Arts and Humanities

With four top-ranked graduate arts schools, two world class art museums, and countless performances and concerts on campus each year, Yale University has much to offer New Haven students to complement and enrich their arts and humanities education.

The Yale University Art Gallery and Yale Center for British Art welcome thousands of students through class visits each year. During these visits, students build their critical thinking and observation skills through close examination of works of art. The Yale School of Music and the Music in Schools initiative offers year-round music programming for New Haven public school students in grades 3-12 that aims to nurture and develop creativity, musicianship, and musical leadership in students.

Arts and Humanities Programs

Academic Yale College Courses

This program provides an opportunity for high school students to experience a collegiate academic setting and earn credits which may then be transferred to the college of their choice following high school graduation. Qualified New Haven high school juniors and seniors, who have been selected by their schools, enroll in Yale academic courses at no cost.

Beinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library

The Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library inspires engagement with the past, in the present, for the future. One of the world’s largest libraries devoted entirely to rare books and manuscripts, it is Yale University’s principal repository of literary archives, early manuscripts, and rare books. The exhibition hall is free and open to the public daily, with the Gutenberg Bible and Audubon’s Birds of America on permanent view along with special exhibitions.

Citizens Thinkers Writers

Citizens Thinkers Writers is a two-week summer residential program for students from New Haven public schools who are interested in exploring fundamental human questions in a college setting. In small seminars led by Yale professors and lecturers, students gain invaluable experience in close reading, analytic writing, and college-level discussion.

Collection of Musical Instruments

The Yale Collection of Musical Instruments acquires, preserves, and exhibits musical instruments from antiquity to the present, and showcases restored examples in demonstrations and live performances. It is a renowned research collection and a world-class museum that engages the public in the fascinating history of musical instruments through exhibits, publications, concerts, and outreach initiatives.

Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School Partnership

Yale’s partnership with Cooperative Arts and Humanities High School aims to enrich the artistic and educational experiences for Co-Op High School students and faculty by developing meaningful collaborations between the Yale and Co-Op communities. The partnership is supported by various stakeholders including the Beinecke Library, the Yale University Art Gallery, the Yale Center for British Art, and Dwight Hall at Yale.

Demystifying the Middle East Workshop Series

In collaboration with the Council on Middle East Studies and Yale Pathways to Arts & Humanities, these interactive workshops occur twice each semester and are open to all students and families. Past workshops have explored youth movements in Iran through music, colonization in Algiers through film, and the politics of museum curation.

Dining with the Dramat

At Dining with the Dramat, Pathways to Arts & Humanities students join members of the Yale Dramatic Association for an exclusive behind-the-scenes glimpse into theater production. Students engage in conversations with actors, technicians, and directors as they discuss their current musical productions and receive free tickets to each performance.

East Rock Record Journalism Program

The East Rock Record is a school newspaper produced by 30 student reporters in grades 3–8 at East Rock Community & Cultural Studies Magnet School. Students work with Yale mentors to brainstorm, prepare, and write stories of interest to the school community. Two editions of the newspaper are published each academic year, with 3,200 copies printed and distributed throughout New Haven.

Hear Your Song

Hear Your Song is an undergraduate organization that gives hospitalized children— or children in long term care—the chance to become songwriters and to hear their songs recorded. Hear Your Song works with children in nearby medical pediatric facilities to write original songs, which Yale College musicians arrange, record, and share with the patients and their families.


Hemispheres, a program of the Yale International Relations Association, brings over 60 students in grades 8–12 from New Haven public schools to Yale’s campus every week to explore topics in international affairs and develop their analytical, creative, and critical thinking skills.

Heritage Theater Ensemble Drama Workshops

The Heritage Theater Ensemble, Yale’s premier Black undergraduate drama group, hosts fun theater workshops for Pathways to Arts & Humanities students. During these workshops, students engage in theater exercises, play interactive games, and hone their improvisational skills.

Inside a Yale Library: Beinecke Treasures

At this event, Pathways students and families are invited to an exclusive tour and hands-on workshop at the Beinecke Library. Librarians and staff hand-pick highlights from the Beinecke’s extensive collection to share with the group. Students and family members are free to touch and explore maps, texts, and other archival materials.

J.M. Bolin Program

The J.M. Bolin Program at Yale is an academic and cultural enrichment program designed to provide New Haven high school students with an opportunity to develop study skills and reflect on readings drawn from both African and African-American studies. The program also promotes college seminar-style discussions and networking skills, and exposes local students to the work of Yale professors and students to create a stronger connection with the New Haven community.

Latin in Schools

Latin in Schools is a new after-school program led by Yale graduate students in the Department of Classics and Yale College undergraduate volunteers. Students in grades 4-6 learn basic Latin vocabulary while engaging in games, art projects, and other hands-on activities.

Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project

The Marshall-Brennan Constitutional Literacy Project is a collaborative teaching program that sends law students into local public high schools to teach constitutional law. Participants in this student-run organization also have the opportunity to coach their students in a national moot-court competition, the first round of which is run by the Yale chapter in New Haven.

MOSAIC: Minds on Society, Arts, Ideas, and Culture

MOSAIC (Minds on Society, Arts, Ideas and Culture), is a lecture series that offers students the opportunity to engage in thought-provoking discussions with Yale professors and interactive workshops with graduate students. Past topics include “Utopia: Imagine a Perfect City” and “Seeing the Familiar in New Ways: What is Public Humanities?” All MOSAIC events are free and open to the public.

Music in Schools All-City Ensembles

All-City Ensembles provide tuition-free rehearsal and performance opportunities for students beyond the activities they have in their schools. The All-City band, choir, and string ensembles are led by a collaborative team of Teaching Artists from the Yale School of Music and music educators from New Haven public schools. In addition to large ensemble rehearsals, students work with Teaching Artists in small-group workshops to develop technique and musicianship.

Music in Schools Initiative

The Music in Schools Initiative is an active partnership between the Yale School of Music and New Haven public schools. Each year, graduate-student teaching artists from the Yale School of Music are placed in more than two dozen public schools throughout New Haven. Teaching artists teach sectionals, ensembles, private lessons, and other activities.

Music in Schools Morse Summer Music Academy

The Morse Summer Music Academy is a free music program for intermediate and advanced music students in the band, choir, and/or orchestra programs in the New Haven public schools. Over the course of four weeks, students are taught and mentored by a team of music educators from the New Haven public schools and Teaching Artists from the Yale School of Music.

Music in Schools Symposium

The Symposium on Music in Schools is held once every two years at the Yale School of Music as part of the Music in Schools Initiative. This invitational “working symposium” brings together national leaders for three days of intense discussion on pressing issues surrounding music education in public schools. The symposium also honors outstanding music educators and teaching artists with the Yale Distinguished Music Educator Award.

NACLO at Yale

The North American Computational Linguistics Open Competition (NACLO) is a contest in which students solve linguistics puzzles drawn from a variety of languages. In doing so, they learn about the diversity and consistency of language and exercise their logical skills. Each year, the Yale Linguistics Department offers four training sessions, led by Yale undergraduate students under the supervision of a faculty member.

New Haven Urban Debate League

The New Haven Urban Debate League (UDL) promotes debate and public-speaking skills in New Haven public schools. Coaches work weekly with teams in 18 New Haven public middle and high schools, focusing on a different topic each month. Students learn the rules of parliamentary debate and compete in regular district-wide tournaments held on Yale’s campus. Students also have the opportunity to travel outside of New Haven for tournaments.

New Voices in Theater

New Voices in Theater is a playwriting program hosted by graduate students at the Yale School of Drama and Yale Pathways to Arts & Humanities. Over the course of eight months, dedicated students from New Haven area high schools participate in workshops, watch performances, and learn from professionals in the theater industry.

Pathways to Arts & Humanities Manuscripts and Archives Day

Pathways students are invited to visit Yale Manuscripts and Archives for an afternoon of archival research and digital curating. Students learn about the work of archivists and explore the extensive resources of Yale’s numerous libraries including scrapbooks and letters from late 19th-century Yale students and New Haven residents. After the workshop, students curate their own digital “exhibits” that are featured on the Pathways to Arts & Humanities Instagram page.

Pathways to Arts & Humanities Robinson Crusoe @ 300

To celebrate the 300-year anniversary of Robinson Crusoe, Pathways students are invited to an afternoon of creative writing inspired by the infamous character and his adventures stranded on a deserted island. Students follow unique writing prompts and work closely with a Yale professor and a team of Yale graduate students to hone their creative writing skills.

Pathways to Arts & Humanities The Art & Science of Library Preservation and Conservation

At this event, Pathways students get an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour of the brand-new Yale Center for Preservation and Conservation including the: Gates Conservation Lab, Exhibition Preparation Rooms, and the Photo Documentation Studio. Students also participate in a hands-on demonstration of the Traveling Scriptorium to learn about medieval pigments and book binding.

Pathways to Arts and Humanities

Pathways to Arts & Humanities welcomes New Haven public high school students to Yale’s campus for a wide array of arts and humanities programs and events. Programs include: MOSAIC, New Voices in Theater, WriteOutLoud, spoken word poetry workshops, library tours, and much more. Yale Pathways to Arts & Humanities explores how humans use literature, art, music, theater, history, and language to understand our connection to the world and to one another.

PIER Summer Institutes

Programs in International Educational Resources (PIER) Summer Institute brings thirty K-12 teachers and community college educators to the Yale MacMillan Center for a three-day seminar. Participants leave the Institute with a robust bibliography, including visuals and other resources, for curriculum building in their classrooms.

Splash at Yale

Splash at Yale is a biannual event that brings local middle and high school students to Yale University for one day of unlimited learning. Students take classes in a variety of both conventional and unconventional subjects taught by Yale undergraduate and graduate students. Splash at Yale also hosts Sprout, a similar program that gives students the opportunity to delve deeper into one topic, meeting three times for a series of workshops.

Teeth Spoken Word Poetry Workshops

The mission of Yale’s TEETH Poets is to produce meaningful and illuminating pieces and promote the appreciation of spoken word in the New Haven community. At monthly outreach events, Pathways to Arts & Humanities students meet Yale’s TEETH Poets f to watch spoken word poetry in action, participate in small group workshops with TEETH performers, and try their hand at writing poetry.

WILL POWER! Yale School of Drama and Yale Repertory Theatre

WILL POWER! is Yale Repertory Theatre’s annual educational initiative that features specially-priced tickets and early school-time matinees for middle and high school student groups. The program often includes free professional development for educators, study guides for students, and post-performance discussions with members of the company.

Windham Campbell Literary Festival START HERE

The Windham Campbell Literary Festival brings the Windham Campbell prizewinners in the fields of drama, nonfiction, fiction, and poetry to Yale’s campus for a week of celebratory events. Highlights past festivals have included a panel discussion and writing workshops for students at Cooperative Arts & Humanities High School, film screenings, and a group reading by all the prizewinners.

World Culture and Language After School Studies (World CLASS)

The World CLASS program offers language and cultural exposure in several less commonly taught languages including Arabic, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Russian, Ukrainian, and Urdu. The program is open to all high school students in Connecticut, currently serves more than 160 students, and is free for students attending New Haven Public Schools.

World Languages Summer Camp

In partnership with New Haven public schools, the Yale MacMillan Center Council on Middle East Studies sponsors a free two-week summer language program for New Haven public school students in grades 6–9. The purpose of this camp is for students to develop an appreciation of the commonalities between many languages, cultures, and musical traditions, as well as an introductory knowledge of Arabic and Hebrew.

Write Out Loud Summer Workshop Series

Write Out Loud, a one-week intensive writing workshop series, gives Pathways high school students a chance to read, write, and raise questions about topics such as rebellion, identity, success, and education. With the guidance of Yale instructors in a seminar setting, students read and analyze historical documents, essays, art, and film and practice college-level writing at the Poorvu Center for Teaching and Learning.

WYBCx Yale Radio Internship

The WYBCx Yale Radio Internship uses radio waves to give New Haven high school students a voice. In six sessions, students learn about radio techniques an take over the controls for the “Teen Takeover” hour. Over the course of the program, students learn how to run their own news segments, talk shows, music hours, and radio dramas. As a final project, students have the opportunity to combine elements from what they have learned to form their own personalized shows.

Yale Center for British Art

The Yale Center for British Art houses the largest and most comprehensive collection of British art outside the United Kingdom in a landmark building designed by Louis Kahn. The YCBA has a rich array of exhibitions and educational programs, as well as fellowships and academic resources, including a reference library and study room for examining works on paper in the collection. The museum is open to the public and admission and all programming is free. The Yale Center for British Art encourages families and children of all ages to explore the collections.

Yale Center for British Art Exploring Artism program

Exploring Artism is the Center’s free monthly program for families with children who are five to twelve years of age and on the autism spectrum. Participants look at artwork in the museum’s galleries followed by a hand’s-on activity in a museum classroom. A quiet room is available throughout the session with blankets and sensory toys. All family members are welcome.

Yale Center for British Art Family Programs

The Yale Center for British Art offers children’s programs and Community Family Festivals that explore the collections and special exhibitions. Through gallery experiences, games, and activities, children and families learn how to look at and talk about a work of art. Self-guided group and family materials are available at the front desk.

Yale Center for British Art Guided Tours for K-12 School Groups

At the Yale Center for British Art, school and community groups can explore the Center’s collections, architecture, and special exhibitions on an interactive, docent-led tour. These free tours encourage close looking, critical thinking, and creative evaluation. The Center’s educational programming is designed to support visual literacy instruction and complement curriculum goals and standards. Bringing art into the learning process builds students’ inquiry, observation, description, and critical looking skills.

Yale Center for British Art Summer Teacher Institute

This program offers practicing teachers an enriched understanding of how visual art can support their students’ reading, writing, and thinking. Workshops, discussions, and lectures by university faculty and museum educators demonstrate how “visual text” can be used to enhance literacy instruction. Institute sessions include hands-on experience with works of art and exploring ways to make the museum an extension of the classroom. Participants are given the tools they need to lead dynamic museum visits and to incorporate visual arts into classroom instruction.

Yale Center for British Art Visual Literacy Consortium

The Visual Literacy Consortium brings together a group of educators for a bimonthly consortium to promote the important dialogue about visual literacy and its role in school curricula. The purpose of the group is to share experiences, research, and resources and to work toward an expanded notion of literacy that includes making meaning from visual as well as written texts.

Yale Children's Theater

The Yale Children’s Theater brings together a group of undergraduate Yale students devoted to teaching, entertaining, and engaging kids with the dramatic arts. The Yale Children’s Theater produces four student-written shows each year, offers drama workshops and writing workshops for local students, and performs throughout the New Haven community. The Yale Children’s Theater also offers special programs like Hands On, Off Book, Curtain Call, and eight-week writing workshops designed to introduce young students in grades K–8 to theater, fiction, poetry, and journalism.

Yale Daily News Summer Journalism Program

Run by members of the Yale Daily News, the Summer Journalism Program is a one-week intensive course in journalism for high school students. Students participate in workshops on the fundamentals of reporting and writing, attend lectures by guest speakers from major national publications, and create a full summer edition of the Yale Daily News by the end of the week. The program is open to all Connecticut high school students and is free for New Haven Public School students.

Yale Environmental Film Festival

Sponsored by the Yale School of the Environment, the Environmental Film Festival at Yale (EFFY) is one of America’s premier student-run environmental film festivals. In addition to highlighting the brightest environmental storytelling of the past year, the festival brings celebrated directors and creatives to campus for workshops and discussions of how we can move forward constructively as environmental storytellers.

Yale Model Congress

Yale Model Congress provides high school students with an opportunity to learn about and experience the American legislative system first-hand. As part of the program, students learn parliamentary procedure, write legislation, develop research strategies, and practice public-speaking skills. During the annual Yale Model Congress conference, students assume the responsibilities of elected representatives and tackle the issues facing our nation, such as security, the environment, and healthcare.

Yale School of Drama Dwight/Edgewood Project

The Dwight/Edgewood Project brings eight 6th-and-7th grade students from Barnard Environmental Studies Magnet School to the Yale Repertory Theatre for a month-long after-school playwriting program designed to strengthen students’ self-esteem and creative process. Yale School of Drama students lead the program, serving as mentors, directors, and theater technicians. The program culminates in June with the presentation of eight original plays over two evenings of free performances.

Yale Summer Debate Program

Offered by the Urban Debate League, the weeklong Yale Summer Debate Program is open to all New Haven high school students. During the program, students develop their skills in public speaking, constructing arguments, and delivering rebuttals. The program is premised on the philosophy that students can use debate as a tool to critically engage with the world around them, helping them to become better debaters and students, and more active members of society.

Yale University Art Gallery

The Yale University Art Gallery has more than 4,000 works of art on view from cultures all over the world. The more than 200,000 objects in its permanent collection range from American decorative arts and American paintings and sculpture to African art and art of the ancient Americas. In addition to its permanent collection, the gallery also has 21 educational programs, special exhibitions, study rooms, and museum archives. The museum is free and open to the public.

Yale University Art Gallery Family Programs

The weekend family programs at the Yale University Art Gallery are designed to help start conversations about art with children of all ages. On the second Sunday of each month throughout the year, families are invited to participate in the Stories and Art program. Gallery teaching staff tell folktales, myths, and exciting stories from all over the world that highlight unique features of selected objects in the gallery’s collection. The annual Family Day at the Yale University Art Gallery invites families to explore the collection with special tours, storytelling, and art-making activities.

Yale University Art Gallery Guided Tours for K-12 School Groups

School groups can explore the Yale University Art Gallery’s collection, buildings, and exhibitions on free, interactive guided class visits. Visits for school groups are led by the museum’s Gallery Teachers, Yale graduate students trained as museum educators. Class visits stress critical thinking, observation skills, and creative evaluation through close examination, interactive activities, and discussion of works of art and are tied to Common Core Standards.

Yale University Art Gallery Museum Club

As part of the partnership between the Yale University Art Gallery and Betsy Ross Arts Magnet Middle School, visual arts students from Betsy Ross visit the gallery with their parents monthly for a tailored after-school program.

Yale University Art Gallery Sidewalk Studio

Sidewalk Studio is a summer outdoor program set up in front of the gallery that fosters impromptu art making on a drop-in basis. Led by gallery staff and Yale University undergraduate and graduate students, each session focuses on a single medium and connects to related works in the collection.

Yale University Art Gallery Teacher Leadership Program

In the Teacher Leadership Program, teachers explore innovative ways to connect their own interest in art, their curricula, and the gallery’s collection. The program is free and meets the first Thursday of the month throughout the academic year. More than 500 teachers have attended professional development programs at the museum that focused on inquiry-based teaching, critical thinking, and visual literacy skills.

Yale University Art Gallery Teen Program

Begun in 2014, the Teen Program at the gallery is open to all local high school students. Students meet weekly for sessions focused on making art and exploring the gallery’s collections. This past year, students worked in the studio on portraits and print-making, and examined special collections in the gallery’s print room.

Yale University Library Digital Humanities Lab

The Digital Humanities Laboratory (DHLab) within the Yale University Library, supports cutting-edge research and teaching in the humanities. Visitors can explore the leading questions and tools driving digital humanities research forward, from Tableau Public—free software for creating interactive data visualizations—to StoryMaps—a platform for publishing maps alongside text, images, and audio, and much more.