Charleston County School of the Arts is a public arts magnet school for Charleston County students who audition and are selected for one of nine arts majors in grades six through twelve: band, strings, vocal, piano, theater, fashion design (high school only), visual art, creative writing, and dance.
Our school began as a dream of the school’s first principal, Rose Maree Myers, who collaborated with district and community members to envision and create a school where students could focus on developing their artistic gifts as they acquired academic, technical, and real-world skills. The school opened its doors in 1995 with 200 students and now has an enrollment of over 1100.
Our learning environment is one in which a young artist is empowered to speak up, shed light, lend a hand, and change the way we perceive the world. It’s been said that art transcends boundaries, that it can rouse the conscience, and serve as a salve to the wound. We believe all of this to be true. In a world rife with division, confusion, short-sightedness, and hurt, we are committed to providing a learning environment that nurtures those with the insight and the artistic gifts to inspire, uplift, and impact our local, state, and global communities.
Founded by Marie Nichols as an elective in a trailer at the old school with her own sewing machines, the Costume & Fashion Design Major was built from the ground up through her trailblazing work.
This is Costume & Fashion Design's ninth year at SOA. In this multidisciplinary major, students learn the foundations of fashion design, figure drawing, garment construction, couture sewing, fabric draping, working with flat pattern design, and fashion sales and marketing. They also build costumes for SOA's musicals, explore the costume and fashion design industries, plan and produce a huge annual fashion show, and create a digital portfolio of their work.
Prior graduates of our program are attending the most prestigious art and design schools in the world such as Rhode Island School of Design, Central St. Martins in London, the University of North Carolina School of the Arts, Massachusetts College of Art & Design, and Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City.
The culmination of the Major is the annual fashion show, which is a campus- wide event.