If you find yourself in the thriving heart of Santa Ana, California, you will find a colorful rectangular building in a collection of modern commercial buildings on North Main Street, standing at seven stories high. This quaint and delectable building is the Orange County School of the Arts and it is here 7th to 12th-grade students hone their talents in their respective disciplines.
You may recognize it better by its previous name as it was originally referred to as the Orange County High School of the Arts, its origins going as far back as 1982 where it started as an after-school summer camp for students between the ages of 4 and 16.
The man that made this amazing school transpire is Dr. Ralph S. Opacic, who holds a Ph.D. in Education. He founded the Orange County High School of the Arts in 1982 and became its executive director in 1987.
What makes the Orange County School of the Arts special is the fact it is a public charter school run entirely on donations by the local community while still providing the gifted youngsters in attendance academic tuition in three blocks of classes five days a week. Upon completion, these students go on to professional entry into the arts industry or go on to further study at the university level, pursuing their artistic passions.
Additionally, the Orange County School of the Arts runs off-campus activities such as a Dodgeball tournament, school dances, language classes, academic and honor societies, and renaissance fairs, so it’s not all about art but nurturing young people into fully capable and talented adults.
You will find the Orange County School of the Arts is governed by The California School of the Arts Foundation who oversees its day-to-day function. It’s run entirely by volunteers from the bottom right up to the board of directors and it’s a not-for-profit organization focused on and providing classes in performance and visual arts as well as the culinary and literary arts.
It currently has five schools: The School of Fine & Media Arts, the School of Applied Arts, the Schools of Music and Theatre, and the School of Dance., You can tell how passionate the teachers and governing bodies are in furthering the passion for the arts and cultivating artistic students into highly skilled professionals as the students of 2018 won over $15miliion in scholarships on enrollment into America’s top universities. That’s a pretty impressive feat.
If that’s not impressive enough for you, in 2018 the Orange County School of the Arts was cited as being “the third-best” school of its kind in the state by Niche Rankings and then was cited as being “exemplary” by the Arts School Network. It’s certainly somewhere I’d like to send my kid.
With such stunning credentials, it’s little wonder actors like Pedro Pascal – who attended the Orange County School of the Arts and played the character, Oberyn Martell, in the Game of Thrones series – went on to have fulfilling careers. Also, in attendance at the OCHSA was Elsa Chang, who has worked on character design for DreamWorks and Disney.
Though the façade of the Orange County School of the Arts looks artistic and quaint on the outside, it pales in comparison to the prodigious talent and skill being honed behind its walls. You should go and see it in person for yourself.
Driving directions from Santa Ana Tree Service Pros to Orange County School of the Arts