Office of Arts & Special Projects

Summer Arts Institute

The Summer Arts Institute is a tuition-free, intensive arts program for New York City public school students entering grades 8-12, held at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts in Astoria, Queens.

2017 Summer Arts Institute

Program Dates: July 5 - July 28, 2017

Note: The film studio will have two mandatory, full-day Saturday sessions in June prior to the start of SAI, dates to be announced.

Thank you to all students who applied for the 2017 Summer Arts Institute!

Auditions will be held on Saturday, March 25 and Sunday, March 26 at Frank Sinatra School of the Arts.

Specific audition assignments were mailed the week of February 27th to all eligible students who submitted a complete application by the deadline. If you did not receive your audition assignment or if you need to cancel your audition, please contact our office as soon as possible at 917-521-3713 or

There will be no make-up audition date.

If you are interested in participating in the 2018 Summer Arts Institute and would like to stay up to date with next year's audition information, click here to join our audition mailing list:

For more information, contact our office at or 917-521-3713.

Program Overview

Summer Arts Institute offers a unique opportunity for students to work with DOE arts specialists, partnering cultural organizations, and guest artists. This experienced team of arts professionals guides students in building a portfolio or audition skills for thier next level of study: an arts-focused high school, college, university or conservatory. Students can major in dance, theater, instrumental music (band), vocal music, film, string orchestra, or visual arts. The program is designed for students at an intermediate or advanced level of study in their chosen discipline.

Summer Arts Institute focuses on three areas:

  • Developing students' artistic skills and creativity
  • Broadening students' awareness of the arts
  • Helping students recognize and explore career options in the art and arts-related industries

The daily schedule includes studio work and experiences with professional artists, both on and off-site. In the studios, students develop and improve their technical skills and creative expression in their selected art form. Time is dedicated to rehearsals, attending professional performances, visiting professional arts venues and exploring potential careers. Students are given opportunities to perform in selected venues around New York City, and to show their original work in an informal, cabaret-like setting called the SAI Café. The Institute culminates with an exhibition and live performance for families and the local community showcasing the students' work from all studios.

Students who complete the program in good standing are eligible to receive a 1/2 unit of credit that may be applied towards an elective arts credit or a Regents or local diploma-major sequence upon approval from their school.

Our cultural partners include American Ballet Theatre, Roundabout Theatre Company, Theatre for a New Audience, Tribeca Film Institute, and Midori & Friends.

Click here to view a short film showcasing the SAI program in action.

Office of Arts & Special Projects