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About Us

The Lois Cowles Harrison Center for the Visual and Performing Arts offers an enriched arts education for students with a demonstrated talent in the arts. The program develops both the academic and artistic skills of students interested in artistic careers as well as an appreciation of the arts for those who may choose other fields.

Harrison opened in 1989 and serves students throughout Polk County. Students are dually-enrolled in Lakeland High School for their academic classes, which is adjacent to the Harrison campus. Students are afforded
the benefits of a wide range of both standard and honors courses, with opportunities for advanced placement credit.

Harrison School for the Arts and Lakeland High School conduct classes on a seven-period day. Students are able to earn 28 credits in four years. Harrison students must earn a minimum of 10 credits in arts-specific classes, including three arts-specific credits during their junior and senior
years, to graduate from Harrison School for the Arts.

Recognitions and Affiliations

  • Harrison is recognized as an Exemplary School by the Arts Schools’ Network.

  • The Harrison Symphony Orchestra, Jazz Orchestra, and Chamber Winds have all performed at the Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic in Chicago.

  • The Harrison Choral program has performed at the State, Regional, and National ACDA Conventions.

  • The Harrison Dance Department features an American Ballet Theatre® Affiliate Teacher, certified in Primary through Level 7 of the ABT® National Training Curriculum.

  • Harrison student films have been accepted into numerous film festivals, including the Sunscreen West, Los Angeles, Gasparilla, and Palm Beach International Film Festivals.

  • Harrison has had at least one of 25 winners in the state-wide “Arts For Life!” scholarship competition five of the last seven years.

  • In 2021, Harrison had 21 students recognized as recipients of the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition with 8 silver keys, 10 gold keys, one silver medal, and two gold medals.

  • Harrison’s professional affiliations include Art Schools Network, Florida Alliance for Arts Education, Americans for the Arts, National Association of College Admission Counseling, Southern Association of College Admission Counseling, American School Counselor Association, and Florida School Counselor Association.

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