About AAI

AAI offers a unique balance of tradition and innovation, technology and touch, fine art and design. We offer instruction in visual arts, media arts, theatre, and music. The program is committed to expanding boundaries and vision through in-depth study and career preparation. We are one of ten California high schools that are designated by the Department of Education as a model CTE Arts, Media, and Entertainment Demonstration site.

What Makes us Unique?

• Career Technical Educaiton Arts Program
AAI provides a teaching staff of professionals in the arts strands and classes that prepare students for advanced education and career paths.
• School-to-Career Emphasis
AAI classes are designed to provide students with exposure to the world of working artists.

School Design

The AAI program is for students in grades 10-12 who are dedicated to the arts. The program includes:

• workshops and intensives both during and after the regular school day with artist-teachers who are professionals in their arts-related fields

• an admissions process which is open to everyone who completes the prerequisite course
• innovative seminars and speakers in career exploration
• regular performances, exhibits, and publications in the community
• extra-curricular plays, musicals, and performing groups
• internships and job-shadowing experiences

AAI also has a ‘sister’ program,  the Innovative Design Institute. Also known as IDI, this program is focused on integrating STEAM  (Science, Tech, Engineering, Arts, & Mathematics) and CTE (Career Technical Education) through the lens of art and design. This program, like AAI, is focused on preparing students for future industry positions.

Admissions Process

All students who would like to be a part of the Arcata Arts Institute must fill out an application in the Spring. The application includes:

• a personal essay indicating academic and art goals
• a recommendation from a teacher or professional
• a resume
• submission of a portfolio of work, or
• an audition and an interview
• completion of a foundation course (pre-requisite) or other art experiences

This is not an exclusionary process. Any student who passes the prerequisite course and fills out the application will be admitted. We think of this application process as the start of the student’s pre-professional training. It gives students the experience of applying to a program and organizing a portfolio. Teachers are there to assist the students along the way.

Candidates apply in the Spring for entrance to the school for the following school year. Applications will begin in March. Notification of acceptance into the program will be announced at the end of April.

Who May Attend?

• all Arcata High School students who meet the requirements for acceptance.
• any student outside of Arcata High School who applies for admission is accepted by AAI, and secures the appropriate transfer from their current district of attendance.

Art Works Network

One of the most powerful instruction strategies within the AAI is the integration of the Art Works Artist Network into our curriculum. Artists from our community teach workshops and contribute to the daily curriculum.

The Art Works Network provides

• exposure for AAI students to exemplary works of art
• a context within which students can study those works within their cultural and social context
• Master Classes that enable students to acquire the skills needed to practice specific art forms
• performance opportunities within the community
• assessment according to state and national arts education standards
• pre-professional arts experiences
• a faculty and community of art professionals in all the arts strands who prepare students for post-secondary education or career paths.

Our partnerships are the heart of the program and the greatest source of creative catalyst for the students.

We maintain active partnerships with:
•  http://www.humboldt.edu HSU Art Education & Art Department
•  http://www.inkpeople.org The Ink People Center for the Arts
• http://www.wildberries.com Wildberries Marketplace
• https://dellarte.com/ Dell Arte International – School of Physical Theatre
• http://www.arcatasunrise.org Rotary Club of Arcata Sunrise

North Coast Repertory Theatre

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