A school that remains with students throughout their careers, Idyllwild Arts Academy offers a transformative experience for all.
Set next to a renowned arts town in Southern California’s San Jacinto Mountains, with studios surrounded by alpine forest and classrooms kitted out for high-calibre arts and academics instruction, the Academy’s 205-acre campus is a sight to behold.
By providing intensive training in the arts and a comprehensive college preparatory curriculum to a diverse student body, Idyllwild Arts continues to inspire gifted young artists from all over the world to connect their creative aspirations to their future careers.
Where academics and arts are inseparable
Whether they choose to work alongside fellow artists, in a corporate office, with medical patients, or in the courtroom, Idyllwild Arts students acquire the confidence and skills to do just that.
The Academy’s graduation requirements prepare students for any institution of higher learning. Honours levels are offered in all subjects to offer a competitive college preparatory curriculum and challenge students to push beyond minimal academic expectations.
Teaching grades nine through twelve and some postgraduates, individual programmes range from one to four years in length, tailored to suit each student’s needs. Study commonly consists of the art classes students need for their chosen disciplines, and academic classes that satisfy the University of California’s admission requirements.
Understanding that grade nine represents a crucial stage in every student’s academic and artistic development, the Academy ensures that learners have a variety of disciplines to discover and aren’t pressured into an unsuited professional pathway.
Having the time, space, and support to explore what they love prepares them to pursue their next academic endeavours.
On the artistic front, graduates of Idyllwild Arts Academy currently excel in every professional field of the arts, including Broadway theatre, primetime television, classical and jazz music, motion pictures, graphic design, photography, and more.
Inspiring every student to grow artistically, intellectually, and personally, the Academy has been known to transform lives through the power of the arts.
What does it mean to be an Idyllwild Arts alum?
Carrying deep knowledge, strong work ethics, and innovative spirits, the alumni of Idyllwild Arts are among the most talented individuals to be entering the workforce.
Whether they are pioneers of new ideas, game-changers in the boardroom, or centre-stage performers, these alumni never forget their Idyllwild Arts roots.
Student life involves a full schedule of activities, including concerts, exhibits, readings, and weekend trips to Los Angeles and San Diego. It’s easy to see why so many alums have loved their Academy experience.
Reflecting on her own Idyllwild Arts adventure, Mara Wilson, the former child star of Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) and Matilda (1996), recalls that “I was angry and confused before I came to Idyllwild, but my two years there changed that.”
Since graduating, she has written the insightful autobiography Where Am I Now? and staged her first play for the New York International Fringe Festival.
Another grateful alum is the actor, writer, filmmaker, and conceptual artist Neal Bledsoe.
“All the arts were at our disposal,” he explains. “I should have been there all along since my goal is to live an artistic life and Idyllwild helped provide a framework for that life. So, it’s funny that after having spent so much time trying to avoid school, now all I want is to live as I did there – always learning from someone else.”
And 2014 Creative Writing graduate Sabrina Melendez remarks that, “Not a day goes by when I do not value the education I received at Idyllwild Arts Academy.”
Leaving an artistic imprint on all minds that pass through its residential campus, Idyllwild Arts is an innovative hub for future generations.
Academy students learn to turn art into a lifelong practice even if their careers are not conventionally ‘artistic’.
For example, Clay Alexander ’94 invented the temperature control Ember Ceramic Mug, found in thousands of Starbucks stores and other outlets.
“I started inventing things with erector sets when I was two or three,” Clay says. “But during my time at Idyllwild Arts Academy, I started to focus on the art behind the inventions.”
Marisa Hamamoto, founder and Artistic Director of Infinite Flow, is another Academy alum to watch because of her creativity in breaking down artistic and social barriers. Marisa has established an inclusive wheelchair dance company that sparks joy and inspiration across Los Angeles and the world.
These and other alumni success stories suggest that the Academy truly educates for the future.