The Arts at Nevada City School of the Arts

Participation and performance are valued at NCSA.  Students’ work is displayed continuously in the school and in public venues.  Exhibits are hung in local businesses and public buildings; A Visual Arts Exhibition showcases music and two and three-dimensional art. Three performance nights are staged in the Fall, Winter and Spring, showcasing the diverse talents in drama, music (vocal and instrumental), and dance.  Art holds a specific place in the curriculum and is used throughout the disciplines.  This is what defines an Arts Integrated Curriculum.


All students in grades K-5 receive whole class music instruction weekly from the Musicians in Residence and students in grades 4-8 receive bi-weekly lessons in the instrument of their choice.  Students also receive visual arts instruction 2-3 times a week from the Artists in Residence and two movement classes per week, including dance, outdoor sports, games and activities from the Movement Specialist.  Classroom teachers use drama and theater arts to support and enhance the curriculum.


Arts instruction is an integral and significant component of NCSA’s mission and philosophy.


Main Lesson Art

Main Lesson Art is integrated with the academic curriculum for each grade level. These art lessons support, enhance, and bring greater depth to the students’ studies through tactile hands‑on experiences and in‑depth studies of art as it relates to the area of study. Students work in a variety of two and three-dimensional media. Another component of Main Lesson Art is the Main Lesson Book. Each student begins the year with a blank book and makes entries as directed by the Artist in Residence. Each drawing illustrates a central idea or concept relating to the students’ academic study. Students draw, paint, and incorporate writing into their Main Lesson Book entries. Grades K through 8 receive two classes per week of Main Lesson Art.


The four main lesson art components:

  • Art Making

    Creating works of art through the skillful application of both experience and ideas, with tools and techniques in various media.

  • Art Criticism

    Describing, interpreting, evaluating, and theorizing about works of art for the purpose of increasing understanding and appreciation of works of art and clarifying the roles of art in society.

  • Art History

    Inquiring into the historical, social, and cultural contexts of art objects by focusing upon aspects of time, place, tradition, functions, and styles to better understand the human condition.

  • Art Aesthetics

    Raising and examining questions about the nature, meaning, and value of art, which leads to understanding about what distinguishes art from other kinds of phenomenon, the issues that such differences give rise to and the development of criteria for evaluating and judging works of art. DBAE is incorporated into the curriculum at all grade levels.

Foundation Art

Foundation Art is the arts curriculum taught as a core subject. It is a sequential introduction to art concepts and techniques with lessons connected to art history. The goal of this facet of the program is to provide students with a working understanding and familiarity with art terms and concepts and hands‑on experience with a variety of techniques and media. Grades K through 8 receive weekly instruction in Foundation Arts.