Arts High School opened its doors to students in September 1931 as the first of its kind in the United States and almost immediately became the model for the High School of Art & Music in New York City. According to Harrison E. Webb, our first principal, "It was taken for granted that art and drama were to be regarded as major pursuits, comparable in importance to Latin, mathematics and the sciences in an academic high school."
Arts High School is an academic school of art, music, drama, dance, and television communications. The aim is to provide all students with the academic skills and artistic talents necessary to develop into accomplished creative artists and performers. The impetus of the curriculum is to train students who have a sense of harmony, form, rhythm, design, color, movement, and theater. Every sixth grade student living in the city of Newark who has an aptitude and love for the arts may apply for admission.
The school was relocated for one and a half years while a major construction project was undertaken. In January 1996 the doors of Arts High School were reopened. This extraordinary school now boasts a full compliment of drama and science laboratories. The unique art deco design of the auditorium was preserved.
Some of our esteemed graduates include: singers Sarah Vaughn, Melba Moore, and Connie Francis; jazz artists Wayne Shorter and Woody Shaw; Philadelphia Orchestra Seymour Rosenfeld; music directors Mort Lindsey and Charlie Calello; actors Taurean Blaque, Tisha Campbell, and Michael Jordan; ballerina Beatrice Rodriquez; fashion designer Steven Burrows; and dancer/choreographer Savion Glover.