The Texas Art Education Association (TAEA) has recognized the District as a leader in visual arts by awarding Frisco ISD with the 2021 District of Distinction Award. It is the third year in a row FISD has earned this honor, given to only the top four percent of districts in the state this year.
FISD received the honor for providing a well-rounded education that advocates and integrates visual arts curriculum to inspire creativity and build social-emotional learning opportunities that connect learners to their community and beyond.
“Our visual arts teachers at the elementary, middle and high school levels exhibit best practices in communication, coordination and collaboration every day by providing a powerful arts education to the students in their classroom,” said Preston Hazzard, managing director of fine arts for Frisco ISD.
Frisco ISD stood out as a district that actively participates in areas such as the Visual Arts Scholastic Event (VASE), Junior VASE and the Texas Elementary Art Meet. TAEA also looked at other traits of the District visual arts programming including field experiences, community service and community exhibitions.
FISD is poised to build on that success with the addition of a performing arts center, including new space for art gallery events, performances and competitions. The District joined forces with the City of Frisco and developer Craig Hall earlier this year to build the center at Hall Park.
“We are actively speaking with potential project managers and architects for the student-centered performing arts center that will also benefit our visual art students,” said Todd Fouche, deputy superintendent for business and operations. “The District is well-versed in building schools, but a visual and performing arts center is a new venture.
“What is not new is the focus on expanded learning opportunities for Frisco ISD students. Soon, students will regularly access an arts center where they can collaboratively engage in artistic ventures.”
As approved by voters in the 2018 Frisco ISD bond referendum, the District will own a performance hall that will have 1,250-1,500 seats, including instructional, training and office space.
When voters authorized $43 million for the facility, it was noted that the future venue would be earmarked for use by Frisco ISD an estimated 150-170 days a year based on the existing use of auditoriums and multi-use space for gallery events, performing arts and professional development. When not in use for District events, the facility would have the option of being rented to outside organizations.
In the collaborative venture outlined this past summer, the City of Frisco will own an adjoining community venue with 250-350 seats and a parking garage.
“FISD has set a high standard for visual arts advocacy, integrated visual arts curriculum, encouraged creativity, community participation and student growth,” said Stacia Gower, chair of the administration and supervision division of TAEA.
Across the District, the collaboration between visual arts teachers and teachers of other subjects helps fine arts reach a large and diverse group of students, and the arts center on the horizon will only expand that reach.