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ACES School of Creative Expression where we meet people where they are,

encourage creative risk-taking and create opportunities to discover their expressive outlets.



  • Provide students, 4-104, the opportunity to assess, examine, and explore self and others to increase positive coping skills, creatively solve problems, and improve overall psychological well-being using artistic expressions.

  • Use visual, performing, and language arts as the vehicle to social-emotional intelligence allowing the student to advance their understanding, skills and strategies to adaptively cope with the stressors impacting their life.

  • Connect students to a diverse group of skilled local artists wide range of expressive styles and mediums.

  • Create and maintain a diverse, equitable, and inclusive environment inspired by kindness, compassion, and creativity.

  • Cultivate collaborative relationships with local community organizations, school districts, employers, libraries, senior centers, students, and artists to create artwork and performances increasing personal and community wellness.


ACES Philosophy

ACES School of Creative eXpression is a unique school where local artists serve as skilled collaborators who create opportunities for others to discover their unique voice through a wide range of mediums, styles, and platforms.

Artistic Expression

Art is a fundamental way to explore personal development, sharpen reasoning skills, foster innovative thinking skills, and develop problem-solving alternatives through creativity and imagination. The arts provide adolescents with opportunities to deal with challenges symbolically or make an abstract idea concrete for developing minds. Therefore, art can be used as a tool for adolescents to express, examine and share ideas that are sculpting their lives and worldview. We have chosen artistic expression due to the well-documented benefits artistic has in the following areas:


  • Explore Personal Development

  • Sharpen Reasoning Skills

  • Innovative Thinking Skills

  • Develop Problem-Solving Alternatives through Creativity and Imagination

  • Allows for vulnerability

  • Art is for everyone

  • Explore the value of diversity, promotes equity, expands opportunity

  • Exploration and acknowledgment of cultures and differences


Social-Emotional Development 

“Social and Emotional development is a process through which people acquire and apply the knowledge, attitudes, and skills to understand and manage emotions, set and achieve positive goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain positive relationships, and make responsible decisions.” (Berman, Chaffee & Sarmiento, 2018)


Today we all struggle to adaptively cope with numerous stressors presented to them in their daily lives. Many programs are designed to address specific manifestations of an individual’s inability to adaptively cope and mitigate personal crisis. The ACES School of Creative Expression acknowledges many forms of coping to include the following forms of coping that are maladaptive in nature:

  • Depression

  • Isolation - Loneliness

  • Bullying

  • Self-Harm/Suicide

  • Substance Abuse

  • Poor Academic Performance

  • Risky Behaviors

  • Physical and Sexual Assaults

  • Eating disorders

  • Gang involvement


The ACES School of Creative Expression strives to support participants in developing unique adaptive coping skills and strategies that meet the following criteria:

  • Anything that relieves negative effects of a stressor and…

  • Does not harm self or others

  • Something that works for them.

  • Provides a source of relief or healing for physical and psychological injury

  • Promotes physical and mental well-being

  • Addresses the root of stressor

  • Supports long-lasting benefits and promotes personal growth

When people are aware of their emotions and able to manage emotions, they are more adaptable to change, are achievement-oriented, and maintain a more positive outlook toward the future. This supports their natural human development in becoming more socially aware as their world expands leading to greater organizational awareness and greater empathy for others. Therefore, they are more able to manage the relationships with others by increasing their ability to work in a team, manage conflict, and transition to becoming mentors and leaders for the future.