State of the art

MVP art academy begins at H-F


Erica Siliezar

Broadcasting in MVP

H-F has a new, completely unique program.

The new program is an academy somewhat comparable to the IB program. Instead of an international curriculum focused on rigorous academics, MVP is art-focused and completely unique to H-F.

“I would venture to say that this is a one-in-the-country program,” Fine Arts Department Chair Matthew Holdren said. “It just doesn’t happen anywhere.”

Holdren is referring to H-F’s Media, Visual and Performing Arts academy, also known as MVP.

“About five years ago, one of our board members wanted advanced programming for our fine arts students,” Holdren said.

From there, MVP was born.

“We want students to have the opportunity to have a world-class fine arts education,” Holdren said.

MVP’s founders travelled across the world to find similar programs and conservatories to model after, including the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. They wanted to find ways to incorporate a structured curriculum for the fine arts into H-F.

However, H-F is still somewhat limited by required core classes. Because all students are required to take certain non-art courses in order to graduate, MVP had to get creative.

“We’ve created sketch schedules, but it’s not completely set in stone,” Holdren said.

Essentially, MVP facilitates artistic growth through classes taken alongside the typical Math, Science, English and Social Science classes; it doesn’t replace them.

Students in the academy also gain access to summer programs to further their artistic development.

Students apply for acceptance into the program during their sophomore year. As upperclassmen, they take classes unavailable to other students including a collaborative arts class and a class on aesthetics in the creative process.

MVP is open to all kinds of students, regardless of future college majors.

“We just encourage anyone who is interested in the arts,” English teacher J.R. Rose said. “The MVP is not just for people that want to major in art in college.”

The program is designed to instill lessons valuable in many situations, not just careers in art.

“The opportunity for an actor or technician to work with a filmmaker or visual arts student or an instrumentalist or a vocalist to create art is just a really rare opportunity,” Rose said.

Rose currently teaches a theatre class that contains several freshmen who plan to apply for the academy next year.

One such freshman is Taeja Porter. Porter decided to join MVP after learning about the program during freshman orientation and a presentation later given to freshmen art students.

She’s curious about how the program will go.

“I plan on doing it because I want to go to NYU, and I know that’s definitely gonna look great on college apps,” Porter said. “I want to be in the fine arts school, so it’s just like going from one fine arts school to another.”

Rose explains that MVP benefits students in and out of the art world.

“Cultivating an artist only makes you more creative and open and accepting to the world,” Rose said.

“These traits, along with learning collaboration and teamwork, will make you a better student and employee in the future.”