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Integrating the Arts

At a time when many public schools have had to cut back on arts programs, Riverdale continues to demonstrate its commitment to both visual and performing arts.  

Students at Riverdale Grade School and Riverdale High School experience an extensive artistic learning curriculum and a strong program for musical expression. 

At Riverdale, the arts are a core subject area. With dedicated and inspiring art and music teachers leading a varied, sequential and developmentally appropriate program, our K-12 students learn to see the world around them through an artistic lens. They stretch beyond their comfort zones, trying new mediums and styles, singing with their classmates and performing in front of audiences. 

music notes

In visual art classes, students progress from learning to hold a paintbrush and sculpting with clay, to printmaking, photography and more.

In music, they explore using poems and rhymes as the basis for beginning song and dance, and move on to band ensembles, choir and drama performances. 

At the grade school, all grade levels take art classes several times a week and classroom teachers also weave art projects into other areas of study. Even at the high school level, students are required to take four years of visual and/or performance art. 

Use the blue box navigation in this section to explore our visual art program, music program and drama program. You can also see a schedule of our upcoming shows and performances.

Regional Arts & Culture Council and the Arts Education and Access Income Tax Fund (AEAF)

arts education fund

In 2012, the residents of the City of Portland passed the Arts Education and Access Income Tax Fund (AEAF) measure, which made it possible to hire more arts educators in six Portland school districts: Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Portland Public, Reynolds, and Riverdale. The measure also ensured financial support for regional arts and cultural institutions through grants administered by the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC). While not perfect, this fund has enabled schools to maintain a roster of nearly 100 arts educators in K-5, K-6, and K-8 schools and provided millions of dollars in grants. While there is never enough money and the demands from arts organizations and school districts have grown, we still strive for a well-funded and well-rounded arts education, including dance, theatre/drama, music, visual arts, and media arts.