The Arts at Keswick School
The Arts have always been an integral part of the work at Keswick School, beginning with founder Bob Wilson’s passion for woodworking, which remains a central activity for its students. Art class has been a required elective for students and this year it has expanded to include science, technology, engineering, and math to become a STEAM elective. Keswick holds an annual art and poetry unit that includes a poetry competition and a community art activity. Its students also have access to private music lessons throughout the year. The arts encourage students to develop competencies with real-world value such as providing new social opportunities, increasing self-esteem and a sense of agency, and promoting lifelong interests that are enriching and meaningful.
In 1987, Keswick School took the progressive step of hiring Patricia Moore M.A. ATR-BC, a certified Art Therapist who continues to work at the school. At the time she was hired, Art Therapy was an innovative and unique modality. Art Therapy provides a means by which students may explore feelings, increase awareness of self and others, enhance cognitive abilities, and enjoy the pleasure of making art in non-verbal and socially acceptable forms. Still today, Keswick stands as one of a select few schools that offer Art Therapy to its students.
In 2018, Jennifer Bailey, LCSW, a clinical therapist, became certified in Drama Therapy. Through her work with Drama Therapy, she founded the school drama troop named Cease This Folly. Cease This Folly hosts the community holiday program, spring showcase, and film festival. Given the students’ deficits and needs, drama therapy provides an accessible and active modality for therapy in both individual and group settings that allows participants to explore their thoughts and emotions in a dynamic way.
Keswick School is excited to announce Jennifer will be presenting on drama therapy at the NATSAP Southeast Regional Conference in Greenville, SC on Thursday, October 12, at 11:00 a.m., where she will be discussing the many benefits the arts can provide to adolescents and teens in therapeutic settings.
About Keswick School
Keswick School is a nationally recognized therapeutic special education boarding school located in Keswick, Virginia, just outside of Charlottesville Virginia. We have been serving boys ages 9-18 with complex social-emotional, learning, developmental, and emotional challenges for 60 years. We are accredited by the Virginia Association of Independent Specialized Education Facilities and licensed by the Commonwealth of Virginia Department of Education and Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. We are a member of the Small Boarding School Association.