About BSA


Vision Statement

We respect the young creative mind and exist to nurture its passion and potential. We believe that the pursuit of mastery in an artistic field, paired with a strong individual sense of purpose, leads to a wide range of positive outcomes for both the student and the community.

Mission Statement

Baltimore School for the Arts seeks to prepare the next generation of the creative workforce by providing inspiring arts and academic training to high school students as well as opportunities in the arts to younger children and the greater community.

In the mid-seventies, Baltimore City school board officials determined that Baltimore needed a place where students who aspired to careers in the arts might receive pre-professional arts training they would need to be competitive. In 1979, after task-force study in conjunction with the city’s mayor and arts leaders, the BCPSS board approved the establishment of the Baltimore School for the Arts (BSA) with a specialized mission and visionary document called School Board Resolutions. The BSA was established as a city-wide school within the Baltimore City Public School System; however the Resolutions stated "that it differ from other Baltimore city high schools by training students with potential for careers in the performing and visual arts."

The Resolutions provide BSA with a unique structure and policies to successfully fulfill its mission as a pre-professional arts high school.  Among the most important provisions include a Board of Overseers; an independent 501(3)(c) Foundation; a director with an arts background; an arts faculty comprised of professional artists; and special student admission and retention policies.  An important public/private partnership has existed since the inception of the Baltimore School for the Arts and continues today, allowing the school the freedom and resources to continue to distinguish itself as an academic and arts institution.

For a documentary film about the founding of BSA, including interviews with the original team of artists, educators, politicians and business people, please click here or visit www.thefoundersproject.com.

Over the past 35 years, the Baltimore School for the Arts has achieved the following:

  • In 2001, the Doris Duke and Surdna Foundations recognized BSA as one the top five public arts high schools in the country.
  • In 1990, BSA was named by the National Endowment for the Arts as one of the top five public arts schools in the country and was recognized as a Blue Ribbon School by the U.S. Department of Education.
  • The International NETWORK of Schools for the Advancement of Arts Education selected our TWIGS program for its 2006 Community Partnership Award which celebrates the use of arts and education to foster community enhancement.
  • Although BSA admits students based on an arts audition (without consideration of past academic performance or test scores) each year between 95-99% of our graduates go on to higher education.
  • Recent alumni have reported a college graduation rate that is nearly double the national average.
  • BSA students have a national impact in the arts. BSA graduates are on Broadway, television, films, in major dance companies, orchestras, design firms – graduates also have careers in education, business and human services.
  • BSA serves thousands of Baltimore City school children (from pre-kindergarten through eighth grade) and their families through community outreach programs.

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"TWIGS was a chance for me to be with other kids I was not in school with, to be with different teachers who were serious about art."
Dorian Dean
Visual Art Student

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