The RCDS Arts Program provides both visual and performing outlets for students to express themselves creatively and develop and practice the non-cognitive skills and qualities that are strong predictors of success in life.
“As an artist and educator it really is my job to inspire. It is important to lift my students and encourage them to see from creative perspectives so when they leave here they can fly.”
– Melissa Petersen, Head of the RCDS Art Department
Led by music teachers Amanda Weiss and Valarie Guerrero and drama teacher Anthony Greco, RCDS produces over 25 performances a year. A strong emphasis on the performing arts allows students to learn the fundamentals of public speaking while building confidence and practicing creativity and teamwork. All Lower School classes – Beginners (Kindergarten) through grade four – produce a class play. In addition to the Drama Club, Upper School students enjoy several performance opportunities throughout the year.
At RCDS, student artists learn to view the world from unique perspectives. They develop an appreciation of aesthetics while opening their minds to inspiration from the world around them. Students work in a variety of media (drawing, painting, clay, collage) and explore the elements of art (line, shape, pattern, texture, value) to stimulate creativity, design thinking, discipline, collaboration, and problem-solving skills.
One of RCDS's most widely attended events, The Annual Arts Festival was inspired to elevate the arts, both visual and performing. Each spring, student talent blossoms while artists in Nursery though eighth grade contribute to the broad scope of visual art displayed throughout the building including watercolors, ceramics, mosaics, origami and more. Joyful voices of student song birds ring throughout Riker Hall. Meanwhile the keyboard lab, auditorium and gymnasium are staged to showcase the talents of the Upper School band and young thespians. Thundering applause reverberates the halls in response to impressive solo performances, duets, instrumental and chorale numbers, monologues and skits.