guests. Family, friends and the community are invited to attend the performance on Monday, December 12, at 7 p.m. in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. Admission is free with general admission seating.
Two students from The Frederick Gunn School have been selected to participate in ASAP!’s 12th annual Celebration of Young Photographers. Daniel Conlan ’26 and YoYo Zhang ’24 will have their original photographs featured in a juried exhibition on Sunday, November 13, from 2-4 p.m. at Bryan Memorial Town Hall in Washington Depot. If you would like to attend the exhibit, registration is required. Click here to register online.
The Frederick Gunn School Theatre Program will present Jaclyn Backhaus’ wildly funny and rollicking play, Men on Boats, November 10, 11, and 12 at 7 p.m. in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. The public is invited to attend. No registration is required. Admission is free.
On Friday, October 28, The Frederick Gunn School will host “An Evening with Robin Wall Kimmerer” in the Thomas Perakos Arts and Community Center on campus, in collaboration with the Institute for American Indian Studies (IAIS) in Washington and the acclaimed modern dance company Pilobolus. This discussion and performance is “structured around connecting people with a healthier relationship to Mother Earth as well as to all of our relatives, human and non-human alike,” said Gabe Benjamin, Camp Director, Public Programs Coordinator & Educator at IAIS.
The Frederick Gunn School is pleased to sponsor the Gunn Historical Museum's virtual lecture presentation, “Ehrick Rossiter, Architect for a Golden Age in Washington and the Nation,” on Monday, November 7, at 6:30 p.m. with noted American architectural historian, curator and author, Ann Y. Smith.