Boston Arts Academy (BAA) is the city’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts, serving students who reflect the diversity of Boston’s neighborhoods.
Boston Arts Academy was founded when a committed group of educators, parents, and public officials as well as the presidents of the member colleges of Boston’s ProArts Consortium recognized the need for a public arts high school in Boston. BAA was established as a pilot school and the city’s first full inclusion high school – a place that admits students based solely on arts auditions without regard to prior academic, behavioral, or learning challenges.
BAA launched its award-winning literacy intervention program, Summer Reading, which has since served over 400 BAA struggling readers and trained dozens of teachers, interns from local colleges and universities, and volunteers.
BAA won the National Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Award from the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education.
BAA was recognized as the Outstanding Arts School by the Arts School Network.
The STEAM Lab was opened to establish a maker space/artists’ studio/fabrication laboratory so students could explore the connections between the arts, science, and math, while incorporating new technology into their projects.
BAA was featured in Ken Robinson’s book, Creative Schools: The Grassroots Revolution that’s Transforming Education.
BAA was a Silver Recognition Recipient from the Schools of Opportunity and won the Signature Enterprise Schools Award from the GRAMMY Foundation.
Ground was broken July 1 for construction of a new $125 million facility at 174 Ipswich Street, leading to relocation of both Boston Arts Academy and the Boston Arts Academy Foundation.
Mayor Martin J. Walsh and City Council President Kim Janey, city and state officials, and members of BAA and the BAA Foundation, raised the final steel beam into place to complete the new building in a Topping Off Ceremony. Prior to the ceremony, BAA students, caregivers, faculty, staff, and community leaders contributed notes and decorated the beam, forever embedding their messages in to the steelwork of the school itself.
A community campus
Starting in the 2022-2023 school year, BAA will be housed in a new state-of-the-art facility, encompassing 153,500 square feet and increasing capacity for the school by more than 15 percent. The new facility will provide better rehearsal studios, high-tech fashion and fine art studios, gymnasium, dance studios, a cutting-edge STEAM lab, a rooftop recital hall, and professional theatres. Many of the spaces will be equipped with the latest technologies used by big-name artists and headlining entertainers.
This five-story facility, while catered to the student experience, will also provide space rental options for local artists and performers. In this way, BAA can continue to develop a community learning environment where our students can not only create and compose their own original work but also be inspired through working artists in and around Boston.
We are pleased to be working with city of Boston Mayor’s Office, the Massachusetts School Building Authority (MBSA), the city of Boston, and the Boston Public Schools to make the new BAA building a reality. Architects Perkins Eastman and Wilson Butler Associates as well as the construction firm Lee Kennedy Co. are the designers and builders the beautiful new facility.
Since its founding, Boston Arts Academy has successfully fostered a culture of student achievement for Boston youth with unprecedented results. We believe that the arts help young people find their voices, build creative problem-solving skills, and engage in meaningful ways with their communities leading to success in college and careers. Our arts curriculum encourages innovation, creative risk-taking, and professionalism.
BAA accepts students based on their commitment to their art and not their academic, behavioral, or learning history. Every day, BAA faculty provide engaging, challenging curricula that connect to our students’ artistic strength and outline clear learning targets that help students understand where they are, where they need to be, and how to get there. BAA students have the opportunity to develop their voices through leadership opportunities, restorative justice practices, and giving back to their communities.
We believe in a holistic education, not only challenging our students through a college preparatory curriculum and competitive arts curriculum but also addressing their social and emotional needs. BAA has a robust Health and Wellness program that includes on-site individual and group counseling from licensed clinicians. This strong community and caring environment supports students to become Artists, Scholars, and Global Citizens, leaders in their communities. Our Shared Values are the guiding principles of BAA’s teaching and learning environment:
Community with Social Responsibility
We believe in collaboration, participation and active engagement. Our students take roles, especially leadership roles, inside and outside the classroom to support the health of each other, our community, and environment.
Diversity with Respect
We believe in seeking out and seeing other perspectives through empathy and thoughtful expression. Our students respect and collaborate with students from other neighborhoods, cultures, and majors.
Passion with Balance
We believe in preparation, consistency, and the power of following through. Our students hold themselves to high standards rather it be through their academic work, arts study, or being mindful of others.
Vision with Integrity
We believe in creative risk taking and setting goals that challenge the status quo. Our students own their own process, choices, and behavior to make consistent progress toward where they want to go and who they want to be.
The Boston Arts Academy Board of Trustees sets the overall mission, philosophy, policies of the school, and oversees the school budget. Trustees also set the vision and strategic direction for the school, select and evaluate the Headmaster, and work to support faculty and staff. The Board is composed of representatives of ProArts Consortium institutions, BAA faculty members, caregivers, one student, and community members with an impressive range of professional expertise. The Board meets at least four times during the school year.
Board of Trustees for 2020-2021
(*Denotes non-voting members)
Myran Parker-Brass, Chair
Consultant, Arts/Arts Education
Dr. Krystal Prime Banfield, Vice Chair
AVP of Educational Outreach and Social Entrepreneurship, Berklee College of Music
Our diverse faculty and staff are committed to developing Artists, Scholars, and Global Citizens who invest in their own paths as well as the community they live in. Serving as models for our students, BAA’s award-winning faculty are educators as well as artists and scientists who continue to make significant contributions in their chosen fields and the greater Boston area.
To read faculty and staff biographies, please click on ‘Learn More’ where available. To contact any faculty or staff member, you may call the main office at 617-635-6470 or click on the links below to email them.
Head of School
Theatre Department Chair and Faculty
Dance Department Chair and Faculty
Visual Arts Department Chair and Faculty