Walnut Hill School

Coordinates: 42°17′30″N 71°20′48″W / 42.2918°N 71.3467°W / 42.2918; -71.3467
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Walnut Hill School for the Arts
United States
TypePrivate, boarding, arts
MottoNon Nobis Solum
"Not for ourselves alone"
Head of SchoolEric Barber
Campus30 acres (120,000 m2)
Color(s)  Red (historic)
  Purple (modern)
Tuition$66,390 (boarding)
$51,100 (day)

Walnut Hill School for the Arts is an independent boarding school and day school for the arts located in Natick, Massachusetts, United States. It is intended for student artists in grade 9-12.[1]

History and programs[edit]

Boarding school[edit]

Walnut Hill was founded in 1893 by Florence Bigelow and Charlotte Conant as a college preparatory school for women and a feeder school for Wellesley College. Even as a traditional private boarding school for girls, Walnut Hill's arts programs were strong. The school was home to acclaimed Fenway Studios artist and teacher Marion L. Pooke, class of 1901, and Pulitzer Prize–winning author and Poet Laureate Elizabeth Bishop, class of 1930. It became coeducational and arts-focused in the late 1970s in response to changes in the educational landscape.[1]


Students at Walnut Hill major in one of five arts disciplines: dance, music, theatre, visual art, and writing, film, and media arts. Writing, film and media arts classes include but are not limited to poetry, fiction, screenwriting, cinematography and darkroom photography.[2]

Boston Ballet

Boston Ballet School merged with the Walnut Hill dance program in 2020 rebranding the company as Boston Ballet's pre professional division at Walnut Hill. While this was beneficial for both organizations it was met with backlash by many members of the Walnut Hill community.[3]


Walnut Hill School campus

The Walnut Hill campus has thirteen buildings on 40 acres (16 ha).[4] Stowe, Eliot, Highland, Clark, New Cottage, Westerly, North House and Elizabeth Bishop Hall are the school's dorms. The campus also holds the Academic and Technology Center; the Delbridge Family Center for the Arts; the Dance Center; the Keiter Center for the Performing Arts; the Writing, Film, and Media Arts building; the Office of Admission; and the Head's House.

Eliot is the largest building on campus; its second and third floors serve as a dormitory. It contains Boswell Hall, the Keefe center, the dining hall, the student campus center and the school bookstore. Highland contains music practice rooms (both regular and soundproof), the Visual Art studios, Pooke Gallery, Amelia Hall and Highland Dormitory. Stowe, in addition to being a dormitory, is the location of the switchboard and many administrative offices, including the Head of School's office, external relations and facilities.

The Delbridge Family Center for the Arts is the most recent addition to the campus. It began construction in the 2015–2016 school year and was completed in July 2016. This structure includes a dance studio, a black box and a gallery.


Mountain Day: This tradition takes place in October and serves as a community-building event for the senior class. The entire class ascends one of the most hiked mountains in the world, Mount Monadnock. This event gives the students a sense of accomplishment and class spirit.[5]

Tree Day: During the last week of the academic semester, the senior class, usually given the option to pick, will choose a tree to plant on campus and where they plant it. This is a way that students can leave remember their legacy at the school.[6]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b "Walnut Hill School for the Arts | Private Arts High School". www.walnuthillarts.org. Retrieved 2022-09-09.
  2. ^ "Writing, Film & Media Arts - Walnut Hill School for the Arts |". www.walnuthillarts.org. Retrieved 2018-11-27.
  3. ^ "Boston Ballet School and Walnut Hill Are Merging Their High School Pre-Professional Programs". Pointe Magazine. 2019-12-18. Retrieved 2021-11-16.
  4. ^ "Walnut Hill School". The Independent. Jul 6, 1914. Retrieved August 1, 2012.
  5. ^ "Traditions - Walnut Hill School for the Arts". www.walnuthillarts.org. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  6. ^ "Traditions - Walnut Hill School for the Arts". www.walnuthillarts.org. Retrieved 2021-12-10.
  7. ^ "Van Hansis : Biography". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  8. ^ "Judith Hoag". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-02-24.
  9. ^ "Jovanna Huguet". IMDb.com. Retrieved 2014-02-24.

External links[edit]

42°17′30″N 71°20′48″W / 42.2918°N 71.3467°W / 42.2918; -71.3467