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.

Arts News

art for 2022 holiday concert

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. 

Flying Back in Time_YoYoZhang24

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.

Robin Wall Kimmerer

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.

Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender

Gunn students, faculty, parents, friends, and the community are invited to attend a powerful one-woman show, Shakespeare and the Alchemy of Gender, written and performed by Lisa Wolpe, who will be a guest artist in residence at The Frederick Gunn School next week. The performance is Thursday, October 20, from 8-9 p.m. in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos Arts and Community Center on campus. Admission is free with general admission seating. No registration is required.

Don Braden & Vita Muir, Litchfield Jazz Festival

From July 3-31, The Frederick Gunn School will welcome the staff and campers of Litchfield Jazz Camp to campus, along with the 2022 Litchfield Jazz Festival, July 29-31. The school first partnered with Litchfield Performing Arts, the non-profit organization that produces the camp and festival, in 2018 and is excited to host another summer of live jazz performances in the Tisch Family Auditorium of the Thomas S. Perakos  Arts and Community  Center (TPACC).

Highlander Guard Alumni Weekend 2022

More than 375 alumni and friends returned to campus June 10-12 to celebrate Alumni Weekend. This year’s event welcomed alumni from classes ending in 0s, 1s, 2s, 5s, 6s, and 7s to celebrate milestone reunions. Alumni traveled from as far as Paris, Seattle, Charlotte, and Minneapolis, and some from just down the street in Washington. More than 25 members of the Class of 1987 turned out to celebrate their 35th Reunion. Their enthusiasm was closely rivaled by about 20 alumni from the Class of 1982, celebrating their 40th Reunion, and 18 from the Class of 2002, celebrating their 20th!

2022 Halo Award Nomination announcement

Congratulations to the cast and crew of The Miraculous Journey of Edward Tulane and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, who received a combined 14 Halo High School Theater Award nominations this week, including nods for Best Musical, Best Chorus, and Best Performance By A Cast In An Ensemble Production.