Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA)

Visual and Performing Arts

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Program Information

RUSD’s Visual and Performing Arts Programs are an integral part to a student’s well-rounded education. RUSD encourages learning in all the arts and offers many student performance opportunities throughout the year to showcase their growth.


RUSD’s elementary theater experience starts with plays, musicals, and talent shows at many schools. Middle school theater, offered at several schools, includes yearly musicals, play production, and theater classes. High school theater programs are thriving with beginning, intermediate and advanced acting classes as well as technical theater, production and show choir classes.


Dance begins at several elementary schools with in-school dance curriculum and after-school clubs. At the middle and high school levels, many schools offer dance ensemble after-school opportunities for students, including competitive, traditional, and hip-hop dance. Dance is also interwoven into the musical theater programs at all five comprehensive high schools.

Media Arts

RUSD embraces technology and innovation, and offers an array of courses in Media Arts at the middle and high school levels. Course offerings include Music Technology, Graphic Design, Game Design, Video Production, Web Design, Digital Film Production, and Broadcast Journalism. Coordinated together with the RUSD Career and Technical Education Department, our courses use state of the art equipment and provide extensive career connections.

Visual Arts

At RUSD the visual arts provide an incredible opportunity for students to draw, paint, design, sculpt and imagine new visual worlds. Our Visual Arts programs begin in elementary schools with the Riverside Art Museum’s Art-to-Go program for an introductory arts-integrated experience. Middle school arts students explore the basic elements of art while learning about art history, and master mediums such as acrylic paint, colored pencil, watercolor, and digital media. In high school students may take an array of in-depth arts offerings including Art and Design, Digital Art, Ceramics, Drawing and Painting, and AP Studio Art.

Instrumental Music

RUSD’s extensive and prize-winning instrumental music programs begin in 5th grade district-wide with standards-based instruction on wind, brass and percussion instruments. The middle school music programs develop musical technique, and interconnect with the impressive high school offerings such as marching band, field band, jazz ensemble, concert band, chamber ensembles, orchestra, piano, guitar, and Mariachi. The instrumental music program also features a strings program at select schools beginning at the 4th grade. With a significant financial investment in recent years for musical instruments, a large number of students are able to borrow a school instrument at no cost.

Choral Music

Students are introduced to choral music at several elementary schools with in-school group singing and after-school clubs. Vocal training is then offered at all middle and high schools with in-school and after-school programs that focus on technique, sound production, and vocal range. The choral program explores various genres that embrace diversity and invites students to follow their passion for music. As both a stand-alone vocal program and cross-disciplinary musical theater program, the choral tradition in Riverside continues to grow.

annemarie guzy
Annemarie Guzy
Visual and Performing Arts Specialist
(951) 788-7135 x80309
[email protected]


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