Center for Creative Arts

Children who have the opportunity to actively explore the creative arts in all its forms – music, theater, design, and visual arts – not only develop a deep appreciation for the artistic process but also build confidence and skill in producing and displaying their own creative pieces. IDS Creative Arts programs provide children with challenging opportunities to express themselves in an encouraging, celebratory learning environment. Learning to explore and present one’s own ideas in visual art, music, movement, speech, and theater helps all students reach the ultimate goals of the creative arts - self-awareness, self-expression, and self-confidence.
The reach of the Creative Arts extends into most every classroom most every day. Whether it is making a presentation about research, drawing an illustration or other aid in support of a project, reading aloud from a story or a play, crafting an artifact for a presentation, role-playing an event or character, engaging in debate with peers, painting a creative mural, or just dialoguing ideas about the topic at hand, IDS students are creating almost constantly.

In fact, IDS students create so often that they frequently don’t even realize it, transitioning from the smaller off-stage moments to the spotlight show-stoppers without a second thought, from a major art piece to a small sketch alongside a paper without even acknowledging the step. It is this ubiquitous presence on our campus that makes the Creative Arts a true “center” of what we do and is certainly one of the historically most important and significant forces in establishing our culture of excellence, confidence and humility.

Student growth through creative arts
  • Increased skills in the traditional Creative Arts
  • Focused and formal growth in public speaking and rhetorical skills
  • Increased talents as drawers, painters, sculptors, etc.
  • Reinforced sense of imagination, curiosity, inventiveness, resourcefulness, vision and originality
  • Heightened confidence in front of audiences
  • Deepened understanding of culture and history through the arts

The Center for Creative Arts at IDS include:
  • Seven times each year, IDS students performing on the stage in their annual class plays.
  • Winter and spring concerts to hear the students sing and play, perform in the band and ensembles such as Jazz Band or Chamber Music, and sing in chorus.
  • Our annual talent show, dance contest, presentations at All School Meeting presentations, Middle School musical, smaller venue performances from our theatre classes are community-wide celebrations of the performing arts.
  • Students visual art work is displayed not only at the Durham Fair and in a variety of shows in the local community, but also every time we walk down the hallways or around campus.
  • All IDS students learn to play the recorder in Grade 3 and choose a band instrument in Grade 4.Instrumental lessons are offered during the school day and students may also take after school private lessons for an additional fee.All IDS Grade 4, 5, and 6 students play in the school band and all middle schoolers belong to either chorus or band. Many of our students choose to participate in both!
  • Last year, three of our 5th graders were selected to sing in the all-state Elementary School chorus and performed at the Connecticut Music Educators Conference in Hartford.
  • IDS middle school students audition for Connecticut’s regional music festival and the vast majority are selected to perform in the regional ensembles.For the past several years, IDS students have been selected for first chairs in band, jazz band, and orchestra.
  • At another level, the eighth graders lead All School Meeting and seventh graders take over Middle School Meeting, both important steps in their learning as public speakers and student leaders.
  • The History Bee, Geo-Bee and Debate Club/Mock Trial provide three more chances for students to be in front of an audience demonstrating their best.

Our Roman Forum, Immigration Fair, Connecticut Games, Native Studies Fair, Invention Convention, and other well-established projects also are highly engaging opportunities to share creative work for both the students and their audiences.

As we grow the Center for Creative Arts, we hope to establish more gallery spaces, a greater number of cross-curricular and cross-graded creative activities, expand after-school programs in the Creative Arts, renovate our art studio, and disseminate our artistic products to make our learning spaces more beautiful and inspiring.