MOUNT VERNON, N.Y. (Oct. 24, 2016) – The Performing and Visual Arts Magnet Program of Mount Vernon will be hosting an open house for interested students on Saturday, October 29 at Mount Vernon High School. “This is to introduce the program to the community,” said Evelyn Collins, the Mount Vernon City School District Director of Arts and Gifted and Talented Education.
In 2015-16, the program’s first year, 165 sixth-, seventh-, and eighth-graders from throughout the city’s school district were admitted. The extension of a $1.5 million grant will allow the program to accommodate sixth through ninth graders beginning in 2017.
“When the movie Fame came out, I wanted so much to be in New York City,” said Collins, who grew up in Detroit. Since she could not enroll in School of the Performing Arts – now Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School – “I always said that I would start a school,” Collins said. “I was the same as these kids are.”
The program spent its first year in Benjamin Turner Middle School, but has moved to Mount Vernon High School for its second year to better accommodate a growing number of students.
To be admitted, students must apply, audition, take a “gifted and talented” assessment test, and participate in a family interview. “It’s important that we make sure that the family is behind (the students),” Collins said.
The program provides focused instruction in instrumental music, dance, theater, vocal music and visual arts, similar to that of a college program.
Admitted students complete intensive theoretical, historical and practical study in a specified art field, in addition to their general education requirements of New York state.
Most recently they studied the art and culture of the Harlem Renaissance, which Collins said is foundational for much of what is seen and heard today. In December, the students will be taking a trip to Broadway to see The Color Purple.
The open house begins at 1 p.m. Mont Vernon High School auditorium – 100 California Road, Mount Vernon, NY 10552. For more information, call Evelyn Collins at (914) 667-7547.
About Mount Vernon City School District
With more than 8,000 students in 16 schools, the Mount Vernon City School District is committed to providing a quality education to its children as well as developing programs that meet the diverse academic and social needs of its students.