• PPS ARTS pears



    Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) refers to the disciplines of Dance, Music, Theatre and Visual Arts. Portland Public Schools' VAPA Program operates within the Academic Programs department in the Office of Teaching and Learning.  

    Portland Public Schools offers arts education to 78 schools across the district. With over 200 certified arts teachers, we are one of the largest organizations providing arts education in the state of Oregon. We offer multiple opportunities for artistic expression from kindergarten through twelfth grade, beginning level to pre-professional.

    Learn more at the PPS Arts website

    VISION: All Portland Public School students will be creative, collaborative, and artistic individuals prepared for deep engagement with the world through exploring, understanding, and mastering the arts 

    MISSION STATEMENT: Portland Public Schools’ Visual and Performing Arts Department will ensure equitable access for all students to a high-quality dance, music, theatre, and visual arts education. Our highly-qualified arts teachers will achieve this through culturally responsive and standards-based curriculum. PPS will provide sequential visual and performing arts pathways district-wide, and engage community partners in arts programming. 


    Why Arts Education Matters

    The arts are fundamental to children's creative expression and their overall growth and learning. Integrated into core curriculum, they enhance comprehension and engagement. On their own, they nurture self-esteem and increase whole-brain activity. The arts are our greatest tools to promote creativity in the classroom. Our vision at PPS is to increase equitable access to the arts for all children.




VAPA Contacts

Kristen Brayson
Director for Visual & Performing Arts
Li Ezzell
Program Administrator for Visual & Performing Arts
Laura Arthur
K-12 Music TOSA
Francisco Garcia
K-12 Theatre/Dance/Partnerships TOSA
Elisabeth Herrera-Very
K-12 Visual Arts TOSA
Eleanor LeClair
VAPA Coordinator