Poly Prep Arts

We're excited to share this Poly Prep ARTS 2020: Virtual Poly Arts Experience Video which highlights the artistic practices and achievements of our Lower, Middle, and Upper School students and arts faculty during the past three months of their Virtual Poly experience! It is so wonderful to hear your voices and see the beautiful, thoughtful and engaged art-making that has been shared with our community, thank you.


From the Head of Arts

Michael Robinson

Head of Arts

As a community, we share the disappointment that we are not able to be together for what would have been this weekend’s Spring Dance Concert, nor the Spring Vocal and Instrumental Concerts, and the Spring Arts Show that would normally follow in the weeks of April. Students and faculty worked diligently over the preceding months for events that can’t be held in person, and I wanted to make sure that we acknowledge the impact these missed events hold for our performers and visual artists.

Arts faculty are working to reconceptualize our extensive arts season and develop video performance offerings, online art galleries, and other ways to celebrate our students and their important art-making during this time. We will share more information about those projects soon!

We're already making good use of the PolyARTS social media pages on Facebook and Instagram for curated offerings, sharing from our archives as well as generating new content, including updates from our Arts Outreach partnerships and guest artists, and increasing opportunities for young alumni and current students to be showcased.

Performing Arts at Poly

Dan Doughty

Performing Arts Department Chair

The Performing Arts Department has embraced teaching and learning in the virtual world with the same vigor and spirit that we brought to every class and rehearsal at brick-and-mortar Poly. Faculty members are actively exploring ways to maintain and build upon the breadth and momentum of their respective curricula. We are finding innovative ways to use technology to develop students’ performance skills, to channel their creativity, and to encourage self-expression. Virtual platforms offer unique opportunities to do just those things and to provide a higher level of individualized feedback along the way. In the meantime, with pluck and positivity, our students and teachers are finding inspiration in our current reality, from guitar students composing original “Quarantine Blues” pieces to Advanced Dance students designing choreography based on their lives in quarantine. Here are some additional highlights from the various disciplines within Poly Performing Arts:

  • Our vocal and instrumental ensembles and dance classes are currently working on virtual performances which will be shared soon through the Poly Arts social media accounts.

  • The cast of the Middle School musical, Matilda, continues to hold rehearsals while working towards a reconceptualized performance.

  • Poly Prep Conservatory lessons continue online and will culminate in a virtual recital on May 21st.

  • Our debate team is thriving in online tournaments, recently reaching the quarter-finals at the National Tournament of Champions as well as being named the top seed at the Georgetown Spring Tournament.

While processing our new reality has been challenging, we are heartened to see that the world has a renewed appreciation for the performing arts as a way to inspire hope, to entertain, and to connect us all.

Visual Arts at Poly

Laura Coppola

Visual Arts Department Chair

Virtual Poly has afforded Visual Arts faculty and students alike the opportunity to practice and study art and art history in order to self-reflect and heal in these trying times, as well as to continue to probe the stories and ideas that have repeatedly shown us, throughout history, what it means to be human. As we have done all year long, Visual Arts faculty prompt students to tell their own stories and understand others’ through images. While we certainly miss the exchanges and dynamism that created unique communities within our art studios, we remain committed to employing creativity to reimagine what educating through art looks like in our new reality. Now, a drawing of what lies beyond one’s window, an attempt to replicate the techniques and states of mind of post-war artists, a discussion about contemporary artists who respond to a community’s urgent social issues, or drafts of a virtual art exhibition take on new significance. Students and teachers are working collaboratively, gathering technological, hand-crafted, intellectual, activist, and community-based tools to make meaning in our ever-changing world.

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