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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!

on-site programs


Arts Center is home to a multi-purpose art studio, which allows for a variety of arts learning opportunities. Throughout the year, we offer classes for all ages which cover many different forms of art.

Summer Camps

Each summer, the Arts Center provides a variety of learning experiences in the areas of performing and visual arts for ages 6 and up. These camps are unique in that they provide meaningful skill-building projects, not just crafts, which foster creativity all summer long!

Field Trips

As part of our mission for education and outreach, the Arts Center brings schools for live professional performances that include world-class dance companies, special daytime showings of our own theatrical productions, and youth-oriented theater brought in specifically for children.

Many of our field trips feature talk-backs following the performance with play/musical cast members or dancers who talk about the show and their own personal journeys in the arts. Engagement is exciting to witness as youth of all ages ask questions of these performers who bring a bit of the big, wide world right to them!

Cyber School of Art

Free digital arts learning experiences for teachers and students to enjoy online. Each lesson features Senior Director of Education Alana Adams and includes an instructional PDF that can be shared or printed to accompany the video.

community programs


ArtsReach is an arts exposure enrichment and enhancement program offered free to participating public and private schools in the Hilton Head, Bluffton, Katie, 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 contacted 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 differing abilities.

Traveling ArtsReach

The Arts Center was awarded a S.C. Arts Commission Arts in Education Grant for our Traveling ArtsReach Program (TAP). In December 2018, the Arts Center began training Traveling ArtsReach Program volunteers and launched this free arts enrichment program at local elementary schools.


  • 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, which are applied to other core curriculum subjects.

VSA Program

The discipline Based Art Education Program is administered by an Arts Center teaching artist and includes 2D and 3D art production, art history, art criticism, and aesthetics, developing students' abilities to understand and appreciate art.

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.


  • 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.

Schools Served

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

About VSA

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 contract allows the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina to provide significantly deeper arts experiences for students with disabilities in Beaufort County.

The Arts Center has been awarded its fourth 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 2020-2021 under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

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.


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.

Kennedy Center's Partners in education

In 1992, having demonstrated a commitment to the improvement of education in and through the arts, the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina and the Beaufort County School District were among the five Lowcountry founding members of The Partners in Education Program.

Since then, the Arts Center and Beaufort County School District have continued to provide educational services and professional development opportunities to our students, teachers and community.