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Applications available for state summer arts program

originally posted by The Times-Standard
December 20, 2013

The California State Summer School for the Arts and the CSSSA Foundation recently announced the availability of applications for the 2014 summer session, to be held July 12 to Aug. 8, 2014. Applications are due by Feb. 28.

The school 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 in Valencia.

Now in its 28th year, the school offers instruction in seven different artistic disciplines: dance, music, theatre, 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 summer arts program. The school’s public/private partnership with the CSSSA Foundation makes possible the guarantee that no student is denied admission to the school due to financial circumstances. All students are accepted into the program 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.

The program 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 the school’s graduates from their peers as they proceed to college and an arts career. Its student body is representative of the ethnic and socioeconomic diversity of the state, and students come from all regions of California and beyond.

The admissions process is highly competitive; in recent years, fewer than half of all applicants were accepted in each department, but all dedicated and motivated young artists are encouraged to apply for this unique opportunity for students interested in a future in the arts.

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 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. I know of no other program like it. It is innovative, addresses a real need and it changes lives,” said Michael Fields, the school’s director.

An additional 14 scholarships at the $2,500 level are also awarded on an annual basis. In addition to the Emerging Young Artist scholarships, the school’s students can earn scholarships to other educational institutions such as Otis College of Art & Design and the California College of the Arts as a direct result of attending this program.

Applications can be found online for CSSSA Summer 2014 at Application questions and general inquires may be directed to, and financial aid questions to

As the central arts agency in Humboldt County and the designated State/Local Partner of the California Arts Council, the Humboldt Arts Council has the privilege of providing leadership, programs and services to enhance the presence and vitality of the arts in the community. Information regarding the CSSSA program can be obtained by contacting the Humboldt Arts Council at 442-0278.

This program is supported by the CSSSA Foundation, the Herb Alpert Foundation and the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation.

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