VISION: Transforming students’ lives
through robust and thorough engagement
in culturally relevant PK-12 visual and
performing arts education
OVERVIEW: PPS VISUAL & PERFORMING ARTS (VAPA)
Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) refers to the disciplines of theatre, music, dance and visual/media arts. Portland Public Schools' VAPA program operates within the Curriculum & Instruction office, a department in the central office that provides teaching and learning services to educators across all academic subject areas.
PPS offers arts education to 78 schools across the district. With over 200 certified arts teachers, we are one of largest organization providing arts education in the state. We offer multiple opportunities for artistic expression from kindergarten through twelfth grade, beginning level to pre-professional.
Portland Public Schools’ Visual and Performing Arts program guarantees all PK-12 students equitable access to exploratory enrichments as well. High-quality, specialized, articulated arts experiences in dance, theatre, music and visual/media arts are taught with a focus on culturally responsive arts instruction. The implementation of district policies supporting and sustaining arts education as core programming will aid the VAPA program in establishing exceptional professional development services in curriculum and instruction, as well as interdisciplinary arts integration. These cornerstones foster clear strategic planning and engaged community partnership collaborations with all our stakeholders.
ARTS EDUCATION MATTERS
The arts are fundamental to a child's creative expression and their overall learning and growth. Integrated into the general curriculum, they enhance comprehension and engagement. On their own, they nurture self-esteem and increase whole-brain activity. The arts are our greatest tools for promote creative thinking in the classroom.
This website is intended to give parents a brief overview of the PPS VAPA program. The following will help you navigate to the right pages:
- For information regarding renting instruments from the district, use the INSTRUMENT RENTAL FORM page.
- For information regarding the annual, district-wide arts showcase, The HEART of Portland, click here.
- Visit the Calendar of Events page to discover important dates for events.
- Learn about our partnerships with external arts organization. See an example in action on the White Bird Education Outreach page.
- To contact the coordinator of the VAPA program, Kristen Brayson, please click the CONTACT page.
FOR PPS ARTS EDUCATORS
Use the ARTS TEACHER PORTAL page to access important information and documents. The page is password protected, so email Arts TOSA Kristen Brayson if you need the code.