School & Community Partnerships

Hands-on Learning

Our School Partnership Program sends artists and artisans to teach woodworking, visual arts and fiber arts in schools and community centers throughout Boston. Our students experience the joys of making things by hand, using imagination, building skills and taking creative risks.

Excellent, Flexible, Affordable

Each year, we teach 2,000 children in Kindergarten through 8th grade, both during the school day and outside of school time. We design our programs in response to each school’s needs. We can merge art, woodworking and other crafts with math, literacy, social studies, STEM and community service. Classes can be as short as one session or as long as a year. We negotiate budgets that work for each school.

Find out more about our school partners, examples of our work and the people who make our program great. And catch a glimpse of one of our woodworking programs in action:

Take a look below for BNN's coverage of our 2015 Community Youth Arts Festival:

Interested in exploring a partnership for your school? Contact Alison Croney, Program Director.

Special Initiatives

In addition to our regular school programs, we are conducting several special initiatives to promote hands-on learning in our schools.

  • Our Roslindale Arts Initiative built a pathway of great art education for all K–8 students in one Boston neighborhood through 2015. We then expanded to what was called Network E, working with schools in Hyde Park, Mattapan, Roslindale and West Roxbury. Today, we are consolidating this work through our Art Teachers Alliance, still in formation.
  • We provide Professional Development workshops to visual arts and woodworking teachers working in our public schools and community centers. We reach BPS Visual Arts Specialists in collaboration with the BPS Arts Office and the Arts Expansion Initiative of EdVestors. And we provide a year-long sequence of training to our partnership teachers and faculty.

Artists’ Residencies

Our Artists' Residencies put together active artists with our school and community partners:

  • 2016 — Over the summer, Elisa Hamilton and Silvia López Chavez brought their participatory printmaking project, Lemonade Stand, to four low-income housing developments.
  • 2013 — With Turning Around Boston, we sent our Artist in Residence, woodturner Beth Ireland, to Boston schools and community sites. In one month, Beth taught 1,048 children to make a wooden pen or whistle by hand.

Scholarship Fund

Our Scholarship Fund allows low-income students in our School Partnership Program to attend our Summer Program for Children free of charge. Spots in children’s and teens’ classes during the school year may also be available. Find out more about our scholarships.

woodworking class for school children in Bostonbench by woodworking class students in Boston