ARTS HIGH SCHOOL (13-3570-010)

In September 1931, Arts High School, erected at a cost of $1.25 million dollars during the Depression, opened its doors and became the first public high school for visual and performing arts in the United States! There was none other like Arts High School and she became the model for the High School of Art & Music in New York City. According to Harrison E. Webb, our first principal, it was taken for granted that Art, Music, and Drama were to be regarded as major pursuits comparable in importance to Latin, Mathematics and the Sciences in an academic high school.
We provide our students with an exemplary standard of artistic excellence that combines a professional conservatory education with the academic rigor of a college preparatory program. The cross-content studies in which the students participate enable them to benefit from both the arts and the academics. To that end we have rigorous Honors and Advanced Placement course offerings. While the primary focus of Arts High School is on the visual and performing arts, emphasis is equally placed on the Common Core Standards and the preparation of all students for the transition from School to Career or School to College. Interdisciplinary units are designed so that all components of the Arts High School education are interwoven into a seamless tapestry of visual and performing arts along with a rigorous academic study.
Arts High School is a public high school open to all students who reside in Newark, NJ. Students are admitted based on an application, an admissions test, and a live audition. We offer majors in vocal & instrumental music, drama, dance, visual arts and TV Production. We provide our students with an exemplary standard of artistic excellence that combines a professional conservatory education with the academic rigor of a college preparatory program. The cross- content studies in which the students participate enable them to benefit from both the arts and the academics. It is the responsibility of Arts High School to provide high-quality curriculum and artistic instruction in a supportive and effective learning environment, which enables our students to meet State academic achievement standards as well as artistic performance standards of the creative arts arena. The most valuable lessons that students learn come from visitations to museums and galleries, attendance at performances, participation in master classes, workshops, clinics and working closely with professionals from our partnerships, and various Artist in Residency programs. Our students have an opportunity to perform and exhibit in and outside the school, as well as apprenticeship opportunities. These experiences allow students a real-world interface with the many facets of their chosen major. Each major is aligned with formidable school-to-career partners:


Visual Arts – The Newark Museum, Montclair Art Museum, and other local art venues
Dance – NJPAC, Alvin Ailey American Dance Foundation, American Ballet Theatre, NJ Ballet, NJ Dance Theatre Ensemble
Music – NJPAC, Westfield Symphony, NJ Symphony, NJCU, Montclair State, Kean University, Julliard School of Music, Westminster Choir College, Jazz House Kids, Thelonious Monk Institute, Greater Newark Youth Orchestra
Drama – NJPAC, Paper Mill Playhouse and Playwrights in the Schools, Manhattan Theater Club, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Theater, McCarter Theater, NJ Playwrights, NJIT,
TV Communication – The Star-Ledger, William Patterson University, Essex County College, MSG Varsity
Currently there are 710 multi ethnic students spanning grades 7-12. Over 2000 students compete for 50 7th grade spots and 150 freshman spots. Our Arts staff are all professionally involved in their respective crafts and an Advisory Board for both the Visual and performing arts so that faculty, staff and students can stay abreast of industry and professional trends and skills that will be necessary upon graduation.
Arts High School continues to see its goal actualized in the graduation of young adults (2013 graduation rate of 100%) who are armed with the academic skills and artistic talents necessary to evolve into accomplished, creative artists and performers who use their talents to help bridge cultural and artistic differences in our society. Through the years, graduates of Arts High School have helped to define and redefine the visual and performing arts culture on an international level. A few of our esteemed graduates are jazz singer Sarah Vaughn; famed saxophonist Wayne Shorter; Tony Award winner Melba Moore; Grammy nominee Frankie Negron; Actors, Michael B. Jordan, Taurean Blaque and Tisha Campbell; dancer/choreographer Savion Glover; vocalist Connie Francis; jazz artist Woody Shaw; Philadelphia Orchestra Trumpeter Seymour Rosenfeld; classical guitarist, Manuel Barrueco; music directors Mort Lindsey and Charlie Calello; ballerina Beatrice Rodriquez; fashion designer Stephen Burrows; Visual artist Willie Cole; Graphic designer Paul Bacon!
The vision for Arts High School is to catapult the school to a national standard of artistic excellence that combines a professional conservatory education with the academic rigor of a college preparatory program. We are eager to continue to shape the spirit of Arts High into the new millennium by using the arts to ignite the mind. Our goal is to create an extraordinary training laboratory where students will study their individual craft in a safe risk taking environment and to serve as a national model of artistic excellence in teaching, learning and professional experiences. We will continue to seek and strengthen global partnerships to marshal resources that will provide performance, training and apprenticeship experiences for all students.

Ms Lynn irby-Jackson
(973) 733-7391