High School Performing Arts

In High School Performing Arts, students with disabilities develop communication skills and self-confidence that prepare them for the transition out of high school services and into the community and independent living. This classroom-based program places teaching artists in schools for residencies in performing arts and mixed-media, culminating in a final student-led community sharing event. 

“This program is broadening his horizons… his creativity. It’s giving him an outlet to let us know what is in his mind, and his feelings and his emotions.”

Parent of a Participant

The program employs dynamic learning, creating performances derived from participants’ own experiences. Communication, civic engagement, preparation for employment, and participation in cultural venues, among other self-advocacy topics, are addressed through an arts-based process. Successful transition plans empower students to determine their own contribution as equal participants in the life of their communities. Key to this empowerment is the ability to speak up for oneself, to define one’s own goals and take action to achieve those goals, and to tell others about one’s needs and choices.

Our high school programs strive to support students’ self-expression, to encourage creativity and confidence, and to foster enduring, healthy relationships with peers, mentors, and the wider community.

To learn more about this program or host a residency at your school, contact Heidi Swevens, Director of Community Partnerships.

VSA - The Kennedy Center - This program is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts - 2019-2020