Fine Arts

South Bend Schools offers exposure to a wide variety of fine arts to all students and a strong foundation of training to those who choose to pursue a higher level of fine arts preparation. South Bend is a community that values the arts, leading to many arts experiences for our students. Partnerships with local arts organizations and universities create opportunities for students in all schools to work and perform with world class artists. It is our belief that the arts provide many benefits not found in other content areas, fostering self-expression, improving self-esteem, and often building bridges for understanding across the core curriculum.

Little Mermaid Jr. Cast
At the elementary level, our youngest students receive instruction on a weekly basis in both music and visual arts. Every student from kindergarten through 5th grade participates in school-based art exhibits and at least one music performance every year. Children in grades 4 and 5 participate in instrumental music lessons that expose them to the various instruments used in band and orchestra. This allows them to make a more informed decision when they choose their fine arts electives at the middle school level.

Our middle school students have daily instruction in at least one fine arts class: band, orchestra, choir, or art. These students participate in at least two performances each year and a district-wide art exhibition at the Colfax Center. Many of the music students also participate in ISSMA contests as soloists and/or members of a group.

High school expands the fine arts options even more and the offerings vary among the STring Along Performersdifferent schools, often overlapping into specific magnet or CTE programs. Students compete in ISSMA, Scholastic, and other competitions. In addition to traditional music and art classes, at this level students have options in theatre, dance, and more specialized music and art courses.

SBCSC has created three magnet schools for students who want more arts. At Nuner Fine Arts Academy (K-5) the arts are integrated throughout the curriculum in all classes. Students receive instruction in art and vocal music, play instruments in the upper grades, add dance into their pe classes and attend weekly drama classes. Dickinson Fine Arts Academy students (6-8) also have the arts integrated into their core content classes and is a STEAM school, adding in engineering and technology to the mix.

Students in grades 7 & 8 participate in more specialized art and music courses such as Media Tech Arts, 3-D Art, 2-D Art, Symphonic Band, and STEAM. Both of these schools offer extensive after-school programming that provides even more arts experiences.

Clay High School for the Visual & Performing Arts students select a strand of the arts to specialize in, but may also take courses in all of the arts. While this is not a whole school magnet like the others, non-magnet students may participate in the magnet classes. Specialized classes are offered in all areas of the Fine Arts, with many taught by artists-in-residence. Each year, CHS Students move on to be accepted to prestigious art schools and currently share their artistic voices all over the world.

South Bend Community schools provide students with experiences that encourage them to grow in many ways. The vast array of experiences offered through the Fine Arts address the whole child, providing connections between the social and the academic.

“Every child is an artist…” Pablo Picasso

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