Chicago Academy for the Arts

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Chicago Academy for the Arts
1010 W. Chicago Avenue
Chicago, Illinois, 60642
Coordinates 41°53′47″N 87°39′12″W / 41.8965°N 87.6532°W / 41.8965; -87.6532Coordinates: 41°53′47″N 87°39′12″W / 41.8965°N 87.6532°W / 41.8965; -87.6532
School type private, independent secondary
Opened 1981
NCES School ID A9303202[1]
Teaching staff 23.3 (FTE)[1]
Grades 9-12[1]
Gender coed[1]
Enrollment 160[2] (2012-2013)
Student to teacher ratio 5.9:1[1]
Campus type urban[1]
Color(s)      black
Affiliations National Association of Independent Schools[1]

The Chicago Academy for the Arts, founded in 1981, is an independent preparatory high school for the performing and visual arts located in the River West neighborhood of Chicago, Illinois. It was named a National School of Distinction by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.[4]


The Chicago Academy for the Arts high school was founded in 1981 by a group of artists, educators, and business professionals for the purpose of bringing a performing arts high school to Illinois. It is managed by a Board of Trustees[5] and is located in the historic school building constructed for St. John Cantius parish.

It has a strict audition and portfolio admissions policy whereby only prospective students demonstrating an aptitude, potential and dedication to their art are admitted.

The atmosphere at the school has been described as encouraging, nurturing and occasionally bohemian. It was once one of the few high schools to feature a course on existentialism and have workshops taught by guest tutors like Roger Ebert. A majority of graduates continue to higher education and/or professional arts careers.

Arts aspect of school[edit]

Throughout the school year, students participate in more than 100 productions, including concerts and recitals, musicals, plays, readings, screenings, exhibitions, outreach opportunities, and benefits. Arts departments conclude each semester with a one-on-one student assessment and review process that includes self-reflections and goal-setting, juries, portfolio reviews, and interviews with faculty.

Major art events at CAA include: Visual Arts exhibitions including figure drawings, paintings, prints, and sculpture; the Senior- and Faculty-Choreographed Dance Concerts; the “Big Movie,” a feature-length film produced, directed, edited, and written by the Media Arts Department; Jazz Fest, Opera Scenes, and various classical and jazz concerts; Several plays and a set of student-directed one-act plays; and the “All-School Musical,” produced by the Musical Theatre Department and featuring the contributions of students from across the school.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "The Chicago Academy For The Arts". Statistical abstract. National Center for Education Statistics. October 2009. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  2. ^ "CAA Students". Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  3. ^ "Chicago (Academy for the Arts)". School information. Illinois High School Association (IHSA). 24 August 2011. Retrieved 24 August 2011. 
  4. ^ Alfano, Elysabeth (2012-05-16). "A Solid Future for the Arts: Chicago Academy for the Arts Turns 30". Huffington Post. Retrieved 27 July 2013. 
  5. ^ "2012-2013 Board of Trustees". 

External links[edit]