The New School's founders sought to establish a "dynamic center of modern culture in which adults could learn to appreciate new art forms, or even become artists themselves." In the decades that followed, The New School has supported and been enriched by many modern pioneers of American fine arts, theater, and dance. This commitment to teaching and nurturing the creative arts has continued, and today The New School offers a wide range of courses in the arts for students at all levels. Visit the registration website for a list of current course offerings in Visual and Performing Arts.
The New School's longstanding visual art program encompasses drawing and painting as well as topics that look into and beyond the realm of the studio. The classes are taught by working artists, and provide students with expertise in a studio art practice. Although all New School for Public Engagement art courses are available to be taken in any order, and individual instruction is stressed in each class, students who are interested in pursuing a recommended course of study are encouraged to follow the course order below:
- Fundamentals of Composition and Design
- Beginning Drawing
- Beginning Painting
- Life Drawing
- Project Studio
Tuition does not include art supplies, which, if not stated in the course description, are discussed during the first session.
Since Bernice Abbott's classes in the 1930s, The New School has been in the forefront of photography education and experimentation. The tradition continues in our current program of workshops and lectures taught by professional photographers. Most photography courses at The New School utilize technology-supported classrooms to review student work in digital formats. While traditional 35mm prints and slides are welcome, students should be aware that the photography department does not maintain a darkroom for individual use.
Acting and Movement
Our faculty of working professionals brings talent and a variety of aesthetic viewpoints to a program designed to introduce novices to the art and craft of performing for theater, film, and television, and to introduce trained performers to specialized skills.
Studio movement courses are highly supportive and accommodate both beginners and experienced practitioners—our faculty of talented professionals is experienced in working with students at all levels. Courses include exercise techniques like Pilates and Alexander Technique, which are taken both for general fitness and as professional training for performing artists, and Hatha Yoga and Tai Chi, combining movement training with principles of meditation and mind-body awareness.
Creative Arts and Health
The New School offers courses in creative arts and health as the curriculum of a nine-course certificate program. This curriculum integrates music, drama, dance, art and visual arts into the practice of psychotherapy. Courses are both didactic and experiential and are grounded in the latest developments in psychology and mind-body healing. Field work and internship opportunities are available in diverse settings.
The certificate program can be completed on a noncredit basis for students who have a bachelor's degree or for undergraduate credit. Admission to the certificate program is by application. Students who have at least 30 college credits, preferably including some courses in psychology or social work and music, drama, dance, and/or fine arts are eligible to apply. Applicants with relevant professional experience in social services and/or the arts may be admitted with fewer credits and can complete the academic prerequisites concurrently with the certificate. For more information, visit Certificate in Creative Arts and Health.
Most of the courses are open to non-certificate students, provided space is available.