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Experience the arts at NIU! Founded in 1988, the NIU Community School of the Arts brings many of the most talented teachers in the region together with children, teens, and adults at all levels of ability. Approximately 500 people from more than 50 different cities and towns in the region come to NIU each semester to pursue their study of the arts. Private lessons in art and theatre, as well as on all musical instruments, both traditional and Suzuki (violin, cello, piano, and guitar)
The community school offers scholarships (fall and spring only) for those 18 years old and younger, both those in financial need and for talented students. The fall application deadline is at the end of August and the spring deadline is in early January.
As a member of the National Guild for Community Arts Education, our community school is committed to making high quality arts education accessible to all. The NIU Community School of the Arts is an outreach program of Northern Illinois University’s College of Visual and Performing Arts. Talented faculty and students from the Schools of Music, Art, and Theatre/Dance, as well as community artists, serve as teachers and advisors for a rich variety of high quality arts programming.
The community school received three grants, in 2011, 2012, and 2013. from the National Endowment for the Arts in the Arts Education in American Communities program. These grants support artists and teachers whose talents enrich the lives of people in the community. Learn more about the programs funded by these grants.
The mission of the NIU Community School of the Arts is to promote artistic growth among all people in the community. The school encourages lifelong involvement in the arts and to this end provides a place where students at all levels of ability can come together to experience the arts, regardless of the ability to pay. Sponsored by the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the school offers private instruction and group instruction in music, theatre, and visual arts.