Our Story

Our Story - BAA students pose for a picture on stairs.Boston Arts Academy (BAA) is Boston’s only public high school for the visual and performing arts. BAA provides a diverse student body, a majority who come from low-income families, access to a college-preparatory arts and academic education not otherwise available to them. Our mission is to prepare a community of aspiring artist-scholars-citizens to be successful in their college or professional careers and to be engaged members of their communities. Our innovative arts and academic curriculum yields impressive results.

BAA prepares a diverse community of aspiring artist-scholars to be successful in their college or professional careers and to be engaged members of a democratic society.

Boston Arts Academy was founded in 1998 when a committed group of educators, parents, and public officials recognized the need for a public arts high school in Boston. The member colleges of the ProArts Consortium — Berklee College of Music, Boston Architectural College, Boston Conservatory at Berklee, Emerson College, Massachusetts College of Art and Design, New England Conservatory, and the School of the Museum of Fine Arts at Tufts University – helped found the school, and remain key partners in BAA’s growth and development.

BAA has received numerous awards for its success with urban students, including:

  • 2016 Silver Recognition Recipient from the Schools of Opportunity
  • 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

Shared Values

Our shared values are the guiding principles of BAA’s teaching and learning environment.

  • Community with Social Responsibility
  • Diversity with Respect
  • Passion with Balance
  • Vision with Integrity

These values are encapsulated in the BAA Habits of the Graduate:

  • Refine
    Have I conveyed my message? What are my strengths and weaknesses?
  • Invent
    What makes this work inventive? Do I take risks and push myself?
  • Connect
    Who is the audience and how does the work connect? What is the context?
  • Own
    Am I proud of the work I am doing? What do I need to be successful?