The mission of Besant Hill School is to foster the development of each individual’s intellectual and artistic abilities. BHS believes that in today’s world being literate in reading, writing and arithmetic is not nearly enough.

Essential to Learning

To be truly literate, students must know and understand the world around them; to know how to relate and understand one another’s point of view and perspective; to be able to express their passions in and for what makes them tick; and to do it in an environment where a community celebrates our individual genius at each and every turn.

Where else is this possible but in an environment that places equal emphasis on the visual and performing arts as in other core college-prep offerings? We believe that everyone has a desire to do art, and we aim to foster that ability in each student.

The arts are everywhere on campus, in the recording studio, in the ceramics studio, the Beato Atelier or the multi-media room, or on stage in our beautiful 150-seat Zalk Theater. In fact, the arts’ course selections are as expansive and comprehensive as those in some liberal arts colleges.

The purpose of art is washing the dust of daily life off our souls.

Pablo Picasso

A Creative Community

With nearly 30 offerings in music, performing arts, visual arts and digital arts, the arts at Besant Hill involve the whole person and affect the whole community. Rich in artistic history, our community has a long lineage of teachers who are professionals in the stage, film, music and visual art world in this country. Imagine being taught musical theater by someone who has directed over 50 shows and has former students performing on Broadway? Or learning guitar and jazz music from one of the area’s greatest guitarists? Or performing on stage next to a professional actor? Because of our location and proximity to Los Angeles and the town of Ojai, home to many writers, actors, directors, musicians and artists, we have a plethora of guest artists.

Since its founding in 1946, our community has always placed great emphasis on the importance of the arts and artists in our society. As the home of famed ceramicist Beatrice Wood (whose home and studio stands as a museum and art gallery to some of the most innovative and creative artists on the scene today), Besant Hill continues to uphold creative expression as an essential component of the school experience.