ISAS Arts Festival 2019 FAQ

Answers to your most burning questions

List of 13 frequently asked questions.

  • Q: What is the ISAS Fine Arts Festival?

    The festival is an annual, three-day performing and visual arts showcase for Upper School students from schools associated with the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest (ISAS). It is the largest arts festival for independent schools in the country and will bring more than 3,500 students and guests to St. Stephen’s. The Director of the 2019 ISAS Arts Festival is Elizabeth Moon, Chair of the St. Stephen’s Fine Arts Department.
  • Q: Where and when will the 2019 ISAS Fine Arts Festival be held?

    The 2019 ISAS Fine Arts Festival will be held at St. Stephen’s Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, on Thursday, April 11 through Saturday, April 13, 2019. The Festival will occupy nearly every building and space on our campus.
  • Q: How can I find out the details about the schedule?

    The final schedule will be released in early March 2019 and will be available through a mobile app called Guidebook. Schedules, maps, and other information will also be accessible in the app and on the schools’ website.
  • Q: What happens each day?

    Approximately 70 Charter Buses from 40+ schools begin to arrive mid-morning on Thursday, April 11. Each school is assigned a “homeroom” in a St. Stephen’s classroom. After check-in, students will install their artwork, prepare to perform, and attend shows, exhibits, demonstrations, and workshops.
    The ISAS Arts Festival is organized into approximately 20 performance and exhibition venues created throughout the campus with events running simultaneously.
    Students start arriving on campus at 10am on Thursday and start leaving at 10:00pm. Friday is the BIG day with busses arriving at 7am and leaving at 10pm. Saturday is another early 7am arrival time but participants will be gone by 1pm and then the cleanup begins.
    Out-of-town participants stay at local hotels.
  • Q: What do students do at the festival?

    Students exhibit and perform their work in the visual and performing arts, and attend other schools’ performances and exhibits. Workshops in the various art areas are also planned. The festival is an intense learning opportunity and a lot of fun. Many students say the ISAS Fine Arts Festival is a highlight of their high school experience.
  • Q: Will St. Stephen's students participate in the Festival?

    Approximately 200 St. Stephen’s students will attend the festival (as we do every year).  Students who are members of St. Stephen’s performing groups and visual arts will receive specific information from their teachers. There are also opportunities for students not participating as performers/artists to serve as festival volunteers.
  • Q: Are students competing for awards and trophies?

    The Festival is non-competitive, but all performances and artwork are critiqued by professionals in the performing and visual arts. Critiques are provided by arts professionals and educators who provide encouraging, constructive comments. The spirit of the Festival is to share the arts.
  • Q: Are there any content restrictions?

    The ISAS 2019 Festival asks that all of us consider our audience and respect what may be a range of practice in our participating schools when questions of content arise. As the host school, we offer this guideline that is in practice at St. Stephen's Episcopal School.

    In general, please do not include gratuitous visual or spoken references, including, but not limited to nudity, profanity, obscenity, illegal activities or substances..

    With specific questions regarding content or our interpretation of this policy, please contact the venue coordinator or the Festival Office well in advance of the Festival.
  • Q: Where will everyone eat?

    We will set up a food tent, seating approximately 1,600 people on Phipps Field. Six meals will be provided:

    Thursday: Dinner
    Friday: Breakfast, lunch, and dinner
    Saturday: Breakfast and a box lunch to be taken on the bus as the festival ends at noon.

    Multiple concession stands and food vendors will be available on campus.
  • Q: How will the Festival affect the campus?

    All regular classes and school activities are currently scheduled will be canceled Wednesday, April 10 through Saturday April 13, 2019. Wednesday April 10th will be a setup day.
    The Festival will occupy nearly every building and space on our campus.
    Boarders will stay with host families off campus on Thursday and Friday nights.

    The festival runs from noon on Thursday through noon on Saturday. Saturday afternoon and Sunday will be clean-up days and other campus activities should be kept to a minimum.
  • Q: How is the ISAS Fine Arts Festival organized?

    Planning for our festival began around August of 2017 under the leadership of Elizabeth Moon, Festival Director.  A festival steering committee was formed which includes leaders from sub-committees in virtually every area of campus life:  Security, Health Center, Administration, Students, Parents, Faculty, Physical Plant and Alumni.  If you are interested in working with planning the festival, contact Elizabeth Moon.
  • Q: As a St. Stephen's parent or alumnae, may I volunteer to be a part of the Festival?

    St. Stephen’s parents and alumnae are encouraged to volunteer. We can use volunteers from Wednesday, April 10 through Sunday, April 14, 2019. We will have volunteer sign up opportunities posted on the website after login to My SSES. Alumni without login credentials should contact Nolu McIlrath directly.  Sign up for as many shifts as you like! You must be signed up for a shift to be admitted to the festival on that day.
  • Q: Can parents, alumni, and friends drop by and watch the students perform?

    Safety and security our top concerns; therefore, only volunteers who are registered in advance and St. Stephen’s faculty and staff may attend the Festival.

Contact Us

Phone: (512) 327-1213 X169

Elizabeth Moon Fine Arts Department Chair at St. Stephen's Episcopal School Elizabeth Moon
Festival Director
Robert Whyburn Fine Arts Coordinator at St. Stephen's Episcopal School Robert Whyburn
Venue and Logistics Coordinator
Address: 6500 St. Stephen's Dr., Austin, TX 78746
Phone: (512) 327-1213