Visual & Performing Arts


The Visual and Performing Arts Department is committed to producing graduates who are articulate, culturally literate, and critical thinkers. VPA Education is basic to an individual’s perception and understanding of the world in which we live. Creative learning enables students to interpret these perceptions in a variety of forms. VPA education teaches students to respect and appreciate their own interpretations and those of others. 

The CHRHS VPA courses teach a range of skills, encourage cultural awareness and promote intellectual growth and creative self-expression. The VPA programs enable each student to develop positive attitudes toward self, others and the environment through creative experiences. As a result, students develop necessary skills that inspire life-long participation and appreciation of the arts.


There are 24 courses taught by 6 teachers in the Fine Arts Department. Fine Art courses are electives, with one credit in fine arts being required for all students. An additional credit is required in either Fine Arts or Applied Academics.

Most Fine Arts courses are ½ credit for one semester. Most of the music performance groups meet for a full year. Some of these courses receive ½ credit and others receive full credit dependent upon the length of rehearsal time. Honors level courses are available in both music and visual art. In addition, many courses may be repeated. 
The quality and quantity of our course offerings prepare interested students for post-secondary study in the arts.

There are a number of courses in the Applied Academics department that are also available for Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) credit.

Departmental Outcomes

Essential Questions

What role do the Visual & Performing Arts play in our community?

How are the Visual & Performing Arts used to foster communication, self-expression and higher level thinking?

What connections can be made between Visual & Performing Arts and other areas of education?

How do the Visual & Performing Arts prepare our students to be productive members of society?

How do the Visual & Performing Arts create a “well rounded” CHRHS student?

How do the Visual & Performing Arts fulfill the intrinsic need for human creativity?

How is the CHRHS Visual & Performing Arts program preparing our students for post-secondary education?


Students will achieve literacy in the arts through understanding and use of terminology, the use of in depth analysis and critique, and the ability to communicate through the creative process.

Students will understand and utilize the creative process: including inquiry, reflective thinking, analysis, and creation/performance.

Students will identify ways in which VPA skills integrate with other disciplines and life experiences.


“The arts include dance, music, theater and visual art. In an increasingly technological world, the arts help all students to develop multiple capabilities for creating, understanding, deciphering, and appreciating an image- and symbol-laden world. The arts are concerned with intellectual, emotional, and physical faculties and, in combination, can be used to present issues and ideas, teach or persuade, entertain, plan, beautify, and design both functional and expressive works. Experiencing and creating art brings lifelong enjoyment to students and an array of expressive, analytical, and developmental tools to use in their daily lives. 
The arts play a valued role in creating cultures and developing and documenting civilizations. Students of the arts gain powerful tools for:

•communicating through creative expression

•understanding human experiences, past and present

•adapting to and respecting the ways others think, work, and express themselves

•using artistic modes of problem solving, which, in turn, bring an array of expressive, analytical, and development tools to every human situation

•understanding the power of the arts to create and reflect cultures

•understanding the impact of design on virtually all we use in daily life

•understanding the interdependence of work in the arts and the worlds of ideas and events

•making decisions in situations where there are no standard answers

•analyzing nonverbal communication and making informed judgments about cultural products and issues 

•communicating thoughts and feelings in a variety of modes, thereby providing a more powerful repertoire of self-expression.

Because each arts discipline appeals to different senses and expresses itself through different media, each adds a special richness to the learning environment. Arts education helps students learn to identify, appreciate, and participate in the traditional and non-traditional art forms of their own communities and the communities of others. As students imagine, create, and reflect, they are developing the verbal and non-verbal abilities necessary for life-long learning. The intellectual demands of the arts help students develop problem-solving abilities and such powerful thinking skills as analyzing, synthesizing, and evaluating. Numerous studies point toward a consistent and positive correlation between substantive education in the arts and student achievement in other subjects. A comprehensive, well-designed arts education program also engages students in a process that helps them develop the self-esteem, self-discipline, cooperation, and self-motivation necessary for success in life. Most importantly, the arts should be experienced and studied for their own intrinsic value.”*

* from State of Maine Learning Results