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Visual and Performing Arts - Our Story

Since the beginning of ICEF Public Schools ten years ago in 1996, the Visual and Performing Arts Department have always been an integral part of the whole school curriculum. The Visual and Performing Arts Department dedicates itself to instilling creativity, critical thinking, and problem solving ability through the arts. All students, kindergarten through 5th grade take arts classes as a requirement. Middle and high school students have a wide array of visual and performing arts classes to choose from. All the classes start with the foundations of art language. The goal of preparing students to attend the top arts colleges is done through educating students on the many creative industries available, and preparing them for entry to arts colleges.

Visual Arts: New Media classes such as Animation, Digital Filmmaking, Video Journalism and Podcasting prepare students to analyze media, produce media, and learn hardware/software skillsets to compete in the digital age. While creating the college prep arts classes for ICEF Public Schools, this has been the guiding vision statement. We’ve crafted a solid skills and discipline based visual arts curriculum rooted in art history. Starting early in the K-5 grades with a sequential curriculum in the 6-12 grades, the students learn the foundations of traditional drawing, graphic design, and painting. Animation, robotics, filmmaking, and audio podcasting are the Media classes offered by the department that prepare students for cutting edge creativity in the Twenty first century. Professional artists and credentialed art instructors teach all of the classes. Juried art shows, community-unifying art exhibits, visits by national arts colleges, internships, and art field trips overseas are all part of the ICEF schools Visual Arts and Media department vision of excellence for the arts.

Performing Arts: ICEF’s Performing Arts Program includes content that exposes children to the complimentary influences of physical, social and academic development through offerings that go beyond the core academic curriculum to practical and active experience. ICEF has a range of student performance groups training in music, dance and drama including a jazz band, dance troupes, choirs, a youth orchestra and a production team.

School productions: DreamGirls (2007), The Lion King (2007), and The Wiz (2008), Cinderella (2011), A Raisin in the Sun (2011), and Flashing Lights (2011)

Other student productions, appearances and awards include:
  • ICEF’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Jazz Festival
  • The Playboy Jazz Festival
  • 75th Birthday Celebration of Jazz Great Kenny Burrell
  • 2008 Music Center Bravo Awards
  • NAACP Image Awards
  • National Association of Music Merchandisers
  • First Place Winner of the 2007 Chicago Music Heritage Concert –View Park
  • Preparatory and Frederick Douglass Academy Choir

Traditional Arts: From a generalized overview of the Visual Arts to very rigorous intensive Drawing and Painting classes, including AP Studio Arts, students K-12 all receive some form of visual arts instruction. Students study art history, create a variety of art, learn specific techniques, formulate artist statements, and display their work among their peers in gallery settings. The elements of visual art including space, shape, form, color, composition along with learning to see and create dimensional drawing and painting are taught.

Animation Production: The ICEF animation program draws from the traditions of classic 2d animation while looking ahead to the future. Students learn the foundations, techniques, and history of animation, from Windsor McCay to Pixar. Students learn different forms of animation including drawing, cut out paper animation, pixilation, and stop motion. In the advanced course students study storytelling, filmmaking, and create a production pipeline to make their own animated short films, PSA’s and music videos.

Digital Filmmaking: Students learn how to create short films in all it’s phases from script writing, pre-production, casting, directing and setting up shots, to post production, editing and final film presentation. Strategic partnerships with the Los Angeles Academy of Media Technology, who with ABC/Disney, provide a nuts and bolts introduction to the world of filmmaking. Work from View Park Prep High School can be seen here.

Graphic Design: Everything we see and use from the digital realm to print, from sketch to final product is some form of design. This class focuses on graphic design and the elements of design. Students learn about the uses of type, fonts and layout along with the uses of shape, form, color, and composition. With the idea of learning through design, students learn to problem solve creatively in a variety of media.

Our Mission

The mission of the Visual and Performing Arts department is: “To prepare students to compete in the top arts colleges as culturally aware, individual critical thinkers, and creative problem solvers with imagination and integrity.”

The mission of the Visual And Performing Arts Department is founded on the need for expression through the arts and for an understanding of visual communication in contemporary society.

Strategic Partners

Present partners include LA County Arts Commission; Imajimation Studios; L.A. Academy of Media Technology; Norm Maxwell Gallery, etc. Past corporate sponsors included Utrecht Art Supplies, etc.


2006 - 2007:

Colors For Unity Juried Art Exhibition hosted by View Park Preparatory High School in collaboration with Garfield High School. The theme of the show “Uniting Youth Through Art” showcasing African American and Latino high school student artists. There was significant Spanish media coverage during the event. La Opinion newspaper ran the story over a three quarter page spread with a teaser on the front page and Telemundo channel 22 ran the story during their ten o’clock news the same day of the event.

2007 – 2008:


Summer internships and mentoring at Imajimation Animation Studios for ICEF High School students.

Competitions & Contest

Disney Poster Competition

Award presented by Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa for the 2008 African American Heritage Month poster competition.

NAACP ACT-S0: Students entered and won gold and silver medals in the regional competition under the drawing, painting, and photography categories advancing to nationals.