High school students interested in pursuing a career in the arts will want to check out the California State Summer School for the Arts (CSSSA) Applications are being accepted until February 28, 2013 for the summer session, to be held July 13 to Aug. 9.
CSSSA is a four-week, intensive pre-college program for talented and motivated high school students in the arts, held on the campus of the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts) in Valencia.
Now in its 27th year, the session offers instruction in seven artistic disciplines: dance, music, theater, visual arts, creative writing, film/video and animation.
California residents enrolled in grades 9 through 12 are eligible to apply. Students from outside of California may also apply; a limited number are admitted each year.
Participants are selected on the basis of their talent and creativity as demonstrated through application materials and teacher recommendations.
The school has an annual student body of more than 500 young artists. Up to 40 percent of students receive financial aid to attend the program.
The school's public/private partnership with the CSSSA Foundation makes possible the guarantee that no student is denied admission to CSSSA due to financial circumstances.
All students are accepted into CSSSA based on artistic potential and artistic merit on a needs-blind basis, and scholarships are provided to all admitted students who qualify for financial aid.
CSSSA offers a unique opportunity for students to spend one month immersed in a creative laboratory experiencing the inspiring and rigorous daily life of a professional artist.
As a bridge from high school to college, the program offers graduates three units of California State University course credit and names them “California Arts Scholars,” which distinguishes CSSSA graduates from their peers as they proceed to college and an arts career.
Its student body is representative of the ethnic and socio-economic diversity of the state, and students come from all regions of California and beyond.
The admissions process is highly competitive; in recent years, only one in three students who applied were accepted, but the school encourages all dedicated and motivated young artists to apply.
CSSSA alumni include such Hollywood names as Zac Efron and James Franco, Pixar animators Mark Walsh and Sanjay Patel, Broadway star Teal Wicks, TV stars Katherine McPhee and Kirsten Vangsness, author Margaret Dilloway and many other successful artists and creative leaders.
Each summer, the top three students in each discipline, as selected by CSSSA program faculty, are honored with an Emerging Young Artist Scholarship of $40,000 from the Herb Alpert Foundation for collegiate study or pre-professional training programs.
”I have seen firsthand the impact that Herb Alpert's funding has had on emerging young artists,” said Michael Fields, director of CSSSA. “I know of no other program like it. It is innovative, addresses a real need and it changes lives.”
An additional 14 scholarships at the $2,500 level are also awarded on an annual basis. In addition to the Emerging Young Artist scholarships, CSSSA students can earn scholarships to other educational institutions such as Otis College of Art and Design and the California College of the Arts as a direct result of attending this program.