The arts are critical to the intellectual, academic, emotional and aesthetic development of young people and provide a vehicle for learning across the disciplines as well as providing discipline themselves. At a time in our country when the arts are being cut for budgetary reasons, Monte del Sol provides a rich selection of arts.
Middle school students have a choice of Visual Arts, Choir, Performing Arts, Photography, Moving Images, Media Arts and Traditional New Mexico Arts, choosing a different art elective for each of their four semesters. Once students reach high school, they choose an art for an entire year. There is a three-year graduation requirement in the arts.
Monte del Sol students have received numerous awards including All State selection of three Choir members and the selection as a Northern New Mexico Honor Choir. In 2006, our students were chosen to sing the National Anthem at a UNM basketball game in Albuquerque. In Moving Images, student films have won first place in the statewide Desert Light film competition and first place in both the National Geographic All Roads Festival and Espanola Showing Excellence. In addition, films have been shown at Telluride and the Santa Fe International Film Festival. Visual Arts student work has been shown in the Center for Contemporary Arts and the Georgia O'Keeffe Education Annex in Santa Fe. Photographic work is exhibited in galleries around town including at the Santa Fe Art Institute. In 2011, ten pieces of work by Monte del Sol students were selected from over 400 entries nationwide at a juried exhibit in Sonoma County, California and in the photography category of the Future Voices of New Mexico competition Monte del Sol students had five honorable mentions out of over 600 submissions. One of our 10th grade students took 3rd place in the 'best use of theme' category in that competition. Under the tutelage of Santero, Frank Lucero, Traditional New Mexico Arts students have won awards at the annual Spanish Market as well as showing at the Center for Museum Resources.
Distinguished visiting artists in every artistic discipline have collaborated with Monte del Sol or have been guest teachers, including poets Martin Espada, Jimmy Santiago Baca, Vince Kadlubek, John Brandi, Joan Logghe, Miriam Sagan, Ann Valley Fox and Keith Gilyard. Visiting authors include Greg Mortenson and Pat Mora, plus several of our History students were selected to read portions of A People's History of the United States at the Lensic theater in a special evening with Howard Zinn. Visiting performance artists include the Pilobolus Dance Theater, Lumbre de Sol, The Santa Fe Jazz Festival and members of the Santa Fe Opera. Documentary filmmakers Cynthia Lukas and Kell Kearns spent three days in our Creative Writing classes filming students as they composed and read poems on peace for a film connecting young people in the USA with students in Iran.
Additionally, students in high school have an opportunity to delve deeply into the arts through a chosen mentorship with a Santa Fe based visual or performing artist. Hundreds of mentors from the wider community have volunteered with our students since the founding of the school in 2000. Please go to our Mentorship page for many more inspiring details about our award-winning Mentorship Program.