Philanthropy & Project Week: Because Every Student’s Lived Experience Matters

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New Hampton School alumni know that the school’s annual Project Week is the pinnacle of project-based and experiential learning. In line with the school’s philosophy that the most life-changing educational experiences often occur outside the classroom, students, and faculty join together each year to investigate one “essential question.” This is done through experimentation, small-group activities and discussion, and, for the intrepid, travel outside New Hampshire’s borders.

Vision & Intention

What alumni may not know is that a special fund was created to support these adventurous students. Established in 2018 by two anonymous members of the extended New Hampton School family, the Nancy B. Tieken Fund exists to subsidize travel expenses for junior or senior students who would otherwise not be able to participate in an off-campus Project Week opportunity. The fund was named for Nancy Babson Tieken, a woman who was absolutely devoted to the scholarly study and support of the arts and arts education. She held an M.A. in art history from Boston University and an undergraduate degree in fine arts from Harvard University. She held professional positions and trusteeships at many esteemed arts organizations, including the Los Angeles County Museum, the Currier Museum in New Hampshire, The Peabody Essex Museum in Massachusetts, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, The National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C., the Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego in California, and the Denver Art Museum.

Ms. Tieken’s commitment to her chosen field of study was deep and intentional, and the impact of her life’s work is an example to any New Hampton student who would like to make a difference in a particular community. The arts were, for Ms. Tieken, the place for essential questions about beauty, creativity, and innovation, as well as what art is and its value to society. The benefactors behind the Nancy B. Tieken Fund would like current and future New Hampton students to live deeply in a subject of their own choosing, beginning with Project Week and perhaps exploring that interest at college and beyond. Students interested in traveling with support from the Fund complete a very brief application and—most importantly—must explain how their project week experiences will have a positive impact on the New Hampton School community.

Learn More

Alumni who would like to learn more about NHS’s Project Week, the ongoing legacy of the Nancy B. Tieken Fund, or how they themselves can enhance a student’s lived learning experience through their own philanthropic vision should be in touch with Alison Kirk ’90, P’25 at akirk@newhampton.org or Amy Woods P’22, ’24 at awoods@newhampton.org.

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