Success Stories

Boston Arts Academy is the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts for over 440 students that reflect the diversity of Boston’s neighborhoods. We offer pathways to success to urban students who otherwise might not have access to both formal arts training and a college preparatory education.

Artist

Katie Li

Theatre Major, 2003

Where are they now?

After graduating from Hampshire College, Katie became a writer. Her essays and short stories have appeared in The Huffington Post, Bitch Flicks, Write From Wrong, and Xenith. Her short novel, Somewhere In Between, was published in 2015.

BAA taught me all the skills I needed to become a successful artist. Not only did I learn how to tell a good story, but also essential habits like time management, collaboration, and how to communicate with a team. BAA also showed me that artists offer a unique service to society: we can help our local and global communities explore difficult topics by giving them a safe space in our art. These principles bring joy and meaning to my life every day.

Citizen

Alexander Castillo-Nuñez

Theatre Major, 2008

Where are they now?

A proud immigrant from the Dominican Republic, Alex recently became a United States citizen and plans to become a lawyer. He attended Salem State University, and is now District Director for the office of State Senator Jason Lewis. Through his work as a community organizer and project manager, Alex puts his BAA theatre training into action. At BAA, he learned the importance of ensemble work, effective communication, and to be open to new options. Alex is working to make a difference in his new country by combating ignorance and fear.

At BAA, I learned to take on anything that comes and not be afraid. I feel fortunate that I was able to go through that journey at BAA.

Artist

Ricardo Rhodes

Dance Major, 2006

Where are they now?

Ricardo has been dancing professionally since graduating from BAA. He joined the Sarasota Ballet in 2007, and was promoted to Principal in 2012. His lead and featured roles include Ashton’s La Fille mal Gardeé; Symphonic Variations, Les Patineurs, Birthday Offering; Balanchine’s Apollo, Rubies, Serenade, Allegro Brillante, Who Cares?; Fokine’s Les Sylphides; Graziano’s Before Night Falls, En Las Calles de Murcia; In a State of Weightlessness; and Wheeldon’s The American and There Where She Loves.

Scholar

Kevin Schneider

Visual Arts Major, 2005

Where are they now?

Kevin is an attorney, working in plaintiff’s litigation in the areas of civil rights, discrimination, and personal injury. He also works in the areas of animal rights, plant-based nutrition, and environmental sustainability.

BAA gave me an artist’s eye for detail, but more importantly, it taught me lessons of the heart. The arts, to me, are empathy in motion, and that’s the approach I take to everything in life, especially when working for my clients. And yes, my legal pads are covered in doodles, but doodlers can do good.

Artist

Diane Guerrero

Music Major, 2004

Where are they now?

Diane pursued acting after college and can now be seen in two television series: Netflix’s hit show Orange is the New Black and Jane the Virgin on the CW network.

In rough neighborhoods, you have to establish respect. If you look weak or let people bully you, you’ll be picked on and worse… I was saved from all of that by going to Boston Arts Academy. That was home for someone like me, a place you could be artistic, admit to doing your homework, and be a nerd of your own making. The world changed. I still had to be scrappy around the neighborhood, but in school, I could relax and explore and learn.

Boston Arts Academy Awards and Recognitions

  • 2016 Signature Enterprise Schools Award from the GRAMMY Foundation
  • 2015 innOVATION STEAM Award from the President’s Council on the Arts and Humanities, Americans for the Arts, and the Ovation Foundation
  • 2012-13 Outstanding Arts School Award from the Arts Schools Network
  • 2012 Leadership Organization Award from Color Magazine
  • 2011 Signature Enterprise Schools Award from the GRAMMY Foundation
  • 2010 National School of Distinction in Arts Education from the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • 2004 Breakthrough High School Award from the National Association of Secondary Principals
  • 2004 National School Library Media Program of the Year Award from the American Association of School Librarians
  • 2002 Best of Boston Non-Profit Award from Boston Magazine