If you seek a creative climate where learners transform into leaders, look no further than Idyllwild Arts Academy.
Set on a campus surrounded by idyllic pine and cedar forest, next to a renowned arts town in Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, Idyllwild Arts promises a transformative experience for students who wish to immerse themselves in artistic discovery, productivity and creativity.
Balancing arts with academics
As the great artist, Pablo Picasso once said, “Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up.”
With a vision to develop the next generation of creative visionaries with a balanced foundation of arts and academics, Idyllwild Arts has established an intellectual space worthy of its talented students.
As a school that believes in the transformative power of art, Idyllwild Arts encourages learners to embark on the lifelong pursuit of their aspirations. Unrestrained by outdated, rigid forms of education, the school merges every aspect of academic expression to create an equal experience for all.
For example, the Arts Enterprise Laboratory (AEL) awards grants to support students’ creation of new art. Idyllwild Arts is the only arts high school to offer such a grant program.
AEL also prepares students for arts careers by connecting them to working artists through alumni lectures, master classes and internship opportunities. AEL master classes give students a platform for mentoring by master teachers, including, in recent years, Jacob Collier, Tamir Hendelman, Odeya Nini and Karine Plantadit.
There’s also the Art in Society project, where students, guest artists and activists inspire each other and the public to use art to make the world a better place. Art in Society’s student-led discussions focus on key social issues to deepen understanding of the world, while the annual Art in Society Symposium brings socially-engaged artists from all over the US to campus.
It’s no surprise that Idyllwild Arts instils lasting skills into every student who walks through its doors.
The 21st-century innovators of Idyllwild
To showcase the influence Idyllwild Arts has on student success, here are three of the school’s creative alumni with inspiring stories to tell.
Mara Wilson, former child star of Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and Matilda (1996), graduated from Idyllwild Arts Academy in 2005.
Since her time at Idyllwild Arts, she has written the extraordinary autobiography Where Am I Now? and staged her first play for the New York International Fringe Festival.
As she explains, her favourite memory of the Academy comes from Bonnie Carpenter, now Theatre Chair, who Mara says gave her so much guidance and taught her that she “didn’t have to be one thing.”
“I was angry and confused before I came to Idyllwild,” she adds. “But my two years there changed that.”
Sydney Guo is another Idyllwild Arts alum who enjoyed the balance of arts and academics.
A Classical Violin graduate who became a successful vascular surgeon with offices in four California cities, Sydney shows that arts education can open many different doors into the working world.
Recalling that his time at Idyllwild Arts was “really special,” he has made three significant gifts in support of the school’s mission.
“If I can’t be the performer, I can at least be the audience,” he says.
Finally, Jacque Carnahan first experienced the wonders of Idyllwild Arts through the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, a venture that convinced her she had to study full-time at the Academy.
A natural lover of theatre and dance, Jacque directed her attention, time and passion toward Idyllwild Arts, and in return, the school nurtured her talents and helped take her skills to the next level.
Now Artistic Director at Believe NYC, the inspiration and specialized knowledge she discovered at the Academy have driven her exciting career.
She believes passionately in the unforgettable opportunities provided by Idyllwild Arts.
“Being around the excellence at Idyllwild when you’re young stays with you,” she says. “You feel you can do more.”
To strike a balance between your academic and artistic potential at a boarding high school that will inspire, encourage and motivate, choose Idyllwild and let your creativity run free.