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

    Saturday Academy

    Saturday Academy, a partnership of the FAO 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.

    Spring 2017 courses meet on Saturdays, March 11, 18, 25, April 1, 22, and 29. Students are expected to attend all six sessions and will receive a Certificate of Achievement at the end of the program.

    Spring 2017 Courses include:

    • Bell Curves SAT Skills
    • African Americans and the Global Black Freedom Struggle
    • City Planning and the Challenge of Climate Change
    • Shifting Scenery: Painting in American History
    • Migrations to 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 February 17.


    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, which you can read about here.

    Spring 2017 Course Offerings

    Bell Curves SAT Skills

    Instructors: Bell Curves Educators

    Open to students in grades 10 – 12;

    9:00 – 10:20 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    Please see note below about the two required practice exams on March 11 and April 22

    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 5th days of the program (Saturdays March 11 and April 22 from 12:45 – 5:00 p.m.), directly after their regular morning classes. Please save the dates and times!

    African Americans and the Global Black Freedom Struggle

    Instructor: Mae A. Miller, Ph.D. Candidate in Earth and Environmental Sciences, CUNY Graduate Center

    Open to students in grades 8 – 12;

    9:00 – 10:20 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    Throughout the 20th and 21st centuries, African Americans have connected civil rights activism “at home” to social justice movements around the world. Drawing on the Museum’s many exhibitions such as, Activist New York and New York at Its Core, students will explore the multiple ways in which African Americans have redefined democracy and challenged injustices in the U.S. through the creation of international coalitions, alliances, and political organizations. Students will learn about the 1900 London Pan African Congress; the international visions of writers and activists during the Harlem Renaissance; African-American newspaper campaigns that linked Jim Crow and European fascism during WWII; solidarities between the Black Panther Party, the Puerto Rican Young Lords and African and Asian liberation movements in the 1960s; and the international efforts of the current Black Lives Matter movement. 


    City Planning and the Challenge of Climate Change

    Instructor: Cambridge Ridley Lynch, MPhil. in History, CUNY Graduate Center

    Open to students in grades 8 – 12;

    9:00 – 10:20 a.m. or 10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.

    We might say that people are “products of their environment,” but for New Yorkers, that’s only partly true. As long as humans have been on these shores, New Yorkers have been re-working and shaping their environment to suit their needs. But what happens when humans and nature collide, and how can we learn from it? This class will look at historic weather events all the way up to Hurricane Sandy to discover how New Yorkers have “tamed” the natural environment from when it was a Native American settlement onwards, and how they have also, inadvertently, made the city vulnerable to climate change. Drawing from the Museum’s New York at Its Core exhibition and its Future City Lab, this class will explore how we can make sure that the past informs the future, and transform the city through intelligent planning and civic engagement.


    Shifting Scenery: Painting in American History

    Instructor: Heather Cammarata-Seale, Ph.D. in Art History, Rutgers University

    Open to students in grades 8 – 12

    9:00 – 10:20 a.m.

    This course will explore American landscape painting as a means to investigate how the American national identity has evolved and changed over the past two hundred years. In addition to learning how to visually analyze a work of art, students will examine how cultural, economic, and political factors such as global exchange, the rise of industrialization, the Great Depression, and postwar civil rights and environmental activist movements helped shape artistic depictions of our nation’s cities and countryside. Paintings by renowned artists such as Thomas Hart Benton, Romare Bearden, and Georgia O’Keefe, as well as works featured in the exhibitions New York at its Core and Activist New York, will be used to demonstrate how American artists not only paint scenic views but make American history visible.


    Migrations to New York

    Instructor: Aaron Welt, Ph.D. Candidate in History, New York University

    Open to students in grades 8 – 12;

    10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. or 12:15 – 1:45 p.m.

    For centuries New York City has been the largest port of entry for immigrants, as well as the destination for many of the nation’s domestic migrants. This course will explore how mass movements of peoples to New York have transformed the city’s politics, economy, and cultural expressions. Through tours of the Museum’s exhibitions and viewing artifacts in New York at Its Core, participants will learn about the history of New York as a multicultural metropolis by focusing on the creation of Tammany Hall in the 1800s, the Draft Riots of 1863, the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s, and immigrant-worker movements of the early 20th century. The course will also examine more recent migration flows— such as Puerto Ricans in the 1950s and the influx of African Americans from the South in the 1960s, and the arrival of millions of immigrants from all over the world following the passage of the Immigration Act of 1965—all of which have made New York one of the most culturally diverse cities in the world.

    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, March 3.

    Should you experience any trouble applying online, please contact or call 917.492.3387 to request that an application be mailed to your home address for you to fill out and return to the Museum of the City of New York.

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