Department of Defense Education Activity

Europe Student Academic Activities - Fine Arts

Fine Arts Activities

DoDEA-Europe offers its students a variety of region-level activities and academic competitions focused on fine arts. These events are designed to enhance and extend classroom instruction and provide students with the opportunity to enhance their fine arts skills, as well as explore careers in the arts. The following activities are currently sponsored by DoDEA Europe:

  • Creative Connections
  • Drama Fest
  • Honors Music Festival
  • Jazz Music Festival

Creative Connections
Grades 9-12

Creative Connections is a six-day visual and performing arts symposium for talented high school students selected by application and audition. Instructors include experienced DoDEA teachers and contracted art and music specialists. Classes vary from year to year, but often include drama, show choir, strings, dance, costuming, video production, digital design, drawing, mixed-media and watercolor. The week of intensive instruction challenges students to explore new creative avenues and refine their skills to the highest levels. As one instructor described it, "Creative Connections is a whole semester of Fine Arts packed into one week." The activity culminates with an exhibition of artwork followed by stage performances open to the public. Costs to students do not exceed €250 for food, lodging, and a t-shirt. Creative Connections is normally scheduled in early November at the Oberwesel Youth Hostel.

Grades 9-12


All high schools have the opportunity to send a troupe of Thespians to participate in DramaFest, currently hosted in Wiesbaden, Germany in April. Schools hold auditions to send their most promising 6 actors and 2 theater tech students to the event to participate in monologues, duets, and ensemble presentations. Students have the opportunity to both give and receive constructive feedback to improve their skills. Special workshops in theater tech, movement, costuming, and make-up also comprise the program. When possible, the festival includes an excursion to a professional theater production. Costs to students do not exceed €150 for food, lodging, and a t-shirt at this 4-day event.

Honors Music Festival
Grades 9-12

The Honors Music Festival offers approximately 60 student instrumentalists and 80 vocalists the opportunity to study and perform a variety of band and choral literature under the batons of two of America's finest conductors. Students are selected by blind audition for the coveted positions at this event and are judged by a panel. After a period of intensive rehearsals with the guest conductors, the students present an evening concert with a combined band and choral finale. This event is currently held in Oberwesel, Germany in March. A registration fee of 220€ is collected for lodging, meals, and a t-shirt.


Jazz Music Festival
Grades 9-12

The Jazz Music Festival is comprised of outstanding jazz instrumentalists and vocalists from across Europe who are chosen by blind audition to be part of the elite big band and vocal ensemble. This event is held in January in the Kaiserslautern, Germany, area and features world-renown jazz clinicians as well as DoDEA music teachers as staff. In addition to the two performing groups, there are workshop groups for students who are striving to improve their skills as jazz musicians. The week culminates with a public concert as well as a concert at a German school. The registration fee for this event does not exceed 250€ for lodging, food, and a t-shirt.