High School for the Performing and Visual Arts
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The High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (HSPVA or PVA for short) is a secondary school located at 4001 Stanford Street in the Montrose district of Houston, Texas. The school is a part of the Houston Independent School District.
The school educates grades nine through twelve. The school is divided into six departments: instrumental music, vocal music, dance, theater (including technical theater), visual arts, and creative writing (new to the 2011-2012 school year). Visual Arts was formed by the merging of what were formerly separate art and media departments. Students are required to enroll in the school under one,and only one, art area. Applicants can audition for more than one department and may be accepted for multiple departments but when accepted must choose one. At the end of every semester students complete a re-audition or portfolio review which does not determine whether or not they return to the school; re-auditions serve as part of the final grade for each art area.
Students who fail classes (Both academic and art area) are placed on art area probation which makes them ineligible to participate in art area activities. If a student repeatedly fails his or her art area or academics he will most likely be removed from the school.
There are six art areas: vocal music, instrumental music, dance, theatre, visual art, and creative writing. There are subdivisions within some of these art areas. Instrumental Music breaks down into band, orchestra, jazz, mariachi, and piano. Theatre breaks down into musical theatre, acting, and technical theatre. A creative writing department was added in the 2011-2012 school year, raising questions about HSPVA's size and whether the current building will be able to house a new department.
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HSPVA was established in 1971. The HISD Office of Board Services had, by January 1971, received letters written by art organizations in Houston. Those letters advocated for the creation of an arts magnet school. HISD chose Ruth Denney as the school's founding director. The district asked Denney to choose between three potential sites: W. D. Cleveland Elementary School, Montrose Elementary School, and the former Temple Beth Israel building. After touring them, Denney selected the temple building and in May 1971 the final plans for HSPVA were presented to the school board.
The school moved to 4001 Stanford Street, the site of the former Montrose Elementary School, in 1982
Plans existed for a new HSPVA building to be located near the Gregory-Lincoln Education Center in Houston's Freedmen's Town Historical District in the Fourth Ward. The new building would have included a 2000+ seat state-of-the-art theater, updated facilities and possibly a recording studio. Construction was temporarily delayed due to the discovery of a possible American Civil War-era cemetery. In June 2007, the project page for the building displayed "CANCELLED". The site that was to have the new HSPVA instead has the new Carnegie Vanguard High School.
A block in Downtown Houston which currently holds a parking lot is a proposed new location for HSPVA. It formerly housed Sam Houston High School; at a later point the building housed the HISD headquarters.
The demographics for the 2011 - 2012 school year are listed below.
|American Indian||<1 %|
|Two or More||3%|
HSPVA has no actual feeder patterns. Since it is a magnet school it takes students from all over HISD and, until recently, from districts outside of HISD.
HSPVA takes students from many HISD middle schools. In addition, some students who are enrolled in private schools in the 8th grade, such as St. Mark's Episcopal School, Presbyterian School, River Oaks Baptist School, John Paul II School, First Baptist Academy and Annunciation Orthodox School, choose to go to HSPVA for high school.
- Jay Alexander (magician/mentalist)
- Lisa Hartman Black (actress)
- Kevin Cahoon (Broadway Performer)
- Helen Childress (screenwriter of the 1995 romantic comedy film Reality Bites)
- Susan Choi (novelist)
- Wendee Lee Curtis (Broadway Performer, Professional TV Host/Broadcaster)
- Chris Dave (drummer)
- Mireille Enos (Tony Award nominee for Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, Emmy Award nominee for The Killing)
- Michelle Forbes (Emmy Award nominated actress The Killing, also starred in Homicide: Life On The Street, True Blood, In Treatment)
- K. Todd Freeman (Tony Award nominated actor for The Song of Jacob Zulu (Best Performance by an Actor in a Play), Steppenwolf Theatre Company ensemble member since 1993, and recurring role of Mr. Trick on Buffy the Vampire Slayer)
- Justin Furstenfeld (lead singer, guitarist, lyricist and frontman of the rock band "Blue October")
- Ryan Delahoussaye (multi-talent [violin, viola, mandolin, keyboards] member of the rock band Blue October)
- Robert Glasper (prominent jazz musician; signed to Blue Note Records)
- Bianna Golodryga (TV journalist and co-anchor of Good Morning America Weekend Edition)
- Chachi Gonzales (Dancer, Choreographer)
- John Gremillion (voice actor in anime films)
- Tim Guinee
- Ralphie May (Comedian)
- Everette Harp (Jazz musician)
- Sara Hickman (Singer and songwriter)
- Hannah Jones (America's Next Top Model 2011 final 3)
- Beyoncé Knowles (Multiple Grammy Award winning musician, Golden Globe Nominee actress and model for House of Deréon - dropped out to pursue career in music)
- Bryan-Michael Cox (Grammy Award winning songwriter/record producer, 2009 Georgia Music Hall of Fame Inductee) 
- Jason Moran (Prominent jazz musician, winner of MacArthur Genius Grant)
- Adam Mayfield (An American actor, who has been portraying Scott Chandler on the ABC soap opera All My Children since April 2009.) 
- Matt Mullenweg (Founding developer of the popular open-source blogging software WordPress)
- Renée O'Connor (Actress; O'Connor graduated from another school)
- Mark Payne (Emmy Award winning makeup artist, Multiple Award winning filmmaker and author)"."
- Robh Ruppel (Illustrator)
- Donnie Scantz (Multiple Grammy Nominated music producer and songwriter)
- Kendrick Scott (Jazz musician)
- Mark Seliger (Photographer)
- Ronen Segev (Classical Pianist)
- Helen Sung (Professional musician)
- Jimmy Tsai (Independent filmmaker, author of Ping Pong Playa)
- Chandra Wilson (Five-time Emmy nominated Actress)
- Camille Zamora
- Gore, Elaine Clift (2007). Talent Knows No Color: The History of an Arts Magnet High School. Charlotte, NC: Information Age Publishing, Inc. (IAP). ISBN 1593117612, 9781593117610.
- Mellon, Ericka. "3 HISD schools sweep top spots." Houston Chronicle. April 12, 2009. Retrieved on May 5, 2009.
- "Lamar High School Attendance Zone." Houston Independent School District. Retrieved on March 24, 2009.
- hspva.org | policies
- Gore, p. 9.
- Gore, p. 10.
- Sarnoff, Nancy. "Officials ponder downtown move for HSPVA." Houston Chronicle. October 14, 2009. Retrieved on November 24, 2009.
- HISD | Bond vgn-ext-hidden_DeptArticleCTD
- Downing, Margaret. "Carnegie Vanguard May Finally (And Happily) Move To A New Home." Houston Press. Thursday December 10, 2009. Retrieved on September 8, 2011.
- Gonzales, J.R. "Sam Houston High School (old)." Houston Chronicle. March 30, 2010. Retrieved on November 22, 2011.
- 2011-2012 HISD High School Profiles
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- HSPVA.org Alumni Area.
- "Distinguished HISD Alumni." Houston Independent School District.
- "Biography for Helen Childress". IMDB.com. Retrieved 2011-03-01. "Graduate High School for the Performing and Visual Arts,"
- "Outstanding Alumni." High School for the Performing and Visual Arts.
- Houston's Hippie Hannah dishes on America's Next Top Model, confidence & Tyra Banks
- Soap star talks about struggles, surviving Ike KTRK.com special report
- Matusow, Cathy. "The Blog Age." Houston Press. October 28, 2004. 1. Retrieved on May 18, 2009.
- Cronin, Peter. "Donnie Scantz to the Rescue." SESAC Focus. Summer 2004, Volume VX, No. 2.
- "Ronen Segev." Ten O'Clock Classics. Retrieved on May 18, 2009.
- Berkowitz, Lana. "Ping Pong Playa busts stereotypes with comedic flair." Houston Chronicle. September 11, 2008. Accessed September 12, 2008.
- Levine, S. (1981, December 13). New arts school should be the envy of districts everywhere. Houston Chronicle, Section 2, 13, 17.
- HSPVA Website
- On Shaky Grounds A Houston Press article about the problems with the rebuilding
- HSPVA earns Grammy honor