Despite the ongoing pandemic, high school and college arts students are cautiously optimistic and still committed to pursuing their dreams of being a part of the arts community, according to a new survey conducted by ArtsBridge. Among the key findings:
- Arts students have turned to creative virtual options to keep practicing their craft, creating content for social platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok (87%), and participating in digital showcases (77%) and readings over video chat with friends or teachers (34%)
- Only 46% of high school parents expressed a serious degree of worry (“moderately or very worried”) about their student’s future job prospects in the arts, while just 34% of high school and college students share that same level of concern
- 69% of high school and college arts students have not seriously considered changing their career path or major because of COVID-19.
Arts students have faced a unique set of challenges due to the pandemic.
Many high school performances were scheduled, but never happened, leaving 70% of these students and parents concerned about the student’s inability to participate in theater, music performances, or art shows—all critical to building a high school arts resume. Students also expressed concerns about virtual auditions and interviews not being as impactful, and virtual learning affecting their academic performance.
Despite these challenges, high school and college students, parents, and educators tell a story of resilience during the pandemic. Arts students have turned to creative virtual options to keep practicing their craft, creating content for social platforms like YouTube, Instagram and TikTok (87%), and participating in digital showcases (77%) and readings over video chat with friends or teachers (34%).
“In my 30-plus years of working in higher education, I never would have thought we’d see students auditioning for their dream schools from their kitchens,” said Halley Shefler, CEO and founder of ArtsBridge, former dean of enrollment for The Boston Conservatory, and sirector of dmissions at Boston University’s School of Music. “I’m so inspired to see students persevere and embrace the challenges of virtual artistic training during the COVID-19 pandemic, while discovering more about who they are as artists and continuing to pursue their dreams. Broadway may be dark, but the future of the arts is bright.”
According to high school students, parents and educators, most college-bound arts students (59%) are staying the course and not making any changes to their post-graduate plans. Those who are on the fence are considering taking a “gap year” or year off (30%), pursuing a BA or BS instead of a BFA or BM (17%) or attending community college for the first year (16%), as a result of the pandemic.
Parents and students are worried, but still hopeful, about the prospects of a future career in the arts: Only 46% of high school parents expressed a serious degree of worry, indicating they are “moderately or very worried,” about their student’s future job prospects, while just 34% of high school and college students share that same level of concern.
The majority (69%) of high school and college arts students have not seriously considered changing their career path or major because of COVID-19.
ArtsBridge surveyed students, parents, and educators in February 2021 regarding their attitudes and experiences with the admissions process during COVID-19 (since March of 2020). The survey includes feedback from 739 respondents, representing all perspectives: 149 high school and college students, 157 parents of high school students, and 433 high school and college educators.
ArtsBridge is a consulting firm founded in 2008 by college arts admissions expert Halley Shefler. The company works with students who aspire to study and have a career in the arts: theater, music, dance, film and visual arts. Their counseling and artistic training programs prepare students for the rigorous college application and audition processes. ArtsBridge students have successfully gained admission into the most selective and prestigious arts programs in the country. Students who participate in ArtsBridge training programs receive personalized guidance from renowned college faculty and key admissions decision-makers at leading arts institutions. For more information, visit www.artsbridge.com and follow ArtsBridge on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.