Strong Minds. Kind Hearts.

US Honors Arts Seminar


The Honors Arts Program enables students with a strong passion for art and a high level of self-discipline to come together with similarly dedicated artists in a multi-dimensional program designed to provide independent academic challenges similar to a college level program. The program will enhance each student’s arts experience and provide opportunities for growth by connecting their individual experiences to the larger role that the arts play in our world. While working on their own independent projects, students are provided a forum for dialogue between their fellow participants, thus increasing the support and opportunities for each student. Students involved in multiple arts disciplines are given the opportunity to come together and share common experiences through weekly discussions, work with a mentor and a field trip each semester.

The program is open to students in their junior and senior years, who are actively enrolled in arts classes. This program will supplement regular arts classes, not replace them. The students must maintain a ‘B+’ average overall in order to be eligible. The Honors Arts Program is not a class; students must apply and be selected to participate in this program.

Program Components

The Honors Arts curriculum includes the following components:

  • Students must complete required three part application (Essay, Interview, Summer Project)
  • Students must attend an introductory seminar at the beginning of the semester
  • Each student is assigned a mentor with whom they will meet on a regular basis
  • Each student is required to document their creative process and their growth as an artist, including participation in the Honors Arts Facebook Group
  • Students attend weekly lunch discussions where they work together to explore universal artistic concepts and to generate dialogue about their arts experiences
  • There are 2 field trips which are an integral component of the program. All students are expected to attend.
  • In semester 1, students will be assigned a series of small-scale guided projects
  • In semester 2, students are required to propose, complete, and present one major project
  • Students present the culmination of their process along with their final projects at the end of each semester. Adjudicators are present to provide feedback.
Selection Process

The application process will be conducted in 3 parts. First you will complete a form and submit an essay online. Secondly we will host in-person interviews with each applicant and the Honors Arts Faculty before the end of the school year. Lastly, selected applicants will be invited to complete the Summer Project. Each student invited to will complete a small scale project over the course of the summer to serve as the final part of your application and also give you an introduction to the structure of the program. All work will be reviewed at our opening seminar and your acceptance into the program will be contingent on successfully completing your summer project and presenting it to the group of applicants and faculty. Details of the summer project will be given out once the nominees are finalized.

Selection into the program will be based on the quality of the application essays and an interview process, the student’s previously demonstrated seriousness in their artistic work, and the student’s demonstrated excellence in past classes. The ideal Honors Arts candidate will have well formed opinions and the ability to articulate their own artistic views but also a willingness to listen to and consider the differing opinions of others. We are also looking for enthusiastic and dedicated candidates who demonstrate the ability to succeed in a self-directed program.

The Ideal Honors Arts application demonstrates:

  • In-depth and comprehensive knowledge and understanding of the chosen discipline, with precise use of terminology to communicate this understanding with personal voice and perspective.
  • Highly effective use of research and investigation.
  • In-depth understanding of artistic intention and engagement with the artistic process demonstrated in consistent development of ideas, creativity and critical reflection.

Honors Arts Faculty

Amanda Fisk

Pia Fleischmann

Tracey Foster

Kimo Kepano