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Classes for the creative mind

arts education experiences

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.

Hats off to Cecily Smith's vibrant choreography!

Cyber School of Art

Copy about Cyber School of Art

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Traveling ArtsReach

The Arts Center was awarded a SC Arts Commission Arts in Education Grant for our Traveling ArtsReach Program (TAP). In December 2018, the Arts Center began training Traveling


  • Serve 100 elementary classrooms by May 2019 (Grades 1–5).
  • Provide free arts enrichment experiences to area Elementary School Classrooms.
  • Increase students' artistic 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.


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.

Field Trips

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

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

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

Educator Professional Development

Since 1992 the Arts Center has partnered with the Beaufort County School District and the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts through the Kennedy Center’s Partners in Education (KCPIE) program.

Professional development workshops are offered for Beaufort County teachers to encourage best practices in art education and arts integration.

VSA Program

The discipline Based Art Education Program will be administered by an Arts Center teaching artist and will include 2D and 3D art production, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics, to develop students’ abilities to understand and appreciate art.

  • An arts integrated approach to learning will be used ensuring that state and national standards are being met in both the visual arts and core content areas.
  • Artwork created through the program will be submitted to the online gallery of the VSA International Art Program for Children with Disabilities, from which a number of pieces may be selected for a live exhibition in Washington, D.C.
  • The Arts Center will also be offering two staff development workshops for teachers next summer during the BCSD Summer Institute, as we teach inclusive methods and adaptive tools to facilitate learning and encourage students with disabilities to be fully included in arts- and project-based programming.

Through the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina’s VSA Children’s Visual Art Discovery Program, over 180 elementary, middle and high school students with disabilities will participate in 5-6 visual arts projects using a variety of media and methods.

School Sites Served:

  • Bluffton Elementary School
  • Hilton Head Island High School
  • Hilton Head Island Middle School
  • Hilton Head IB Elementary
  • Hilton Head Island School for the Creative Arts
  • Bluffton Middle School
  • Bluffton High School
  • HE McCracken Elementary School
  • HE McCracken Middle School
  • May River High School
  • River Ridge Academy

VSA, the international organization on arts and disability, was founded more than 35 years ago by Ambassador Jean Kennedy Smith to provide arts and education opportunities for people with disabilities and increase access to the arts for all.

The Kennedy Center award allows the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina to provide significantly deeper arts experiences for the special needs students of our county.

The Arts Center has been awarded its third contract to implement the Kennedy Center’s VSA Children's Visual Art Discovery Program, which kicked off in November 2017. Senior Director of Education, Alana Adams, explained that “the Arts Center has had an existing partnership with Kennedy Center through their Kennedy Center Partners-in-Education (KCPIE) program since 1992, and this is just our newest project to implement Kennedy Center educational programs in our community here in Beaufort County.”

This VSA program is provided in 2019-2020 under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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.