In New Zealand the majority of students attend schools that reflect the dominant mainstream context, yet these schools include indigenous Māori and learners from diverse cultural and language backgrounds. By building on contemporary cultural knowledge and students’ own experiences, the arts have the potential to enhance educational outcomes for a diverse student population. This research examines the effects of an intensive programme of teacher professional development in culturally responsive pedagogies on classroom activities and learning experiences in the arts. The results reveal varying levels of implementation, with consequent effects on the teaching and learning process for students. The implications of these findings are discussed with reference to the literature on arts integration and how the arts can build on students’ cultural knowledge and experiences.