Mission and Purpose

PURPOSE

Fall ShowcaseThe Academy, established in 1985, is a desegregation magnet arts specialty school that is open through an admissions process to public high school students in Greater Hartford. The student body comprises a racial, ethnic, and socio-economic diversity reflective of Greater Hartford. Through an intensive arts focused curriculum, the Academy meets a broad regional strategy and a voluntary effort to reduce racial isolation in Greater Hartford area high schools. The Academy’s professional arts training program is designed to prepare students to pursue post-secondary studies and professional careers in creative writing, dance, music, musical theater, theater, technical theater and visual arts. The curriculum is professionally oriented, highly structured, and academically rigorous. Commitment to serious study is expected of all students.

The curriculum is designed to supplement and expand on the students’ other courses and activities in their local school districts. Students spend 13 intensive hours per week pursuing artistic excellence under the guidance of practicing arts professionals and art educators who are the core faculty at the Academy. The Artists-in-Residency program brings outstanding artists to the Academy for master classes and presentations. These professional contacts enrich the curriculum as well as provide a realistic perspective on artistic careers. Additionally, attendance at performances and master classes conducted by guest artists help to supplement the students’ learning experiences. As a pre-college arts training program, the Academy requires all students who attend or perform at Academy sponsored events to conform to the standards in the industry.

Throughout their years here, Academy students receive information on performing arts careers so that they can begin to make decisions about their own future training and choice of careers. All students are expected to audition as a requirement of admission to the Academy.

MISSION STATEMENT

The mission of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half Day Program, a magnet public high school program, is to bring together people of diverse cultural heritage and to develop in all students the knowledge, skills, and attitudes to reach their fullest artistic potential, to live productive lives and to contribute to society as creative, engaged citizens.

CREC is an intentionally diverse social justice organization whose members work to acknowledge, respect, and empathize with people of all different identifiers, such as race, socioeconomic status, gender identity and expression, education, age, ability, ethnicity, culture, sexual orientation, language, nationality, and religion. We commit to affirm and honor the lived experiences of others, to willingly challenge inherited beliefs and ideologies, and consequently learn, grow and serve.


ACADEMY BELIEFS

We believe:

  • Each individual has worth and deserves respect.
  • Each individual’s work has worth and deserves respect.
  • Each individual is accountable for his/her own actions.
  • Each individual has a right to education in the arts regardless of economics, race, location of residence, or other physical, social, or emotional factors.
  • Education in the arts raises moral, social and ethical consciousness.
  • A diverse multi-cultural environment enhances one’s perspective of self in relation to
  • society.
  • Unity can be achieved through diversity.
  • Self-esteem and a positive self-image are crucial to learning.
  • Disciplined training benefits artistic growth.
  • The creative potential of each student deserves to be developed.
  • Students learn best in a safe, nurturing environment at school, at home and in the community.
  • An individual’s achievement is affected by his/her motivation and commitment.
  • All people have the innate ability to express themselves artistically.
  • The arts are vital to human development.
  • Through the arts, students enhance and improve their knowledge of basic skills.
  • Training in the arts educates the whole human being, integrating the creative with the analytical.
  • Through cooperation and ensemble work, students can create artistic results that exceed individual efforts.
  • Cooperative group endeavors in the arts develop and enhance social skills and interpersonal relationships.
  • Education in the arts creates opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Education in the arts promotes independence of thought necessary for leadership and creativity.
  • Creativity needs to be shared.
  • Learning is a lifelong process.

PHILOSOPHY OF THE CURRICULUM

Choreographers' ShowcaseIt is the aim of the Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts to enable each student to develop his/her artistic, creative and scholastic potential to the fullest. Through its core courses, the curriculum aims to teach students the knowledge and skills necessary to enter college and to become a working artist should they so choose.

The Academy curriculum enables all students to work toward achieving up to and beyond the State academic standards and the National arts standards upon completion of the programs.

Academy academic courses are geared toward the artistic sensibilities of aspiring artists. These classes count toward the state’s high school graduation requirements in the areas of English, Mathematics, Science, Physical Education, Health, Social Studies, World Language and the Arts. The curriculum is academically rigorous and commitment to serious study is expected of all students in all courses. It is imperative for an artist to be an educated citizen of the world. Therefore, it is vital that students and parents/guardians understand that their choice is not arts or academics; it must be arts and academics.

Academy arts courses expose the student to work in a variety of genres, both to refine their ability and to provide practical experience in a range of possible careers. The curriculum seeks also to respect and celebrate the diversity of the students and the strength and richness that diversity brings to the school and to society. Courses include material from around the world and from previous centuries as well as from contemporary America. By teaching students about the traditions and achievements of various artists, Academy courses encourage students to be receptive to their own possibilities and to the work of others – including their peers.

It is understood that students progress at different rates. Attention is paid to the individual needs, backgrounds, strengths, and limitations of each student. Nonetheless, all students are expected to meet the expectations of each and every course.

Students completing the programs at the Academy should leave as a viable candidate for a college program as well as create and replicate, on his/her own, that which he/she has been taught and to prepare and perform any work while understanding the context in which that work occurs as an artist.

We, the CREC Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half-day Program, acknowledge that the land, now known as the Learning Corridor where our program is located, is the ancestral land of the Sicouag People and the Sequin Nation. As well, we wish to acknowledge the Greater Frog Hollow Neighborhood that occupied this land immediately before the Learning Corridor was built. As a community committed to social justice and equity, it is vitally important that we not only acknowledge our history, but also name the groups that have been displaced in the process of creating the educational entities that comprise the Learning Corridor. Most importantly, it is fitting that we make this acknowledgement when our charge as Artist-Instructors is not only to train our students in the development of their artistic abilities and skills, but also to challenge them to use their art and their artistic voices to become social activists in their communities, their state, and the world for the greater good of all people