The Public School Where Students Thrive
Recognized as the premier public arts high school in the western United States, LACHSA is a tuition-free public arts high school on the campus of California State University Los Angeles that offers college-preparatory academics and conservatory-style arts training in music, dance, theatre, musical theatre, cinematic arts, and visual arts. Proudly operated by the Los Angeles County Office of Education (LACOE), LACHSA makes it possible for talented youth —especially those from families that cannot afford private arts training—to pursue their dreams of becoming artists.
Performing and Visual Arts Training
From a highly competitive performance audition and visual arts portfolio review, LACHSA selects the best from among the entire County’s aspiring young artists. Once admitted, students, who reside in hundreds of communities throughout the County and in 40+ different zip codes in the city of Los Angeles, receive comprehensive arts instruction and performance experiences within a rigorous academic environment.
After a morning of college-preparatory academic classes, a faculty of 62 professional teaching artists provides students with arts instruction from the comprehensive and sequential curriculum that is aligned with the California Framework for Visual and Performing Arts, Advanced High School Level, and includes required coursework, designed to supply students with a strong foundation in both theory and technique, along with elective classes that enrich students’ experiences within their chosen discipline. For more information about the LACHSA program, please visit LACHSA’s website www.lachsa.net
Performances and Exhibitions
Public performances and exhibitions are key culminating elements in the arts curriculum. Students perform in musical concerts, operas, musicals, theatre plays, dance concerts, ballets, visual arts exhibitions, and a film festival.
Click here to view LACHSA’s event calendar>
The students take full advantage of every learning opportunity they are offered, as the awards they win demonstrate. LACHSA has had more winners of the Music Center’s Spotlight Awards than any other school; it counts fourteen students as winners of the prestigious National Presidential Scholar Award from the Young Arts Awards and US Commission on Presidential Scholars; has won the top honors at the Monterey Next Generation Jazz Festival numerous times; has had students selected for the GRAMMY Jazz Band and Jazz Choir; as well as had students receive countless college merit scholarships. Indeed, LACHSA sends 95-98% of its students on to prestigious colleges, conservatories, and universities, while the remaining seniors start their careers immediately. LACHSA has sustained a nearly 0% dropout rate since 1985. Indeed, the reputation of the high quality of LACHSA students and the arts education they receive recently inspired NYU Tisch School for the Arts to host two of the Arts Chairs to a conference for outstanding high schools to explore how to attract more of LACHSA’s graduates to their college.
Please view the complete listing of Recent Student Achievements >
Thanks to the generous support of the Maxwell H. Gluck Foundation, 10,000 underserved youth from the Los Angeles community have been given the opportunity to experience high quality arts performances, learn more about the arts education available to them at LACHSA, and the school’s students have had the opportunity to use their talents in service of others. Students are bused in from targeted schools to see special outreach concerts of major productions. LACHSA students perform at targeted middle schools each year as arts enrichment and an example of what LACHSA students learn in their arts classes. In addition, teachers from those schools are informed about LACHSA’s arts programs to help encourage and support their students in applying to LACHSA, thus increasing the number of underserved youth who apply and are accepted at the school.
New School Facility
Ground was broken on February 23, 2011 for a new school facility for LACHSA on the campus of California State University Los Angeles! In March 2013 the school opened. The Arts High Foundation successfully matched a $1.25MM challenge grant from State Career Technical Education funds that equipped the new theatre with lighting and sound systems and added a scene shop. Stagecraft Technology has now been added as a new major in the Theatre Department. The impact that this training has on the school’s students cannot be overstated, as it fulfills their dreams and sets them on a direct path to becoming professional artists. The 40,000 sq. foot building won prizes for architectural design. Importantly, the new building creates once-in-a-lifetime opportunities for the Arts High Foundation to offer naming opportunities to donors.
Download LACHSA New School Facility drawings >
See photos of the Groundbreaking Event >
LACHSA’s gifted youth are the ones who will build the future of dance, music, theatre, visual arts, musical theatre, and film, as the school’s alumni are doing today. The following is just a small list of alumni accomplishments:
- Josh Groban’s 2008 Christmas CD Noel sold more copies throughout the world than any other in Christmas recording in history (surpassing even Elvis Presley). In 2012, Josh did a benefit concert at Disney Hall for LACHSA.
- Actress Jenna Elfman starred in her second television series, Accidentally on Purpose (Dharma & Greg was her first).
- Anthony Anderson is a regular cast member on Law & Order, as was MacKensie Westmore on Passions.
- Jazz pianist Gerald Clayton was nominated for a GRAMMY in 2010.
- Josefina Lopez is the most published Latina playwright in the United States. She started by to write Real Women Have Curves—which won the top prize at Sundance Film Festival and was made into an HBO movie—when she was still a student at Arts High.
- Matthew Rushing’s position as principal dancer with the Alvin Ailey Dance Theatre of America has delighted audiences around the world every year since his graduation in 1994. He is considered one of the greatest modern dancers of his generation!
- Visual Artist Kehinde Wiley’s portraits of African Americans were put on exhibition in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C. He is currently one of the most financially successful visual artists in the field.