• Fine Arts

    Roanoke City Public Schools offers a robust fine arts program to allow students to explore!

    Studies show that students who participate in the arts tend to have better grades, stronger attendance, and a more enjoyable overall school experience. A 2021 study of over 112,000 public school students, the largest of its kind to date, showed that “highly engaged instrumental music students were, on average, academically more than one year ahead of their peers.” Students participating in the arts also achieved higher test scores.

    Plus, it’s fun!

    RCPS offers programs in dance and theater, music, and visual arts. Please contact your school's counselor if you are interested in learning more. 

    Dance & Theater

    Comprehensive high school dance and theater  programs are offered for grades 9-12. After-school middle school dance programs are taught by Pedro Szalay at Southwest Virginia Ballet. Students may enjoy participating in theater performances such as Newsies, Little Shop of Horrors, Matilda JR., and The Lion King JR., as well as in-school residencies with Mill Mountain Theatre and Virginia Children’s Theatre.

    An annual Summer Stock Academy is also offered by RCPS as part of Staying Safe by Staying Connected programming.


    Students can participate in band, choir, and orchestra programs in all secondary schools, grades 6-12. Expanded offerings in high school include guitar, music theory, electronic music, and piano lab. Students may also be able to participate in high school honor classes, all city band, choir, and orchestra, and collaborative partnerships with Save the Music Foundation, Roanoke Symphony Orchestra, and the Jefferson Center.

    Roanoke has been annually been named among the Best Communities for Music Education since 2013 by the NAMM Foundation

    Visual Arts

    Visual arts programs are offered at all secondary schools, grades 6-12. Expanded offerings at the high school level include art I-IV, photography, digital photography, and ceramics. Students may be able to participate in the Gifted Visual Arts Program, partnerships with the Taubman Museum of Art, and with many collaborators. The PTA Reflections Visual Arts Contest is also a fun city-wide competition with winners at all levels.


  • Supervisor of Visual & Performing Arts
    Whitney Johnson
    (540) 853-1797 | wbjohnson@rcps.info
    FIne Arts is part of Academics, which reports to:
    Dr. Wendy Durham
    Executive Director of Literacy, Academics, & Targeted School Improvement  
    (540) 853-2090 | wdurham@rcps.info 

    Curriculum and academic departments are part of the Academics team, which reports to:

    Dr. Cyndi Williams
    Chief Academic & Accountability Officer
    (540) 853-6113 | cynthiawilliams@rcps.info