• Visual and Performing Arts

  • Dr. Santos Dr. Denisse A. Santos

    Assistant Director

    Visual & Performing Arts

    75 Calhoun Street
    Charleston, SC 29401
    General Questions: 843-937-6423
    Gifted & Talented Artistic Programs: 843-937-6456


  • Visual & Performing Arts in Charleston County School District

    CCSD strives to provide Visual & Performing Arts opportunities for every student in their areas of interest in the Visual and Performing Arts through the instruction of highly qualified Arts educators.

    CCSD offers many opportunities for students in the Visual & Performing Arts. Opportunities to participate include Band, Choir, Orchestra, General Music, Piano, Guitar, Steel Drums, Visual Art, Dance, and Drama. 

    Students not only learn about the Arts but also participate in performances and showcases both within their schools, as well as within the community and beyond.

    We are very proud of our students and their accomplishments in the Arts as they continue to be a part of award-winning Visual & Performing Arts programs.

    Our emphasis in the Visual & Performing Arts Department is on building awareness of the tremendous impact the Arts have on the many children and young adults we serve. Our teachers use the College and Career Ready Standards for South Carolina Visual and Performing Arts to guide their instruction. 


    Artistically Gifted & Talented Program

    As part of the opportunities we offer in the Arts for students, we administer the Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR) nomination, adjudication, and notification process for students in grades 3 through 8. 

    Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR) Identification Process Timeline

    September 12, 2022 at 9:00 AM:

    The nomination window opens. Students may be nominated for evaluation in music, dance, drama, and visual art. The nomination form will be posted on this webpage at the appropriate date.


    November 1, 2022 at 12:00 Noon:

    The nomination window closes. We cannot accept any more nominations after this date.


    December 1, 2022 at 12:00 Noon:

    Deadline for recorded auditions or visual art portfolios and student questionnaires to be submitted. Auditions are recorded by arts area teachers, and submitted to the Visual & Performing Arts Department. Student questionnaires will be available from your child’s arts area teacher. For specific questions about auditions, please contact your child’s arts area teacher.


    January 3-15, 2023:

    Adjudication of all submitted auditions takes place. 


    February 20-24, 2023:

    Notification letters will be mailed to parents with results of audition adjudications.


    March 13, 2023 at 5:00 AM:

    Summer SMAART Registration Opens


    April 28, 2023 at 12:00 Noon:

    Summer SMAART Registration Closes


    June 12-30, 2023 - Proposed Dates for Summer SMAART (Student packet pick up will be June 9)




    To Nominate A Student to be Identified as Artistically Gifted & Talented, Click Here 

    Please note: Students who have previously been identified in an Arts area do not need to go through the identification process again in the same Arts area.
    Students can be identified in another Arts area if so desired.


    To access the Nomination Packet with Screening Tasks and Required Forms, please click HERE.




    After School Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR) Programs 

    After school programs for Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR) students for first semester have already begun. A new set of classes will be available for second semester. Registration will begin in December. Please check back here for updates.


    Information about Gifted & Talented Artistic Programs

    District Orchestra

    Students in CCSD schools have the opportunity to audition and become a part of our District Orchestra program. Students in grades 4 through 12 are invited to audition for the various levels of orchestras:

    • Preparatory Orchestra
    • Intermezzo Orchestra
    • Honors Orchestra

    For more information about District Orchestra, please contact our office at (843) 937-6456.

    Charleston Children’s Chorus

    Students in CCSD schools in grades 4 through 12 have the opportunity to join the Charleston Children’s Chorus. For more information about the Charleston Children’s Chorus, please contact our office at (843) 937-6456.

    District Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR) Programs

    District Artistically Gifted and Talented after school programs include classes in Dance, Drama, Music, and Visual Art. Class offerings, dates, and locations vary depending on availability of teachers as well as student interest. Information about these classes and registration forms are shared with eligible parents and students in the fall and winter prior to the beginning of each class session beginning.

    For more information about our District GTR Classes, please contact the Visual & Performing Arts Office.



    SMAART (Students Mastering the Academic Arts) Program Information

    The SMAART Program is a three-week intensive program that takes place during the summer. Students can register for various Arts courses of their interest. Past course options have included Orchestra, Chorus, Visual Art, Playwriting & Acting, Choreography and Dance, Music Studio/Music Composition, Digital Graphic Design, and Steel Drums. The SMAART experience culminates in a day of performances where students showcase their work.

    Important Note: Students must be identified as Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR) through the nomination process described above in order to be eligible to register for the SMAART Program. 

    Students who have been identified as Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR) are not automatically enrolled in summer SMAART. Each student must reapply to attend the summer program when the registration form becomes available in early March. Space is limited, and is filled on a first come, first served basis.

    Limited transportation is available for this program. Students needing transportation may indicate so on the registration form.

    Summer SMAART information and registration for Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR)  identified students will be communicated in late February specifically to those who have been identified as Gifted & Talented Artistic (GTR).

    For more information about the summer SMAART program, please contact the Visual & Performing Arts Office.



    When does registration start?

    March 13, 2023 at 5:00 a.m. Classes fill up fast, so please be prepared to register as early as possible.

    What Grades is SMAART for?

    This summer's SMAART program is for rising 4th through 12th Grade students (current 3rd through 11th Grades). 

    What are the days and hours of SMAART?

    SMAART runs Monday through Friday. Each day runs from 8:45 am to 3:30 pm.

    How will I know which Major class my child got accepted into?

    You will be notified within two weeks of registration to let you know which class major your child has been accepted into. There will be a packet pickup on June 9 from 2:00 to 5:00 pm for you to pick up your child's schedule and other materials needed for the camp.

    What is the cost of SMAART?

    The full cost of the program is $200. If CCSD transportation is needed, that is an additional $100 (please see below for question and answer about requesting transportation). Fees can be paid online with a link that appears on the registration form, and can be paid in full at once or in installments. All fees are waived for students who attend Title I schools.

    My child is not identified as Gifted and Talented in the Arts yet. Can they still sign up to attend SMAART?

    SMAART is only for students identified as Gifted and Talented in the Arts. Your child will need to go through the process to be identified (see timeline above) in order to be eligible to attend SMAART. We will be accepting nominations to be identified again starting in September. 

    What are the classes available?

    A class list will be available later in the school year. If a class does not appear on the registration form, that means the class is full. If there are no classes available in your child's identified arts area, you are welcome to choose a class in a different arts area if that is of interest to your child.

    How many classes can my child sign up for?

    Students take one "Major" class in the mornings, and rotate through two "Minor" classes in the afternoons (with the exception of SMAART Band and Strings. Those are day-long classes). When registering, students select their top three choices, and the VPA office will notify parents of the class that their child will be registered for based on availability within two weeks of registration. Afternoon rotations are created by the SMAART program leaders and are designed to give students other experiences outside of their selected choices. Students rotate into two different afternoon classes each week, for a total of six afternoon class experiences.

    If my child signs up for SMAART Band or SMAART Strings, can they borrow a school instrument in order to participate?

    Yes. If your child has been borrowing a school instrument to participate in band or strings at their school and they would like to participate in either of these classes, we will provide a school-owned instrument for their use for the summer.

    Does my child need to sign up for a class in their Gifted and Talented Artistically designated area, or can they choose any class?

    Students attending SMAART for the first time need to choose a class within their identified arts area. If this is not a student's first time attending SMAART, then they can choose classes outside of their identified arts area. If there are no classes available in your child's identified arts area, you may choose a class in a different arts area.

    We will be gone on vacation this summer and my child will miss some of SMAART. Can my child sign up for SMAART anyway?

    If your child is going to miss more than three days of the camp, we ask that you allow the opportunity for other students to sign up for the program. SMAART is intensive, and students who miss more than three days will have a difficult time catching up, and may hinder the collaborative work that takes place with other students in the SMAART classes.

    How do I sign up my child for transportation for SMAART?

    The registration form has a section where you will select if you need transportation for your child or not, and you will be asked to select the CCSD school location that is most convenient for you. We will work with transportation to plan a bus route that will likely include your selected location so that your child can have the transportation needed to attend SMAART.

    What is the bus schedule for SMAART?

    Once registration closes on April 28, we will be working with our transportation department to work out a schedule for transportation. We will be in touch with you with those details once everything is worked out. Students will need to be on campus by 8:45 am, and classes end at 3:30 pm.






    Contact Us

    Visual & Performing Arts Office

    (843) 937-6423