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Walnut Hill School for the Arts

About

Walnut Hill School for the Arts is an independent boarding and day high school offering a transformational educational experience purposefully designed for student artists in grades 9–12, with a postgraduate year also available. We offer unparalleled training in dance; music; theater; visual art; and writing, film & media arts, complemented by a robust and innovative academic curriculum.

Every aspect of our program promotes our students' growth as bold artists, curious learners, and mindful citizens. Students from across the country and around the globe come together to form a dynamic community on our scenic campus located in Natick, Massachusetts, just west of Boston. Guided by master teachers and supported by peers from a variety of artistic backgrounds, Walnut Hill students graduate prepared to succeed in college and beyond.

Walnut Hill was founded in 1893 by Wellesley College graduates Florence Bigelow and Charlotte Conant, and remained at the forefront of education for young women for more than 80 years. Even as a traditional private boarding school for girls, Walnut Hill’s arts programs were strong. The School was home to acclaimed Fenway Studio artist and teacher Marion Pooke, Class of 1901, and Pulitzer Prize–winning author and Poet Laureate Elizabeth Bishop, Class of 1930. In the 1970s, in response to the changing landscape in education, Walnut Hill became a coeducational school for the arts and has been offering excellent artistic training and academic classroom experiences ever since.

Core Values

Community

At Walnut Hill School for the Arts, you are welcome as you are. Our strength as a community comes from the different people, places, and ideas that inform our work. We strive to accept and celebrate each member’s unique contributions, and we draw on our collective experiences in order to live as more compassionate global citizens.

Creativity

We believe that art and creative thinking are essential to promoting a more tolerant, mindful, and beautiful world. We thrive on curiosity and discovering answers to questions that have not yet been asked. Through imagination, fresh ideas, and innovation, we push ourselves to think differently, embrace challenges, and try again.

Excellence

We strive towards excellence in everything we do. Excellence in any endeavor - artistic, academic, and personal - is not an end. It requires sustained effort, recognizes the possibility of failure, and encourages engagement with the ongoing process of achieving success.

Growth

Growth is an evolving process of awakening and renewal that happens when we are mindful of where we are and where we want to be. It requires self-awareness, resilience, and the courage to embrace the unfamiliar. This journey begins with the idea that we grow with every experience we encounter and the understanding that curiosity engenders lifelong learning.

Respect

Personal conduct and accountability are expressions of the esteem with which we hold ourselves and others. We act with integrity to cultivate an environment where we treat one another, our work, and our physical space with deep respect. At Walnut Hill, respect is maintained through trust, honesty, and mutual understanding.

Diversity and Inclusion

WALNUT HILL Statement on Diversity & Inclusion

Walnut Hill seeks to cultivate a spirit of inclusivity and multiculturalism by weaving diverse curriculum, programming, and practices into the academic, artistic, and social fabric of the school. We believe it is critical to educate members of our community to be responsible global citizens. In order to navigate the tensions and challenges of our world, it is imperative to understand where we each came from, where we are, and where we are going.

We promote a sense of worth and belonging in everyone. We ask that all members of the school community consider those who are marginalized. We ask all members to attend thoughtfully to instances of difference including but not limited to opinion, age, ability, class, gender identity, sexual orientation, national origin, ethnicity, race, and religion. We expect community members to both form and express their own viewpoints, consider and understand divergent perspectives, and confront difference with maturity, civility, and respect.

Mission

The mission of Walnut Hill is to educate talented, accomplished, and intellectually engaged young artists from all over the world. The School does so in a diverse, humane, and ethical community.

Motto

Non Nobis Solum — Not for Ourselves Alone

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