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. 

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. 

Arts News

Gunn Musicians Selected to 2024 CMEA Regional Festival

Eight students from the Gunn Music Program have been selected to perform at the Connecticut Music Educators Association (CMEA) Northern Region Music Festival on January 12 and 13, 2024, at New Britain High School. The festival will feature selected students from 48 Connecticut towns, who will perform in the Northern Region Band, Jazz Band, Choral Ensemble, and Orchestral Ensemble. The snow dates for the festival are January 19 and 20, 2024.

"Behind the Clouds" by Catherine Lu '24

Two Gunn students are among the top selected photographers to be featured in the 13th annual ASAP!  Celebration of Young Photographers. Original photographs by Yoyo Zhang '24 and Catherine Lu '24 were among the top selections revealed this week via Instagram and will be included in a special exhibition on Sunday, November 12, 2023, from 2-4 p.m. at Spring Hill Vineyards in New Preston. Admission is free but pre-registration is required.

Silent Sky poster

The Frederick Gunn School Theatre Program will present Lauren Gunderson’s Silent Sky, a play that explores 19th century social and scientific progress through the real-life lens of Harvard astronomer Henrietta Leavitt. Performances are November 9, 10, and 11 at 7 p.m. in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. This event is open to the public. No registration is required and seating is by general admission.

Moonlight Memory, Harbor Cove, Don Gorvett

The Frederick Gunn School is pleased to present a special exhibit, “Waterfronts and Woodcuts,” featuring more than 30 woodcuts, blocks, drawings, and drypoint etchings by Don Gorvett, a Boston-born artist acclaimed for his hand-pulled color reduction woodcuts recording maritime subjects. The exhibit will run from October 2 through November 10 in the Perakos Family Cares Art Gallery of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. An Artist Reception will be held October 19 from 5 to 6:30 p.m. The reception is open to the public.

A Day in the Life of The Frederick Gunn School

On September 5, a new exhibit of student work opened in the Perakos Family Cares Art Gallery of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center. “A Day in the Life of The Frederick Gunn School'' features photographs of school life taken last spring by students in Lincoln Turner’s Digital Photography class. The exhibit, which runs through September 27, is the first of five that are planned during the academic year under the direction of Turner, who has a new role as the school’s Gallerist.


Students and faculty gathered September 7, 2023, in the historic Meeting House on the Green for Convocation, which formally marked the start of the school’s 174th academic year. Emily Raudenbush Gum delivered her first welcome address as our 12th Head of School, reflecting on our school motto, and the value of what it means to be a person who is always learning.

"Benjamin Foulois and the Air Force’s 'Can-Do' Spirit"

The Frederick Gunn School is pleased to sponsor the Gunn Historical Museum's virtual lecture presentation, Benjamin Foulois and the Air Force’s “Can-Do” Spirit with Dr. Doug Lantry on Monday September 18, 2023 at 6:30 p.m. 

Men On Boats cast

The Frederick Gunn School Theatre Program brought home two Halo Awards — including Best Contemporary Play — for its production of Jaclyn Backhaus’ wildly funny and rollicking play, Men On Boats. The award for Best Special Effects went to Highlanders Joshua Ly ’23 and Katherine Aguirre-Felipe ’26 for Men On Boats.

2023 Halo Award Nominations

Congratulations to the cast and designers of the fall play, Men On Boats, and the winter musical, Head Over Heels, who together have been nominated for a total of 15 Halo Awards, including Best Performance by a Cast in an Ensemble Production, Best Contemporary Play, Best Contemporary Musical, and The Fearless Award.