• 1220 Fifth Ave at 103rd St., Open Daily 10am–6pm

    Saturday Academy

    Saturday Academy, a partnership of the Frederick A.O. Schwarz Education Center and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, for students in grades 8–12.

    Saturday Academy is a free six-session program for students interested in American History and SAT preparation. There’s no homework and all course materials are provided.

    Fall 2017 courses meet on Saturdays October 28, November 4, 11, 18, December 2, and 9. Students are expected to attend all six sessions and will receive a Certificate of Achievement at the end of the program.

    Fall 2017 Courses include:

    • Bell Curves SAT Skills
    • Art in the City: The History of Public Art in New York, 1960s Today
    • Making Black Lives Matter: Black Political Thought from Present to Past
    • American Fashion in the 20th Century
    • The Changing City: Urban Planning and the Making of New York

    Students may enroll in one or two American History electives. Students who apply for SAT Prep must also register for an American History elective. Please see the course descriptions, class times, and information about the instructors below, and apply by October 11.


    About Saturday Academy

    The presentation of Saturday Academy at the Museum of the City of New York is made possible through the generous support of the Charina Endowment Fund.

    Saturday Academy was the recipient of the 2011 National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award from the White House and was featured in New York Magazine’s “Best of New York 2011” issue.

    Fall 2017 Course Offerings

    Bell Curves SAT Skills

    Instructors: Bell Curves Educators
    Open to students in grades 10–12; 9:00–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

    Please see note below about the two required practice exams on October 28 and December 9.

    The Bell Curves SAT Skills course is designed to help students succeed on the SAT exam. The course will improve students’ understanding of the skills tested by the SAT and then teach them strategies for applying those skills in efficient ways. With the help of expert and supportive instructors, students will learn how to pace themselves and will become more familiar with the test format and question types. After taking two mandatory practice tests, students will leave the classroom prepared and excited for the big exam.

    Students in the SAT class will be required to take two free practice SAT exams on the 1st and 6th days of the program (Saturdays October 28 and December 9 from 12:45–5:00 pm), directly after their regular morning classes. Please save the dates and times!

    Art in the City: The History of Public Art in New York, 1960s Today

    Instructor: Shannon Connelly, Ph.D. in Art History, Rutgers University
    Open to students in grades 8–12; 9:00–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

    With the changing landscape of American cities, artists have sought new ways to interact with the urban environment. Using the Museum’s exhibition Art in the Open: Fifty Years of Public Art in New York, students will view public artworks throughout New York City's five boroughs, ranging from large-scale site-specific works to subway mosaics to performance art. Students will learn how artists such as Red Grooms, Keith Haring, and Kara Walker sought to move their work beyond the walls of museums and galleries to intervene in everyday life, engaging issues ranging from public health crises to affordable housing to the legacy of slavery. Through interactive discussions, participants will gain experience analyzing visual art and primary sources, and will work together to draft their own designs of a public artwork for a New York City site of their choosing.

    Making Black Lives Matter: Black Political Thought from Present to Past

    Instructor: Christopher P. Harris, Ph.D. Candidate in Politics and Historical Studies, New School for Social Research
    Open to students in grades 8–12; 9:00–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

    Black politics has always had a cultural expression; it can be seen and heard and felt. The political ideas and cultural practices found in and around the Movement for Black Lives have deep roots, many of which can be traced to the long history of black radical politics in New York City, particularly through the contributions of black women activists. In this course, students will explore this history – the seeing, hearing, and feeling of the black radical tradition – by exploring major trends in black political thought through the contributions of black women such as Ida B. Wells, Amy Jacques Garvey, Claudia Jones, Ella Baker, Assata Shakur and Audre Lorde. By examining the activism of black women alongside the cultural expression of other black artists, writers, and musicians, students will walk away with a deeper understanding of the evolution of the black radical tradition and how it has been continued and transformed by the Movement for Black Lives.

    American Fashion in the 20th Century

    Instructor: Joy Davis, M.A. in Fashion and Textile Studies: History, Theory, Museum Practice, Fashion Institute of Technology
    Open to students in grades 8–12; 9:00–10:20 am or 10:30 am–12:00 pm

    This course will explore fashion as a form of expression for social and political groups throughout the 20th century and up until the present. Beginning in Activist New York, students will learn about fashion in relation to industry and science through the history of factory-made shirtwaists and early labor union organizing in New York’s garment district. Drawing from New York at Its Core and Rhythm and Power: Salsa in New York, students will investigate 20th century fashions, including the image of the new woman of the 1920s, couture designs of the 1950s, and the salsa scene in 1960s New York. The course will culminate with the opening of Mod New York: Fashion Takes a Trip, where students will explore how traditions in fashion were challenged and reimagined during the women’s liberation movement, the counterculture, and antiwar movements throughout the decade.

    The Changing City: Urban Planning and the Making of New York

    Instructor: Daniel J. Francis, Master of Urban Planning Candidate, Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service at New York University
    Open to students in grades 8–12; 12:15 pm–1:45 pm

    This course will examine moments of growth, crisis, and resiliency in the New York City’s past, present, and future as it traces the city’s development and compares it to that of other American cities. Drawing from New York at Its Core, students will explore natural and man-made challenges throughout the past 200 years, and learn how planning was used to respond to these challenges in the construction of New York’s water system, street grid, and subway. Throughout the course, students will consider creative solutions that both elected officials and residents used to build a more just, resilient city, including recent initiatives in places such as Hunts Point in the Bronx and the redevelopment of Fresh Kills in Staten Island. On the last day, students will digitally create their own personal visions for New York by redesigning New York’s housing, waterfront parks, and streets in the Museum’s Future City Lab.

    How to Apply



    Enrollment is first-come, first served. Priority seating in all classes will be given to students who live and/or attend schools in East and Central Harlem (zip codes: 10026, 10027, 10029, 10030, 10035, 10037, and 10039). Please apply early-space is limited! Accepted candidates will be notified by email, mail, or telephone by Friday, October 20.

    Should you experience any trouble applying online, you may call 917.492.3387 or email

    To receive information about the program and other opportunities, please sign up for our mailing list and check the Saturday Academy box at the bottom of the form.

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