Jacqueline M. Walsh High School
for the Performing and Visual Arts
Probably the most remarkable thing I saw while filming in Pawtucket, was the Jacqueline M. Walsh School High School for the Performing Arts. I knew the city was putting all of its efforts into the arts, when they decided to take part of an unused structure, the former National Guard Armory, and convert it into an Arts Exchange. As part of this transformation, the Walsh school was born.
For a city to take part of its school budget and move that into an arts only environment, with extended day programs, you know they are dedicated. From my discussion with the Principal John Haidemenos, I could tell that the performing arts high school, was indeed just that. A school dedicated to helping develop the performing and visual arts for the students of Pawtucket.
The Jacqueline M. Walsh High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is the first performing arts high schools of its kind in Rhode Island. Located in the Arts Exchange at the Pawtucket Armory, this performing and visual arts high school accepts students by audition and portfolio only. Opening in 2005 the 2008-2009 school year marks the first Senior class. The high school has an extended day, at 7.5 hours of study in both the student's discipline as well as academic courses.
The Jacqueline M. Walsh high school for the Performing and Visual Arts employs high quality qualified teachers. The performing arts high school is a public high school in the Pawtucket School System, and city children can attend by audition at no expense. Outside students are taken on a tuition basis.
Pawtucket Rising a documentary about the revival of the city of Pawtucket, RI, has a segment highlighting the performing arts high school. Interviews were done with John Haidemenos, Principal of the Jacqueline M. Walsh School for the Performing Arts. Ann Galligan a professor at Northeastern University in the fields of cultural policy, arts education and cultural planning discusses an arts infused education in Rhode Island.
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