High School and Youth Transition Programming

Three people work together on a plaster casting project.

A view from above of three people working together to plaster-cast one person’s hand as a mentoring activity. Art supplies cover the tabletop.

VSA Vermont’s high school program is designed to help students develop communication skills and self-confidence through the arts and community connections.

The Classroom Program places teaching artists in schools for performing arts and mixed media residences, culminating in a final student-led community sharing event.

Successful transition plans empower students to determine their own contribution as equal participants in the life of their communities. Key to this empowerment is the ability to speak up for oneself; to define one’s own goals and to take action to achieve those goals; and to tell others about one’s needs and choices. VSA Vermont’s high school programs strive to support students’ self-expression, to encourage creativity and confidence, and to foster enduring, healthy relationships with peers, mentors, and the wider community.

Vermont’s commitment to Personalized Learning Plans is a great opportunity to integrate the arts and transition planning in a student’s education! VSA Vermont can offer a variety of unconventional education options to students with and without disabilities – any youth who wants to think creatively about themselves and their future.

This program is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

This program is provided under a contract with the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

“All of the kids performing were so proud of themselves and full of self-confidence. My son has been able to carry his self-advocacy into his life and I know that the program has helped him tremendously.”
Parent of Program Participant

Classroom Residencies

student sitting cross-legged on a stage, speaking into a mic

A young man sits cross-legged on stage with a white backdrop. He holds a wireless microphone with one hand and gestures with the other. He has short dark hair, and is wearing glasses, a blue button-down over a t-shirt, and black jeans.

VSA Vermont (VSA VT) presents performing arts and mixed media residencies at public and private high schools and for organizations serving people engaged in self-advocacy. VSA VT’s advocacy arts program employs dynamic learning creating performances derived from participants’ own experiences. Communication, civic engagement, preparation for employment, and participation in cultural venues, among other self-advocacy topics, are addressed through an arts-based process.

Residency schedules can be adjusted to the needs of partnering organizations. For more information about bringing advocacy arts to your school or organization, contact us. For more information about the classroom program and its mentoring expansion, download the VSA VT High School Program overview (PDF).

“All of the participants have gained confidence, expanded their interests, and developed leadership skills. I will venture to say that some of the lessons they learned have been far more important to their success as adults than any academic subject.”
Ann Carol Moffett, Special Educator

Program Cost

VSA Vermont arts education for young people is offered at no cost to program participants (students, mentees, mentors, or families). Mentoring is a volunteer position, with all supply and other arts expenses reimbursed.

Organizations wishing to bring VSA Vermont classes to people receiving their services pay a fee to VSA Vermont to present the program at their site. For more information on fee structures, contact us.

Find Funds for VSA Vermont Education Programs

Learn more about how schools and other organizations can find funds for VSA Vermont education programs.


Over the past two years, our H.S. Arts Education programs has been supported by: