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Arts Center HHI

Education Programs

Education Programs

The Arts Center offers integrated learning experiences to adults and children that emphasize hands-on learning. Classes can be in the visual or performing arts and can include but are not limited to workshops, lectures and demonstrations in two and three-dimensional art, jewelry, performing and media art, and writing. Browse our various topics to find more information on participation.

Introducing TAP - Traveling ArtsReach Program


The Arts Center was awarded a SC Arts Commission Arts in Education Grant for a new program called the Traveling ArtsReach Program or “TAP”. In December 2018, the Arts Center began training Traveling ArtsReach Program volunteers and launched this free arts enrichment program at local elementary schools in January 2019, with a goal to serve 100 elementary classrooms by May 2019. To learn more about the program, to volunteer or to request a TAP service, download our TAP brochure! TAP program goals include:

  • Serve 100 elementary classrooms by May 2019 (Grades 1-5).
  • Provide free arts enrichment experiences to area Elementary School Classrooms.
  • Increase students’ artistic literacy and foster art appreciation with lessons that involve iconic/important works of art.
  • Students will learn proper use and care of art materials.
  • Students will learn and use new and creative techniques to assist in problem solving and these skills are applied to other core curriculum subjects in school.

TAP Program - Traveling ArtsReach TAP Program - Traveling ArtsReach (499 KB)

Educational Field Trips

Educational  Field  Trips

Educational Field Trips provide performances and activities to more than 4000 students each year.

  • Matinee Performances
  • Gallery Walks
  • Visual Art Activities
  • Lectures



ArtsReach is an arts exposure, enrichment and enhancement program offered free to participating public and private schools in the Hilton Head, Bluffton, Okatie, and Hardeeville areas. In addition, services are offered to after school program providers and institutions in the Lowcountry. The Arts Center’s education department works with a coordinator at each site to determine the selection of artists based on their curricular needs. Professional teaching artists are hired to work directly in classrooms and performing artists are contracted to provide staged performances at schools and institutional sites, serving up to 8,000 students and teachers yearly. ArtsReach/SpecialNeeds recognizes the need to increase accessibility of creative learning opportunities through the arts for people with special needs and physical disabilities.

Community Education Series

Community Education Series

Community Education Series offers integrated learning experiences to adults and children, including ArtStart classes specifically designed for toddlers.

  • ArtStart
  • Workshops
  • Lectures
  • Demonstrations
  • Camps
  • Art Parties

Professional Development for Educators


Professional Development for Educators is provided as the Arts Center's commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts. • Kennedy Center Partner in Education program has as its primary purpose promoting the professional development of teachers through school/community partnerships..

Adopt-a-School Partnership

Adopt-a-School Partnership

The Arts Center believes that the effort to include the arts in education can be increased through partnerships. In 2006 the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina adopted Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts with the mutual goal of integrating the arts into the elementary curriculum through expanding services to both students and educators. These additional services in established educational areas are provided by the Arts Center.

Congratulations to our Adopt-a-school partner!

Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts efforts to integrate art into academic subjects earned it national recognition and $2,000 this year, the Beaufort County School District announced on September 10. 2010. HHISCA is one of five recipients of the National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Award. Presented by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, it honors schools that have made the arts an essential part of education.

The School for Creative Arts has been recognized by the program on the state level, but had never won the national award. No Beaufort County school has since the program began in 1999. HHISCA teaches dance, theater, music and visual arts as separate classes and integrates the arts into traditional academic subjects. It has had an arts-focused curriculum since 2004. "It is like winning an Oscar and Grammy in the same day," said principal Gretchen Keefner. "It's not about the arts happening in art classes and the core content -- reading, math, science and social studies -- happening in the classrooms," she continued. "There's a commitment to understanding each other's disciplines." Keefner said the staff's commitment to that philosophy, as well as collaboration with community arts organizations, helped the school succeed. She said test scores on state-mandated tests have improved since the school adopted an arts focus.

Teachers say the arts engage students and create memorable lessons to help them better retain information. Teacher Cora Lugo remembers sitting with her first-grade class last year during the fifth-grade musical about World War II. "My kids were on the edge of their seats the whole time, and first-graders really don't have a strong understanding of that time period," she said. "I had a million questions when we got back to the classroom."Keefner said she loves seeing tangible evidence of hard work by students and teachers when watching their annual performances. Last spring, a group of students performed an original work at Charleston's Piccolo Spoleto festival that explored the beginnings of jazz. They performed at the historic Sottile Theatre, which hosted the South Carolina premiere of "Gone With the Wind." "To see them on that stage, it was breathtaking," Keefner said.

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