Notre Dame’s Arts department believes that art is both a creative and an academic pursuit. By creating, students learn to appreciate the creative process, to solve problems, to respect others’ forms of expression, and to work in groups. Our department considers the development of imagination, creativity, and aesthetic judgment to be essential complements to the critical thinking skills developed in other disciplines.
Art programs are developmental, starting with all sixth, seventh, eighth, and ninth grade students having art classes each year. Students can then continue in an elective or major program for their next years at Notre Dame. We believe that offering an art program in a nurturing environment that is built on success develops each girl’s self-esteem, and a freedom to experiment, think critically and take risks.
Believing that student artists should experience actual art, our department incorporates field trips into all of its class curricula. Throughout the year, we visit museums in New York, Washington, D.C., Baltimore, and Philadelphia.
Through ongoing art exhibits on campus, our students’ work is displayed regularly for others to experience and enjoy. Students are encouraged to enter contests and have won awards in juried contests, such as the Dad Vail Regatta Poster Contest and the San Nicola High School Art Show. AP Studio Art and AP Studio Art History have prepared our students to enter art and design programs at many fine colleges, including Rhode Island School of Design, Savannah College of Art and Design, Philadelphia University, Syracuse University, the Art Institute of Chicago, University of the Arts, and many others.
The Performing Arts Department at the Academy of Notre Dame offers a variety of courses for students in grades six through twelve in dance, choral music, instrumental music, and music theory. The dance and music programs offer classes to all interested students with varying degrees of experience. Whether a student is just beginning to study music, or is advanced, there is truly a class for everyone.
Students participating in the performing arts, whether in dance, music, or both, have many opportunities to perform. Girls in the dance program can participate in a winter and a spring dance concert, the annual BLAST fundraiser, the Chester County Dance Festival, the Mainline High School Dance Festival, the Regional Youth Dance Celebration, and the Rittenhouse Square Luncheon, and can attend both the regional and national high school dance festivals.
Girls who participate in the Music Program (Choral or Instrumental) have the opportunity to perform in a winter and spring concert, as well as audition for All-Catholic Band, Chorus and Orchestra festivals. Students electing to participate in any of the select performing ensembles have the opportunity to perform at functions ranging from the President's Club Dinner, Victorian Christmas, Christmas in LOVE Park, and Choral Concerts in Collaboration with Malvern Prep throughout the year. In addition to the curricular music courses, the Music Department currently offers private music lessons in the areas of voice and piano. Additional fees are required of those students electing to take a private lesson at the Academy of Notre Dame.
The Arts Faculty