• Academic Program


  • Arts Education Logo The Pittsburgh Public Schools Arts Education Department sets the standards for an equitable, accessible and high-quality arts education in all four art forms (dance, music, theatre, and visual arts + media) for all students across the district by consulting, training, and strategically planning with teachers, administrators, and schools.


    The transformative Arts Education program will aid to improve student achievement, attendance and graduations rates, by engaging students in an integrated, equitable, and culturally responsive artistic study that provides a new lens to understand their school, community and the world. Students will learn to think creatively and critically like artists and educated consumers of the arts. 



    The mission of the Arts Education Department is to offer a high-quality standards-based curriculum, utilizing Pittsburgh's arts community-based connections, and providing beyond the classroom capacity to ensure involvement in the arts for life.


Click links below to open PDF files.

PA Academic Standards for Arts and Humanities

National Core Arts Standards
Media Arts
Theatre Arts
Visual Arts
    Composition Theory
    Music Technology
    Guitar, Keyboard, Harmonizing Instruments

Arts Advisory Committee

The Arts Advisory committee is comprised of arts organizations and individuals committed to enhancing arts education in Pittsburgh Public Schools. The committee meets under the direction of the district’s Senior Program Officer of Arts Education. The members are:

Bonita Allen-­ Parent and Arts Advocate, PPS
Mary Brenholts-­­ The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts (PCA)
Dr. Kymberly Cruz-­­ Senior Program Officer of Arts Education, PPS
Michele de la Reza- Attack Theatre, Managing Artistic Director
Mark Despotakis-­­ Director of Market Development at Progressive Music and Music Advocate
Dr. Marilyn Egan‐­ Pittsburgh Opera, Director of Education
Jamie Kasper‐­ Arts Education Collaborative, Associate Director
Hattie Lehman-­ Carnegie Museum of Art, Associate Curator of Education
Lindsey Nova­-­ Executive Director, Three Rivers Young Peoples Orchestra (TRYPO)
Dr. Natalie Ozeas‐­ Carnegie Mellon University School of Music, Associate Head
Melissa Pearlman‐­ Principal, Pittsburgh CAPA 6‐12
Suzanne Perrino‐­ The Pittsburgh Symphony, Senior VP of Education and Strategic Implementation
Aubrey Ploesch-­ Performing Arts Coordinator, PPS
Marilyn Russell‐­ Carnegie Museum of Art, Curator of Education
Maria Searcy-­­ Parent and Arts Advocate, PPS
Joe Stamerra-­­ Music Educator, PPS Allegheny K‐5
Dr. Sarah Tambucci‐­ Arts Education Collaborative, Director

Grade Level Materials

A collection of materials that can expected for each grade level and content area.

Grade Music Visual Arts
K-5 Spotlight on Music (McGraw-Hill) Explorations in Art (Davis)
6-8 Share the Music
Music! Its Role and Importance in Our Lives (McGraw-Hill)
Explorations in Art (Davis)
6: A Personal Journey
7: A Community Connection
8: A Global Pursuit
9-12 Essential Elements Series (Hal Leonard)
Band Levels 1-4
Choir Levels 1-4
Strings Levels 1-4
Exploring Visual Design (Davis)
The Visual Experience (Davis)
Discovering Art History (Davis)

Studio Series (Davis) Communicating through Graphic Design, Complete Metalsmith, Experience Clay, Experience Painting, Focus on Photography, Experience Printmaking, Discovering Drawing, Beginning Sculpture.
Advanced Placement   Gardner’s Art Through the Ages (Cengage)

If you have specific questions about your student's materials, please contact your child's school or teacher.

Parent Resources

Student Resources

Student Arts Opportunities


Media Arts

Neighborhood Training Choir Program: Grades 1-3
High School Musical Theater Songwriting Competition

Theatre Arts
Steeltown Teen Film Contest

Visual Arts


Curriculum Department Contact Information

Dr. Kymberly Cruz, Senior Program Officer, Arts Education
Email: kcruz1@pghboe.net

Aubrey Ploesch, Coordinator, Performing Arts
Email: aploesch1@pghboe.net

Christina Unitas, Coordinator, Visual Arts and Design
Email: cunitas1@pghboe.net

Staff Resources (log in required)