California Institute of the Arts, also known as “CalArts,” is a prestigious Academy of the Arts created by Walt Disney back in the 1960’s. It is the first Institution of higher learning dedicated solely to visual and performing arts. In 1994, CalArts added a literary track to its course of study. The school is accredited by the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and recently their music division was accredited as well. Walt Disney’s original vision was that the school would be a “CalTech” for the arts, and that creative students from many differing backgrounds and persuasions would get together to co-create innovative new forms of art and contributions to our culture. Students are able to retain the rights to all that they create, and often work in groups to learn how the creative team process works upon graduation and entering the work force.
California Institute of the Arts has three entities comprising its educational spectrum: the educational and artistic program on the campus in the small classrooms, REDCAT – the production and exhibition venue in downtown Los Angeles, and the Community Art Partnership that provides the Institute networking with over forty art based organizations whose main purpose is to provide art education to young people in Los Angeles County. It is truly a diverse and unique student experience, with a strong emphasis on producing art from day one. It is a rigorous application and selection process, and because most of the work has to do with studio production, there are no distance learning opportunities as of now.
There are six divisions at CalArts: School of Art, School of Critical Studies, The Sharon Lund School of Dance, School of Film/Video, The Herb Alpert School of Music, and the School of Theatre. Students can pursue degrees in the following areas: Fine Arts, Graphic Design, Photography, Media, Writing, Aesthetics and Politics, Integrated Media, Dance, Experimental Animation, Character Animation, Film Directing, Composition, Music Performance, African American Music Performance/Composition, Improvisational Music, Music Technology, Musical Arts, World Music, Acting, Directing, Writing for Performace, Puppetry, Design and Production, Costume Design, Lighting Design, Producing, Stage Management, Production Management, Scene Design, Sound Design, Video for Performace, Technical Direction, and Scenic Painting.
Los Angeles, CA is an excellent place to study the Arts with the following museums in the County: Museum of Contemporary Art, LA County Museum of Art, Getty Center, Norton Simon Museum, UCLA Hammer Museum, Santa Monica Museum of Art, Museum of Latin American Art, Pacific Asia Museum, Japanese American National Museum, Southwest Museum, Fowler Museum of Cultural History, Museum of Tolerance, Museum of Television and Radio, and teh Museum of Jurassic Technology. Acclaimed performic arts centers and venues include Walt Disney Concert Hall, Hollywood Bowl, UCLA Royce Hall, Zipper Concert Hall, Geffen Playhouse, Pasadena Playhouse, the Kirk Douglas Theatre, and Staples Center.
Tuition at CalArts is determined on a year to year basis by the School’s Board of Trustees. You can contact the Institute for updated information. The 2010-2011 academic year tuition was set at $36,166 for full time enrollees. Tuition does not cover all of the art materials necessary for class. There are many financial aid options, and they offer a payment plan where students can pay on a monthly basis to assist them in receiving their education.