Students for Sustainability Conference (S4S)

St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School proudly hosts the ninth annual Students for Sustainability Conference (S4S) on Monday, April 24, 2017, from 4 - 6:00 pm, and invites students from Virginia, Washington, D.C., and Maryland schools to attend an afternoon dedicated to the arts and sustainability. 
Artists play a significant role in raising awareness about the planet. Art shows the beauty of the earth and the diversity of its creatures.  Art calls humans to reflect and to react to the condition of the earth and its decreased ability sustain life in the future.

Student artists will express their concern for the health and well-being of our common home - the earth.
Artists may use their media as a vehicle to:
  • Express concern for the planet
  • Celebrate the earth’s beauty
  • Call attention to the earth’s compromised condition
  • Offer solutions for change
  • Propel people to action
Student artists will share and discuss their work at the conference with peers and teachers. Members of the regional arts community, including painters, photographers, and sculptors, will share their work and artistic processes.

The evening will conclude with a dinner and actions steps to move forward from the conference.
Regional schools are invited to bring a “green delegation” to this artistic evening to participate in the creative work of regional students and to share a passion for a greener future.

2017 Invited Guest Artists

Students for Sustainability 2017 will include several creative artists who will share their work and inspirational processes with the students.

Alison Sigethy
is a glass sculptor known for her organic, nature inspired glass sculptures. Her "Sea Cores" projects are inspired by the core samples scientists take to study and monitor the oceans. Ms. Sigethy has exhibited her work nationally, and her work has appeared in the USA Today, Washington Post, Christian Science Monitor, American Craft Magazine and works in her studio in the Torpedo Factory in Old Town Alexandria.

Jay Fleming is an Annapolis photographer who has actively documented all aspects of the seafood industry, a fascinating and diminishing way of life on the Chesapeake Bay.  From underwater shots of oyster divers, to crabs shedding their shells, to incredibly poignant portraits of workers in a crab picking house, to watermen in their deadrise boats leaving the dock before sunrise, Jay's book, Working the Water, demonstrates the different ways that people make a living off of the Bay as well as portray an accurate representation of the various Chesapeake Bay cultures.

 is an American landscape artist based in the Washington DC area.  Her paintings continue in the lineage set by the Hudson River Valley artists of the 19th century, yet record the changing landscape in the 21st century and the emotional connection we have with our environment.  Many of the landscapes Anne paints have changed immensely, due to development, climate change, natural disasters; just as our lives are in flux, so, too, is the landscape.  Anne is interested in this ever-changing, shrinking landscape, and translates these images to canvas via charcoal, turp, varnish, stand oil, and pigments, conveying a feeling rather than place recognition. Connect with her at www.HKAnneFineArt.com.

Nina Tisara, Artist-Photographer, started in photography as a free-lance photographer for the Alexandria Port Packet and was a member of the first photo gallery at the Torpedo Factory Art Center. In 1990, she opened Tisara Photography studio in Old Town, which is run today by her son Steven Halperson.  Nearby Huntley Meadows Park has long been her personal sanctuary and is the subject of many of her nature-themed photographs.

Over 25 regional student artists will also be displaying their work in a range of media.  

Student Artists Submission Guidelines

For all submissions (please read carefully)

Submissions are due by 4 pm on April 5, 2017 to the St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes Upper School campus.
Mailing address: 1000 St. Stephen’s Road, Alexandria, Virginia 22304  Attn: Mr. Brian Kane
Receiving hours for works of art are from 8 to 4 pm daily, or by arrangement at other times. Please contact Brian Kane at bkane@sssas.org  if those times are not possible.
Digital submissions are to be  emailed to bkane@sssas.org.
St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School will carefully handle all submissions and keep them as secure as possible on our campus; however, St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School assumes no responsibility for harm, theft, or loss of artwork while on campus. Students must retrieve artwork at the end of the conference and return it to their school or home.
Painting, drawing, printmaking, photography and sculpture submissions are encouraged.
Art work should reflect themes of environmental concern, celebration of  the natural world, or themes related to environmental sustainability. Art and sculpture will be displayed and include group conversations or panel discussions to allow students to share their inspiration and techniques.
Format requirements:
Works of art must be signed and labeled with the student’s name, grade level, school, and email address.  
Paintings, prints, photographs and drawings must be ready to hang. Framing is optional, but a hook must be affixed to the work  to enable display at the conference. Artists are required to attend the conference and encouraged to bring students from their schools.
Original compositions, recorded, and live performances are welcome at the conference. Group submissions are welcomed. Artistic work should reflect themes of environmental concern, celebration of  the natural world, or themes related to environmental sustainability.
Format requirements:
If a live performance is desired, students should submit a video recording in advance. Performances should be limited to five minutes. The recording should be labelled by its title, and the student/artists’ names listed on the submission form. Video recordings of performances are also welcomed in advance and can be screened at the conference if required.
Poetry and short stories should reflect themes of environmental concern, celebration of the natural world, or themes related to environmental sustainability. Written work should express a concern for the well-being of the earth and its inhabitants.  Authors will have the opportunity to read their works aloud at the conference.
Format requirements:
Length of a short story should be limited to 1,000 words. All submissions should occur via email and the cover page of all submissions should include author’s name, school, and the title of the work. Students will have an opportunity to read an excerpt up to five minutes in length at the conference. Poetry submissions and readings may include the entire work if under five minutes long.
Original film works created by students are welcomed. Students are encouraged to focus on an environmental concern or initiative in the student's’ school neighborhood. Films that reflect themes of environmental concern, celebration of the natural world, or other environmental themes are welcomed. Student films will be played and shared at the conference with attending students. Producers are invited to lead a conversation about their film at the conference with other student producers.
Format requirements:
Film title, student name, and student's’ school name should appear at the start of the film.
Films must not be longer than 10 minutes in length.
Films should credit all individuals who worked to produce the film in the film credits, including advisors.


Please reigster your group HERE. Student registration is $20 per person which includes dinner.  Payment by credit card of a mailed check to the school are accepted.  

There is no charge for faculty chaperones or for students who have submitted artwork.  

Public school groups should contact bkane@sssas.org for the rate for Alexandria City and Arlington County school groups.

S4S Video

S4S News

List of 2 news stories.


Contact Us

Please direct any questions to Brian Kane, Director of Environmental Stewardship at St. Stephen’s and St. Agnes School, via email at bkane@sssas.org or by phone at 703-212-2912.

S4S Photos

About the 2017 Conference

The S4S conference will take place at the Upper School campus at 1000 St. Stephen’s Rd. in Alexandria, Virginia. Be sure to note that we have two other campuses. Directions to the Upper School can be found here on our website. When you arrive on campus, we will direct you to parking and the location for registration.

What to Bring: Please bring the necessary emergency/medical information for each participant from your school. 
Shuttle Bus: An optional shuttle bus will carry students to and from the King Street Metro Station. Notify bkane@sssas.org if your group intends to take Metro and further details will be provided.

Banquet: The conference will conclude with a dinner that will include sustainably harvested foods and composting. We will also include raffle prizes and a Quiz Bowl on the environment and art at the banquet. 
Parts of the conference will be photographed and/or videotaped for use on our school website and school publications. The conference also may be attended by members of the media, and photos/video could be used in articles or television news. If any participant from your school does NOT wish to be included, please inform us in writing at bkane@sssas.org.

S4S History and Highlights

  • S4S was originated by St. Stephen’s & St. Agnes School in 2008 as part of our ongoing commitment to sustainability. It is the only event of its kind in the Greater Washington area.
  • Each year, more than 200 students from approximately 15 schools participate.
  • S4S has received letters of recognition from EPA Director Gina McCarthy, U.S. Sen. Mark Warner and U.S. Sen. Tim Kaine, and Congressman Jim Moran of Virginia.
  • Multiple Green Activity Zones led by students and adults.
  • Local and organic foods for snack and lunch.
  • Waste-free conference, compostable serviceware at lunch.
  • Past keynote speeches by Ian Cheney, filmmaker; Stephen Ritz (Green Bronx Machine); Chris Jordan, Artist; Mike Tidwell (Chesapeake Climate Action Network); Phil Ellis
    (Sierra Club); Alan Palm (The Alliance for Climate Education), Dr. Mamie Parker (U.S Fish & Wildlife Service) and Spencer Wells (National Geographic Society)
  • The conference has been featured by The Washington Post, Alexandria Gazette-Packet, WUSA-9, FOX5 news, the Green Schools Alliance, National Association of Independent Schools, and Independent Education.
St. Stephen's and St. Agnes School is an independent, college-preparatory, coed, day, Episcopal Church School that educates students in junior kindergarten through grade 12. The school consists of three, age-appropriate campuses (Lower, Middle, and Upper School) in Alexandria, Virginia. SSSAS welcomes families of all faiths. We offer challenging academics, a state-of-the-art performing arts center, and championship athletics. SSSAS is regarded as one of the top private schools in the Northern Virginia and Washington, D.C. area.

Lower School

Grades: JK-5
400 Fontaine Street
Alexandria, Virginia 22302

Middle School

Grades: 6-8
4401 West Braddock Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22304

Upper School

Grades: 9-12
1000 St. Stephen's Road
Alexandria, Virginia 22304