Each summer in the beautiful Berkshires of western Massachusetts, the Boston Symphony Orchestra (BSO) hosts Days in the Arts, a multicultural, residential education program where over 400 Massachusetts school students from 31 communities gather together to explore the arts. Days in the Arts (DARTS) offers children the opportunity to spend five of their summer days totally immersed in the various cultural venues throughout the Berkshires. The DARTS philosophy, the same since its inception in 1968, is founded on fostering respect for and interest in each person’s ethnicity, interests, talents, and individuality. The program strives to provide an environment in which participants are exposed to the arts and to different people from a wide range of backgrounds.
What Happens at DARTS?
During daily on-campus workshops led by veteran faculty from across the state, DARTS students concentrate on a particular arts discipline including vocal music, instrumental music, theater, dance or visual arts. In addition to their intensive workshop experience, students are immersed in countless forms and aspects of art during daily field trips to cultural institutions such as Jacob’s Pillow, Chesterwood, Shakespeare & Company, Berkshire Theatre Festival, Norman Rockwell Museum, Clark Art Institute, Williamstown Theater, and Tanglewood.
A Typical Day at DARTS
7:00 a.m. Wake-up Call
7:45 a.m. Breakfast
8:30 a.m. Creative Expression
9:30 a.m. Arts Workshop
12:00 noon Lunch
1:00 p.m. Cultural Excursion
6:00 p.m. Dinner
7:00 p.m. Group Activity
9:30 p.m. Lights Out
Who Teaches the DARTS Programs?
DARTS has a multi-ethnic staff and a dynamic faculty from all over Massachusetts who lead daily workshops in instrumental music, vocal music, visual art, theatre and dance. Each week three teachers from participating communities join the staff as Creative Expression Teachers and chaperones, and six previous participants, now high school students, attend as Counselors-in-Training (CIT’s).
Eating and Sleeping at DARTS
At DARTS all students, staff and faculty are housed in secured dormitory facilities on the DARTS campus, the site of the former Valley Head boarding school in Lenox, MA. Each dormitory suite consists of double occupancy student rooms and, at least, one Counselor-in-Training (CIT) room. Senior staff members and security personnel monitor dorms. Meals are served in the dining hall or picnic style, either on the DARTS campus of at one of the excursion sites. DARTS Dining Services staff can accommodate special dietary needs if notified prior to the start of the program in June. Occasionally, assistance from parents may be requested to meet dietary needs. DARTS is a nut-free facility. Please be sure to note any food allergies/restrictions on both medical forms.
When Does Newton Attend DARTS?
Newton students will attend DARTS during week 6, JUL 31 – AUG 4, 2017 along with students from Beverly, Berkshire Hills, Boston, North Adams, Richmond, and Sheffield.
Getting to DARTS and Back
All students are transported to the DARTS campus in Lenox, MA via coach bus. Pick-up and drop-off will be at a central location in the Boston area TBA. The bus will pick up students on Monday morning and return them Friday afternoon unless other specific arrangements are made with the DARTS director.
How Much Does DARTS Cost?
The cost for the program is $550.00 for the week. This includes all meals, lodging, transportation and activities. Students may want to bring additional spending money for souvenirs, etc. A $50 deposit is required when submitting application materials. Newton Public Schools does NOT provide financial assistance to participate in this program. The BSO offers limited financial assistance by application.
How Are Students Selected for DARTS?
Newton is being offered 15 reserved spots at DARTS. Attendance in the program is open to students currently in grades 5, 6, & 7. The Newton participants will be selected by a lottery drawing on March 16th. While only 15 students will be selected to attend the DARTS program, an additional 5 students will be selected by lottery as alternates in rank order. The BSO/DARTS program will contact alternates directly if a space becomes available. Students who have previously participated in DARTS are not eligible.
If you are interested in having your child attend DARTS, please submit the pre-application form/questionnaire available from an arts teacher at your child's school (or download from link at top of this page). If your child is selected in the lottery to attend DARTS, application materials will be mailed to you from the NPS Fine Arts Department. At this time, you only need to submit the pre-application form.
Parent Orientation Meeting
Saturday, June 10, 2017
10:30AM – 12:00PM
Symphony Hall in Boston
Deadline for Pre-Applications:
Thursday, March 16, 2017 at 4:00PM
Mail or Drop-off your Pre-Application:
Fine Arts Office, Newton Public Schools
100 Walnut Street, Newton, MA 02460
PLEASE DO NOT CONTACT the BSO-DARTS office directly about Newton student selection. Newton students will be chosen by Newton – not by the BSO.
Richard P. King, Fine Arts Department
Newton Public Schools
100 Walnut Street