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Pilgrim School is committed to integrating arts education into our broader curriculum. Exposure to and participation in the visual and performing arts creates not only lifelong artists, but art lovers who share the creative spirit with their community. Our wide-ranging curriculum helps students find their creative voice while integrating cultural traditions, history, core skills, and innovative technology. Through our safe artistic platform, students learn to bring their fearless spirits and deep thinking not just to the world of art, but to the other topics they’re exposed to in school.

The Art Center is a place where students’s artistic efforts and aspirations  are taken seriously. Students are constantly presented with new techniques and approaches that stretch their creativity and problem solving. Our studios are designed to facilitate creativity with sweeping views of Los Angeles, light-filled rooms, and state-of-the-art technical capabilities to aid the students in their creative journey.

Early Education and Elementary classes focus on stretching imagination through exposure to diverse mediums and perspectives. Our Secondary School Art Program integrates trends and discussions that are happening right now in the art world. At all levels, students are engaged in real-world art ideas, events, and field trips that connect them to the vibrant art culture of Los Angeles.

Our Theater Arts program creates a supportive environment where students feel empowered to lean into their creative instincts. Students are introduced to core theater skills, ensemble work, voice, and improv in dynamic ways. The creativity, self-expression, and imagination fostered by the Theater Arts program are important to our culture of student engagement. 

Our Secondary School Theater Arts is a comprehensive program where students learn voice, diction, movement, and character analysis. Students express their unique voices through performance of their original monologues and scenes written by accomplished playwrights. Classes are enhanced by live theater field trips and guest speakers.

Elementary students gain theater skills as well through participation in the all-school musical each spring. Previous musicals we have presented include: Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Jr., Willy Wonka Jr., The Lion King Jr., Fiddler on the Roof Jr., Beauty and the Beast Jr., and The Wizard of Oz Jr. During these shows, almost one quarter of the entire student body participates in the show, ranging from Kindergarten through High School.

Balancing technical instruction and personal expression, our music program produces confident and knowledgeable students who have a life-long love and appreciation for music. Our curriculum explores classical, jazz, pop, and non-Western styles to give students a well-rounded education and appreciation for a diverse array of cultural expressions. Students are encouraged to perform inside and outside the classroom in both solo and group settings.

In Early Education and Elementary School, students learn basic music theory and music history. Students are exposed to an extensive repertoire of music from around the world and have access to a comprehensive collection of instruments. In Secondary School, students build their skills in new and exciting ways, from traditional band instruments to electronic music production.

Everyone is a dancer at Pilgrim School.

The Dance program at Pilgrim School embraces being in the heart of Los Angeles by exploring various styles connected to our diverse community. Led by the talented and accomplished dancer, Mina Ortega, students of all age levels have the opportunity to learn dance regardless of their previous training. Our program builds confidence, creativity, and personal expression that students carry into other areas of their education and lives. In addition to being at the center of our thriving Dance program, Ms. Ortega is the Director of the USC Trojan Dance Force, and has been coaching the team since 1999. She is a powerhouse in the world of professional sports dance choreography and she brings a contagious energy and positivity to Pilgrim School and is adored by all of our students and families alike.

In Early Education and Elementary School, students focus on the joys of expression through movement. Secondary School curriculum formalizes the skills learned in younger grades moving from the fundamentals of ballet to styles such as Jazz and Hip Hop. Students work with different choreographers and master teachers from the L.A. community. 

A proficiency in digital media is increasingly important in both the art and commercial world. Our digital media classes encourage students to develop a personal vision, take risks, problem-solve, and learn from failure as well as success. 

Students learn the primary tools for creating digital media products, such as public service announcements, commercials, documentaries, music videos, and short films. Hands-on practice allows students to gain practical skills while exploring all parts of film production. Each year ends in a film festival highlighting the student work.

Every year, Pilgrim School hosts celebrated artists and writers. Our Visiting Artists program deepens our students’ connection to the arts and our community. Students get to participate in readings, artists’ talks, Q & As, lessons, and even one-on-one projects that expose them to new ways of thinking about not just about their artistic practices, but our world. This year, Pilgrim School hired artist Brandon John Lasalle to work with our students from K-12 to do a mural based on the theme of inclusivity. Students thought about how Pilgrim is inclusive in neurodivergence, physical limitations, as well as race and religion and wanted to make sure all types of students were represented in the finished product. Students started with a doodle grid and ended with a sweet homage to the inclusion Pilgrim represents and is always striving towards. On your next visit, please come take a look at this beautiful mural, located on the 4th floor of the Seaver building, and also visible from Commonwealth Avenue.

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