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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.