Whether it’s to hone already-existing artistic talent or find an outlet for your creativity, arts summer programs are an excellent option for anyone with an inclination toward the arts, and especially for students who are considering pursuing arts at university. Doing additional work over the summer in your artistic discipline is perhaps most importantly a great way to begin to develop a portfolio, which many arts programs require in their college applications. Furthermore, a lot of the arts programs are hosted by top-tier arts institutions or universities whose programs in various artistic disciplines are especially renowned. Attending a summer program at one of these institutions can enhance the strength of your application: it shows motivation and commitment to your chosen discipline and university of choice, demonstrates your ability to do college-level work, and in some cases will even earn you college credit, which many of the programs award. Furthermore, spending time at a university campus, working closely with its faculty and being familiar with its facilities will enable you to write with conviction about your motivation to study there – an advantage that most applicants will not have.
There are many artistic disciplines, and a number of programs to match. For a more extensive list, you can visit this link and explore a variety of programs available in music, theater, visual arts and media, and architecture. Below you can find a more edited selection of programs that highlights specific programs in creative writing, visual arts, music, theater and dance for their prestige, generous financial aid, or positive feedback from past participants.
SCAD Rising Star is a highly selective, five-week program that awards college credit to rising high school seniors. The program takes place in Atlanta, Hong Kong and Savannah, and each session differs in the courses they offer. As part of the program, students enroll in two college-level classes where they have the opportunity to build or enhance their portfolios. All students that apply to the program before May 1, 2018 are considered for academic scholarships based on their official high school transcript. Students may also apply for an achievement-based scholarship by submitting a list of achievements and a 10-piece portfolio in one of the following disciplines: visual arts, writing, performing arts and equestrian. Both US and international students are eligible for these awards, but they are usually awarded to the earliest qualifiers, so students are encouraged to apply early.
CSSA offers well-run month-long programs in animation, creative writing, dance, film, music, theater and visual arts that are open to high school students who intend to pursue the arts professionally. The programs emphasize small-group instruction, development of technique and skill, as well as consistent guidance and instruction from practicing artists who have a strong foothold in their artistic disciplines. Each program has different requirements, and the application process for each appears to be rigorous: all programs require applicants to submit a relevant sample of work as well as a statement of motivation. The program is held on the CalArts campus. Students may receive 3 units of California State University elective credit for successful participation. The program is primarily for California students, but out of state residents may apply.
The California College of the Arts offers one-month long, college-level immersion programs in 2D animation, stop-motion animation, architecture, ceramics, creative writing, fashion design, film, graphic design, illustration industrial design, interior design, jewelry/metal arts, painting, black & white and digital photography, experimental photography, and sculpture. Intended for students at all levels of artistic experience, the program can be beneficial for a variety of students, both those seeing to explore something new or strengthen already existing skills. Participants also have the opportunity to gain insight into the college experience of an art student, including residing in CCA housing. The application requires the submission of academic transcripts and an application fee, but to apply for the program’s merit-based and need-based scholarships, students must submit portfolios featuring eight to ten samples of work. Upon successful completion, students can also receive college credit.