In September 2001, Frank Sinatra School of the Arts opened its doors. This high school offers a specialized program in the arts as well as a full academic curriculum. There are currently over 700 students who were selected from 8th and 9th graders who are residents of New York City. The school now resides in its permanent fully functional site in Astoria, Queens near the Kaufman Studios and across the street from the Museum of the Moving Image. Selection for admission is based on a competitive audition and evaluation of academic records.
The idea for the school was first conceived by world-renowned entertainer, Tony Bennett, to honor his late friend and colleague, Frank Sinatra. The school’s program consists of a rigorous academic curriculum and pre-conservatory studio education in one of the following art forms: instrumental music, vocal music, fine arts, drama and dance. Students are able to accomplish academic coursework and the intensive study of an art form in three or four years through an extended day format.
A special feature of the school is its commitment to community service through the arts. This program allows students in an individual capacity and in groups, to complete arts related projects in facilities such as hospitals, day care centers, senior citizen homes and homeless shelters. We have partnerships with cultural institutions such as, Metropolitan Opera, Battery Dance Company, Museum of Modern Art, Queens Museum, American Theatre Wing, so that students can participate in internships, apprenticeships, mentorships and other programs and projects.
At Mr. Bennett’s encouragement, other performers including Harry Belafonte, Wynton Marsalis and Paul Newman are among many involved in the school’s programs. Performers conduct master classes and have created an “Artists in Residence” program. These combined efforts of artists, performers, and cultural institutions, along with an outstanding student body, staff and program, ensures the continued success of the school.
We had our first commencement in June 2004, Jerry Seinfeld being the keynote speaker. Due to the leadership of Tony Bennett and the popularity of the school, our graduation ceremonies have continued to host many more famous keynote speakers including: Class of 2009, Bruce Willis, Class of 2008, Nancy Giles, Class of 2007, Kevin Spacey, Class of 2006, Former N.Y. Governor Mario Cuomo and Class of 2005, Wynton Marsalis.
35-12 35th Avenue, Astoria, NY 11106
(718) 361-9920 / (718) 361-9995 (fax)