- Art Students League
215 W. 57th St., nr. Seventh Ave.; 212-247-4510; theartstudentsleague.org
Who can argue with an old-school institution that smells of paint, turpentine, and inspiration and has the patina of history, with alumni like Thomas Hart Benton, Maurice Sendak, and Cy Twombly? At the Art Students League, children—ages 8 to 12, though teens can register for adult weekend classes—are treated like artists from the start. Materials aren’t preschool-level; parents get a list of must-haves like Ebony pencils, detail brushes, and top-grade pastels. Neither is the faculty, made up of pros trained to teach kids how to hone their vision. Since the institution is committed to accessibility and affordability, fees are kept shockingly low. Three-and-a-half-hour weekend workshops in painting, mixed media, and sculpture are $75 a month; summer sessions that run four half-days a week are under $200 a month.