Vermont’s First Fine Arts Academy Coming to Castleton

Students in middle school and high school with a passion for fine arts will have an exciting new opportunity starting in the fall of 2019 thanks to an innovative new program at Castleton University. The Vermont Academy of Fine Arts at Castleton University is designed to provide students with an immersive experience in developing their passion for art, creative writing, music, or theater.

“An art course, whether visual, performance-based or writing-based, requires students to be active participants,” said Castleton University President Karen M. Scolforo. “Students take initiative, engage with their peers, problem solve as a group, demonstrate creativity, and take risks. These are desirable skills employers are seeking in college graduates. By cultivating these skills through the passionate exploration of fine arts, it provides students with a holistic learning experience.”

Designed with the most talented young artists in mind, students who meet specific qualifications through portfolio review or auditions can enroll in the academy their senior year of high school, and have the option to live on campus or commute. Vermont high school seniors can attend tuition-free through the state’s early college program, while out-of-state students benefit from a reduced tuition rate.

The academy will also provide summer course and camp experiences for middle and high school students who may wish to consider the academy as part of their personalized learning plan in the future.

According to Dr. Scolforo, the academy will seek to cultivate future artists while simultaneously preparing students with a love of fine art for careers in other areas. “Recent statistics show that roughly half of all technology hires graduated from liberal arts colleges. This program shines a bright light on our commitment to cultivating the arts, to exploring unique delivery models, and to increasing opportunities for students of all backgrounds. By providing this opportunity for students to immerse themselves in programming about which they are passionate, we can open pathways for advanced learning that were previously closed and prepare graduates for a global workplace.”

The academy will offer courses to students that balance artistic interests, academic needs, and future aspirations while fulfilling senior year graduation requirements. Students who are interested in learning more are encouraged to contact the office of admissions at or (800) 639-8521 or by visiting The deadline to apply for enrollment in the inaugural class is June 1, 2019.