At Salpointe, the arts are an expression of creativity, inspiration and faith. We offer visual and performing arts classes that inspire our students to think deeply and explore new ideas. Salpointe’s arts faculty are talented educators who champion our mission of holistic education. “Arts education can unlock our human potential for profound empathy and creativity,” said Dana Milne, Fine Arts Department Chair and Theater Director. “It boosts other academic skills and academic performance with the application of critical thinking.”
Betina Fink, Salpointe’s 2D Art Teacher agrees. “The arts provide an opportunity to teach not only the fundamentals of how to see and create art,” she said, “but ultimately the ability to express feelings and attitudes about the world around us.”
Alum and teacher Jim Howell ‘91, Director of Instrumental Music, has a dual perspective of Salpointe’s arts programs. “I believe that studying the arts helps the students become more well-rounded individuals,” he said. “The depiction of the human condition and expression of emotions and ideas are realized within the arts. The arts help students become better humans!”
Even national leaders recognize the importance of arts education for the physical, mental and social development of young people. Michelle Obama said, “Arts education isn't something we add on after other priorities, like raising test scores and getting kids into college. It is actually critical for achieving those priorities in the first place.”
“The arts are an expressive outlet,” said Natalie Hall ‘11, Salpointe’s Choir Director. “Having daily dedicated time to develop a student’s skill in art increases their opportunity to access the complexities of something that is both uniquely human and divine. Singing with others can be a tremendous community builder, a confidence builder and a contributor to a sense of belonging -- essentials that are challenging for many high school students to find. It is so important for young adults to feel that their voice is heard, that they are contributing in a meaningful way to something that is bigger than themselves, that they are completely accepted for who they ard and that they are part of a real, meaningful, in-person connection. Choir can help students to recognize the dignity within themselves and others. Experiencing and knowing that each voice matters is something that fosters a sense of dignity that has nothing to do with having the best voice or being the most obvious leader. Furthermore, singing music of different languages and cultures connects people with an appreciation of the world.”
Salpointe’s artists have been awarded and recognized countless times. Since its inception in 1994, the Salpointe’s Thespian Troupe #5370 has earned more awards than any other high school in southern Arizona. Individual artists are recognized by congressional members; choirs are invited for once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to sing at Carnegie Hall; and after graduation, Lancer alumni continue on with their achievements in the arts. The string orchestra, jazz band, and drumline perform at events and venues across the city.
While each discipline approaches creative expression from a different angle, Salpointe’s arts educators are excited about the opportunities that the new Stearns Center for the Arts will bring. “I am really enthusiastic about the Aspire project,” said Mr. Howell. “As we near the completion of the new Stearns Center for the Arts, I look forward to utilizing the new spaces to work on rehearsing music and divide groups into sections by part. Even more so, I am excited about the synergistic design of the Center, which will allow both the faculty and the students to collaborate in cross-disciplinary ways within the performing and visual arts. It is an amazing time to be involved in the arts at Salpointe.”
“3D art is getting a major upgrade and update with a new studio and all new equipment,” said Alison Murray, 3D Art Teacher. “The studio layout will provide an outstanding atmosphere for students to create individually and as a community. The new art gallery at Salpointe will provide a state-of-the-art venue to showcase and spotlight talented Lancer artists and artists from the community. Students will have the opportunity to display their work in a professional setting dedicated to art.”
All of the art disciplines share the enthusiasm for the new Center for the Arts. “Aspire will provide a physical home to the nomadic family that choir is now,” said Ms. Hall. “A home for the grand piano that brings a greater dimension of life to the sound. A center for musical knowledge, for emboldening strong voices and refining sensitive artistry. A place for choir to call their own, contributing to the belief that making music is important. The spatial resources where they can isolate into sectional rehearsals, achieve even greater confidence and work on their independent musicianship.”
Reflecting on the transformative experience of the arts, Mrs. Milne expands on the critical potential that theater, as one form of art, holds. “The theatre is a collaborative place where every discipline is required for successful creation. Lighting and sound designers live in an increasingly technical world where analog equipment is quickly being phased out for complex computer technology. Set designers need engineering and math to build a safe yet expressive environment for actors. Costumers with their eye to history, their understanding of color, fabric and texture, their ability to draw and design an outfit that can accommodate a quick change in under ten seconds. The Actor… vulnerable, trusting, empathetic, always wanting a greater understanding of the human condition, holds the mirror up to the truths of human relationships and promise. The work of the artisans is supported by marketers, accountants, publicists and communication specialists. Artists and techies, idealists and realists, dreamers and pragmatists: there is room for everyone in the theatre.”
Regardless of skill or background, every person has the potential to create. Through the Aspire campaign, Salpointe is opening doors for students to create more fully every day. Thank you for your support of this transformative project!