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The rehearsal before the audition: Getting into LA’s most prestigious arts school

KPCC, January 12, 2017

Standing before a room of hundreds of anxious tweens and their parents, Lois Hunter, chair of the theater department at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, pulled back the veil on what it takes to get one of 30 coveted spots in her program.

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Leaping into a new school year at L.A. County’s ‘Arts High’

County of Los Angeles, August 24, 2016

School’s back in session. And for one unique group of students, the new school year always brings a lot of drama. Not to mention ballet, jazz, strings, and even fashion design. Yes, we’re talking about the award-winning Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, where those are just a few of the artistic avenues available to students who audition or submit portfolios to make it through a highly competitive selection process. The school—known as LACHSA or “Arts High”—also is a top performer academically, ranking in the top 10% of California schools. Its 600-plus students come from all over the county.

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The Principal of L.A.’s Most Prestigious Arts High School Has a Success Story of Her Own

LA Weekly, May 4, 2016

Seven million dollars. That’s how much money the 147 students in 2015’s graduating class of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) amassed in college scholarships. They went to Juilliard, Stanford, Cooper Union, UC Berkeley and numerous other schools in the UC system. And they made Mitzi Yates Lizárraga very proud.

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The Power of Art to Build Strong Youth and Heal Trauma

The Huffington Post, April 12, 2016

Investing in the arts and arts education however must begin well before a young person enters into incarceration. It must begin with early childhood education as it is one of the core building blocks of child development. Every child, regardless of zip code, should be exposed to the arts in order to receive a well-rounded education. As a board member of the Los Angeles County Board of Education, I am excited that the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts (LACHSA) is one of the premier public arts high schools in the nation.

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Gustavo Dudamel and the Youth Orchestra L.A. to Perform at Halftime Super Bowl

Broadway World, January 29, 2016

YOLA at LACHSA engages 140 students, ages 8-11. High school students at the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts act as mentors to their younger YOLA counterparts. YOLA at LACHSA is a partnership between the LA Phil and the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts.

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NBC Features LACHSA Arts and Outreach Programs

NBC News, December 24-25, 2010

The Arts High Foundation provides funding for LACHSA to share the remarkable talent of its students with 10,000 underserved youth from schools throughout the County. One way they do that is to provide bus transportation for the students at targeted schools to come to special outreach performances in music, musical theatre, opera and dance. On December 24 and 25, 2010, NBC News featured a segment on the Outreach Program at the Winter Orchestra Concert at the Luckman Theatre on the campus of CSULA.


Flora Thornton dies at 96; L.A. philanthropist and arts patron

Los Angeles Times, May 8, 2010

In April, Thornton was among those honored by the L.A. County High School for the Arts in recognition of their contributions to the school and to the arts.  Opera singer Marilyn Horne, who had known Thornton for more than a decade, read the tribute to her at the event and sang Simple Gifts.  “She was certainly a great money tree, but it wasn’t just that — it was her great love of the arts that was so important,” Horne told The Times Friday. “The arts have certainly lost a great friend.”

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High School Musical…And So Much More

LA County Supervisor Zev Yaroslavsky’s ZevWeb, April 2010

…Since coming to town as the new principal of the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, George Simpson hears one question constantly,  “People ask me all the time, Is your school like Fame?” says Simpson, who joined LACHSA in 2008.  “It’s exactly like Fame, only 10 times more intense…We have kids spontaneously bursting into song in the hallways.”

Now picture that intensity spread across a quarter-century. As Los Angeles County’s “Arts High” turns 25 this year, you get the feeling that this is one silver anniversary that’s going platinum.

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The Night of the Blowout

Beverly Hills Courier’s George Christy, April 23, 2010

Barry Manilow, Monica Mancini and Dave Koz rocked the roof off the Ahmanson Theatre during the Los Angeles County High School of Arts gala celebrating the school’s 25th anniversary.

“I can take care of that,” offered Barry Manilow when the Los Angeles County High School of the Arts that serves our talented youths in Los Angeles was without much-needed musical instruments for its classes.  He immediately donated half a million dollars for new instruments that now accommodate thousands of students.  We discovered this during the jubilant evening of the Arts High Foundation’s gala at the sold-out Ahmanson Theatre when the LACHSA celebrated its 25th anniversary to a rapt audience, raising more than $600,000.

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L.A. County High School for the Arts has celebrity lineup to celebrate its 25th Anniversary

Los Angeles Times, April 6, 2010

The specialized public high school, housed in borrowed quarters at Cal State Los Angeles, will take over some prime downtown arts real estate on April 17 — the Ahmanson Theatre — to celebrate its 25th anniversary in elite company, and to boost the private fundraising it counts on even in the best of times.

The headliner is Barry Manilow — who got his own schooling in Brooklyn but was one of the earliest supporters of L.A.’s answer to the kind of arts high school chronicled in the film and television series “Fame.” At the school, students audition for spots, and those who succeed are accepted into a regimen that includes a daily menu of academic courses, followed by studio work in visual art, music, dance or theater.

Also on the Ahmanson bill are Natalie Cole, Bob Newhart and Monica Mancini (the singing daughter of composer Henry Mancini), with the arts high school’s jazz ensemble and chorus providing backup. Among the non-performing stars expected to be on hand making presentations are Marilyn Horne, Frank Gehry and John Williams. Video greetings will be extended by Plácido Domingo, Quincy Jones, Janet Jackson and Michael Feinstein, among others.

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Barry Manilow Honored at Arts High Foundation and LACHSA 25th Anniversary Celebration

ABC7 – Eyewitness News, February 4, 2010

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