Dragons’ Eyes
“Dragons’ Eyes” by Ms. Susi Russell’s students at Parkwood Elementary. Clay and Paint


Spring Semester Events and Activities

Brandon Gilles, Director of Visual and Performing Arts

Catch Up on the Latest Details and Events Regarding all things VAPA

By Brandon Gilles, Director of Visual and Performing Arts

Community Theater Returns to Madera

In partnership with the Madera County Arts Council, Madera Unified School District is proud to announce the Madera Theater Project. The new community theater organization will premiere its inaugural three-show season of plays and musicals this summer. The organization solicited show proposals from potential directors and expects to announce its season lineup by mid-March. Auditions and other volunteer roles will be open to all members of the public; students and adults alike. The first show will premiere in early June at the Matilda Torres High Performing Arts Center.

For more information, and to buy tickets, visit our website by searching for “Madera VAPA” or www.madera.k12.ca.us/domain/1404

Previous and Upcoming Theatre

  • March 18-19 & 24-26 at 7:30 PM: Coyote Drama Productions presents “Novio Boy” in the Coyote Arena Theatre at Madera High School
  • March 30-April 2 & 6-9 at 7:00 PM and April 3 at 2 PM: MSTC Theatre presents “Seussical the Musical” at the Madera South High Theatre
  • May 12-15 at 7:30 PM: Torres High presents “Calabasas Street” at the Torres High Performing Arts Center

Joint Concerts for each School Pyramid

Each high school’s feeder system of middle and elementary schools will present combined concerts this spring. At each Pyramid Concert, band, orchestra, or choir musicians from grades 4 through 12 will showcase their musicianship in smaller groups and as a single, unified ensemble. One of the greatest benefits of these concerts is the opportunity for younger musicians to collaborate with more experienced musicians and their directors, providing an invitation for elementary students to continue studying music past sixth grade. The sound of so many musicians in harmony is a powerful experience for audiences and performers alike. For more information about the Choir, Band, and Orchestra concerts of each Pyramid, visit the calendar on our website by searching for “Madera VAPA” or “www.madera.k12.ca.us/Page/6545.”

Art Education Expands in Elementary Schools

A weekly Visual Art elective is now guaranteed for all Madera Unified elementary students. Instruction is provided by 17 newly-hired art specialists, who collaborated to develop the lessons and meet weekly to continuously refine instruction. Each lesson introduces students to famous artists of various cultures, teaches a new art-making technique, and provides ample studio time for students to create from their imagination. Students have explored weaving, sculpting with clay, printmaking, and numerous mediums for painting and drawing. Along with building techniques, art instruction is also fostering the development of less tangible skills such as communication and cultural identification. Heather McGrew, art teacher at Parkwood Elementary, has noticed how creativity is building a more accepting school community, which “supports a feeling of success and strengthens student confidence.” Participating in the arts also improves our mental, physical, and emotional well-being. Art has proven to be a fun and meaningful experience for all students, and those who wish to pursue it further have many opportunities in middle and high school to sharpen their expertise and be creative.


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