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Integrating arts into education

Advantage: Arts and Science

Arts Opportunities

Chapman Cultural Center's (CCC) Advantage: Arts and Science program works to integrate the arts into K-12 curricula while exposing students to visual and performing arts experiences and providing teachers with the knowledge that they need to make the arts an integral part of their teaching toolkits.

Two key programs, the Muse Machine and Artist Residencies, exist within Advantage to connect students to the arts through live performances and classroom-based interactions with experienced artists. Teachers also benefit from these programs. The Muse Machine offers a Summer Institute for Teachers, a professional development opportunity that offers graduate credit in the latest STEAM and art integration techniques. 

Through funding from the S.C. Arts Commission, the Cultural Center offers grants which pay 1/4th of an artist's residency fee. We also handle the paperwork regarding contracting, payments, and IRS reporting. 

Other benefits from the Muse Machine include: three in-school performances for schools who join and students who join will receive reduced ticket prices to the Cultural Center opera, main stage theatre, symphony, and dance performances. There are also "member only" events like "pre-performance discussions", "meet the artist" events, etc. For these students who join, schools will appoint an advisor who can be the contact for Muse Machine members. 

There is even more to offer for students through the Chapman Cultural Center. In the Carlos Dupree Moseley Building, there is a year-round, monthly rotation of student work from public and private schools. In addition to that, there is a yearly exhibition for over 500 students, private, public, or homeschooled, to showcase their artwork. This is one of the Cultural Centers most highly anticipated events with 1,500 usually in attendance. 

More benefits come for adults as the Muse Machine also offers graduate credit courses to teachers. In June, 35 slots are available to teachers to earn a 3-hour graduate credit course for K-12 teachers for courses in art integration. Some of the previous institutes featured Kennedy Center Teaching Artist Randy Barron of New Mexico(arts integration, teaching science and math through movement), Beth Radford (Acting Right workshops), and Jef Lambdin (brain development, mask making, and theatre techniques). These offerings began in 1993 for teachers and it has been a proven success in offering valuable opportunities for teachers. 

The John F. Kennedy Center is partnered with the Chapman Cultural Center, and School Districts One and Six, making these one of the few places that receive the Kennedy Centers Education Department. As a partnership team, we have access to Kennedy Center artists and other resources at reduced costs, as well as participation and training in an annual meeting in Washington, DC. 

The Chapman Cultural Centers, Ava Hughes, the Art Education Director, serves on a number of committees/boards to keep us informed of arts in education issues and trends to better improve our program planning: 

Numerous opportunities exist to enhance student's perceptions and experiences of both visual and performing arts. At Chapman Cultural Center, classes, summer camps, performances, and events are continuously ongoing to strengthen appreciation for the arts. 


  1. To ensure that the arts remain an essential aspect of the learning experience for students throughout Spartanburg County. CCC provides broad exposure to a variety of art forms and in-depth residencies to schools, teachers, and students of Spartanburg County in order to directly connect with working artists and provide hands-on experiences. Through grants, CCC offers significant subsidies for its programming with a goal of minimizing costs for schools themselves and to ensure access to its programs for schools with limited resources or those serving low-income populations.
  2. To expose students to a broad range of arts experiences and trained teaching artists working at the highest level of their craft. CCC programs regularly rely on artists who are listed on the SC Arts Commission Approved Artists List, indicating that they have received training in arts integration techniques and have logged significant time in the classroom. Both Muse Machine and Artist Residencies feature a variety of art forms, allowing students to explore their own interests and strengths as audience members and artists.
  3. To provide teachers with the knowledge that they need to make the arts an important part of their teaching toolkit, and to support them in their efforts to evaluate the impact of art activities on student learning. CCC helps train teachers in arts integration techniques and provides guidance for connecting arts activities to state learning standards. All CCC programs involve multiple levels of evaluation to assess both project success and impact on student learning. 

Learn more about our 
Summer Institute for Teachers &
 Advantage programs. 

Learn more about our
K-12 Outreach