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About Us


San Diego Unified School District prioritizes Visual and Performing Arts (VAPA) as core academic pursuits, critical to a well-rounded education, by cultivating artistic literacy and developing in students the creative and intellectual capacity and skills necessary to thrive in cultural communities and career pursuits. SDUSD VAPA is committed to inclusion and diversity, so that all SDUSD students develop agency, creative capacity, and civic responsibility.

To achieve this mission, SDUSD VAPA...

  • expands students’ capacity to think critically about creative work and artistic processes for self-expression and discovery.
  • develops shared understanding among educators, families, and interested parties of how acquired artistic knowledge, skills, and processes impact career paths in and beyond creative industries.
  • ensures access to culturally responsive, relevant, and authentic coursework, pathways, instruction, and materials, in all five arts disciplines: dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts.
  • builds community in and around schools by engaging all interested parties, allying with the region’s economic development, workforce readiness, and higher education, and fostering collaborative relationships with the arts community to empower students’ civic engagement.


  • All students have equitable access to arts education
  • We find strength in diversity
  • San Diego Unified School District Visual and Performing Arts (SDUSD VAPA) creates artistically literate, lifelong learners. To be artistically literate is to recognize and utilize...
    • The arts as communication: artistically literate individuals express and communicate ideas artistically and analyze and interpret the artistic communications of others.
    • The arts as creative personal realization: artistically literate individuals continue active involvement in creating, performing, and responding to art as an adult.
    • The arts as culture, history, and connectors: artistically literate individuals seek and appreciate diverse forms and genres of artwork and understand relationships between the arts and other knowledge.
    • The arts as a means to well-being: artistically literate individuals find joy, inspiration, peace, intellectual stimulation, meaning, and other life-enhancing qualities through participation in the arts.
    • The arts as community engagement: artistically literate individuals seek artistic experiences and support the arts in local, state, national, and global communities.
    • The arts as profession: artistically literate individuals support the arts as a profession by engaging with the arts.
      (Adapted from the “Philosophical Foundations and Life-Long Goals,” Introduction to the California Arts Standards, California Department of Education, 2019.)

For more information about our goals, read the 2021-2026 Strategic Arts Education Plan.