high schools for arts

2023 Top 10 High Schools for the Arts in America

What are the top high schools for the arts in America for 2023?

These are questions that have plagued the minds of many young artists who have chosen to be niche-centered and to focus on honing their artistic skills. 

If you are here to find answers to these questions, then stick around till the end because this article will provide you with a general overview of what an arts high school is about.

You will also know the major difference between an arts institution and a regular institution, as well as the forms of art, studied in the former institution. 

Finally and most importantly, you will find a list of carefully sorted-out arts academies which you can attend in 2023, as well as what they entail. 

So, let’s begin.

What is an Arts High School?

As the name implies, an arts high school is an academic environment where forms of the arts are studied. 

It focuses primarily on forms like visual arts and performing arts which include music, painting, architecture, dance, theatre, etc., while still imparting students with the traditional education they need.

It is a space where students whose niches are targeted toward the arts can explore and freely design, create, and express themselves through their craft.

Here, young artists have the opportunity to become the best version of themselves, as an arts high school creates a community where each student can have a place and sense of belonging in the world.

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What is the difference between Arts High Schools and Regular High Schools?

Arts high schools are niche-centered. It is for students who have made a decision to have a future in the arts or in any art-related field. This school combines a curriculum that is field-centered with a traditional high school curriculum. 

A regular high school has a curriculum that is more centered on traditional academic subjects. Students are trained generally with no specific field in mind. 

Though students may be able to learn arts-related subjects in regular high schools or through extracurricular activities, not much prominence is placed on these subjects in these schools. 

What are the forms of Art Studied in Arts High Schools?

There are different forms of art studied in an arts high school. These forms are embedded into two major forms: Visual arts and Performing arts.

Both art forms have value and are niches that interested students focus on in order to have a career in them.

Visual Arts

This art form opens a portal for the expression of feelings, self, and opinions through visual mediums such as painting, photography, sculpting, and architecture, amongst many others.

Performing Arts

Performing arts refers to creative activities that are often presented before an audience. This includes drama, music, and dance. 

It is an art form in which artists deploy their voices and bodies as tools to pass across an artistic message.

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What are the top 10 High Schools for the Arts in America?

Pivotal information regarding these schools is provided such as the subjects offered, whether the institutions are public or private, and the tuition fees amongst others. This presents young artists with varying choices of art academies that they can attend.

The following are the 2023 top 10 high schools for the arts in America:

1. L.A. County High School for the Arts

This is a public high school for the arts founded in 1985 in Los Angeles, California. It is tuition-free and high school students aspiring to be artists are welcome. 

This art school has a curriculum targeted at preparing students for college, as well as training students in the visual and performing arts. Indeed, it is a high school for those who were born to be creative. 

A plethora of young artists develop their skills at LACHSA and are accepted into one of the following departments: Dance, Theatre Arts,  Music, Cinematic Arts, or Visual Arts through auditions or a review of their portfolio.

2. Interlochen Arts Academy

Interlochen Arts Academy is a private boarding high school for the arts located in Michigan. It was founded in 1928. This high school provides a chance for students to live, work and study in a community of young artists, both national and international. 

Interlochen offers in-depth art training in seven major fine arts areas: dance, visual arts, music, film, new media, creative writing, interdisciplinary arts, and theatre arts. 

Credited to its effective teaching curriculum, the high school has produced a notable number of Presidential Scholars in the Arts and is a recipient of numerous awards and medals.

The yearly tuition is $40,175 and with the boarding fees, it amounts to $70,950. The tuition may vary for a school year; however, it is a very efficient art institution for students.

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3. The Chicago Academy for the Arts

This was established in 1981. It is a private art academy ranked highly in Illinois. 

Students engage in a special co-curricular program which includes preparatory academic classes for college and arts training in dance, creative writing, music, film, theatre, visual arts, or musical theatre. 

The tuition fee is $33,175 for the school year and is subject to change per school year. With the extensive training students get at this art school, they easily get scholarships into the best colleges in the country. 

4. Idyllwild Arts Academy

This is a private art academy established in 1946 and located in California. It provides an international environment where talented young artists can interact and learn from one another.

Its arts majors include visual arts, creative writing, fashion design, music, interdisciplinary arts, film & digital media, dance, and theatre. Idyllwild Arts also offer workshops on jazz and Native American arts, amongst others.

Its yearly tuition amounts to $30,000, and with an addition of boarding fees, students pay $65,091. There is 60% financial aid for students, as well as an average financial aid of $30,000. However, these fees may vary for different school years. 

5. California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley

California School of the Arts – San Gabriel Valley (CSArts-SGV) was founded in 2017 in California. It is a tuition-free academy in association with Duarte Unified School District.

The institution offers a school culture that is dynamic which enables students to succeed as both artists and scholars in an effectively challenging setting. 

It prepares them to attain the acme of their potential and excel. Students choose from one of the eleven arts conservatories offered in the schools of music, dance, fine & media arts, and theatre. 

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6. Design & Architecture Senior High School

This academy is a magnet secondary school located in Florida. It was established in 1990, and has since been a haven for design-inclined students. It is public and tuition-free. 

Design & Architecture Senior High School has a student body of 504 students in grades 9-12. These students are trained with a curriculum fitting for a future in design and architecture. 

7. Walnut Hill School for the Arts

Founded in 1893, this arts institution is a private boarding and day high school for student artists, offering them a spectacular academic experience. It is located in Natick, Massachusetts and has 281 students. 

Walnut Hill School for the Arts offers training in theatre, visual arts, dance, music, film & media arts, complemented by a preparatory college academic curriculum. The tuition fees vary for students; $66,390 for boarding students, and $51,100 for day students.

8. New World School of the Arts

New World School of the Arts is a public tuition-free school located in Miami, Florida. It was founded in 1987, and has a dual enrollment program in the visual arts and performing arts.

These are divided into four aspects: theatre, dance, music, and visual arts. It also has a student body of 485 students in grades 9-12.

9. Fiorello H. Laguardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts

Established in 1961, this academy, often referred to as LaGuardia, is a public institution specializing in teaching performing arts and visual arts. It is located in New York and is tuition-free. 

It has a student body made up of 2,722 students who thrive in their respective grades. These students are taught with a curriculum that is pre-college friendly, as well as trains students in visual and performing arts.

10. Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

This art institution was founded in 1971. It is a public high school located in Houston, Texas with about 797 students in its attendance. 

It focuses on six art areas: instrumental music, dance, vocal music, theatre, visual art, and creative writing.

Kinder High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a repository of artistic knowledge from which interested young students can partake of for free. 

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High schools for the arts are significant institutions that help reduce the number of students who end up unsure of what they want to do in their future. 

These institutions create environments where students are free to express their artistic selves, learn, as well as have fun doing what they love doing. 

The academies listed above, having been carefully selected, are the best of the best for young artists to attend in 2023. High school students can make choices between private and public institutions, and study the aspect of art which they love, while still receiving pre-college preparatory classes. In essence, they miss out on nothing and get the best of both worlds.


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