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Auditions at Excelsior High : Public Academy of Arts To Train Youthful Talents

September 07, 1986|BARBARA BAIRD | Times Staff Writer

Brush up on your dance steps, kids, and get your artwork together, because auditions are scheduled this month for an array of free classes to be offered this year for budding teen-age artists and entertainers.

The classes, which will start Oct. 11 for the fall semester and Jan. 31 for the spring, will be offered by the Academy of Performing and Visual Arts at five locations, including Excelsior High School in Norwalk.

Unlike the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, which opened last year at California State University, Los Angeles, and offers a full-time program, the academy classes will meet on Saturday mornings.

The academy was organized in 1984 by UCLA Extension and a consortium of 41 Los Angeles County school districts to help restore arts education programs that were eliminated in public schools after enactment of the Proposition 13 property tax limitation initiative in 1978.

The program provides instruction and guidance by arts professionals for students with talent and interest in the arts, said consultant Sharon Levin.

The program is open to ninth- through 12th-grade students who live and attend school in Los Angeles County, she said. The program is open to public and private school students, but most of the participants have come from public schools, she said.

There will be about 200 openings at each of the five schools, which include Redondo Union High School in Redondo Beach, Glendale High School, Beverly Hills High School and Foshay Junior High School in Los Angeles as well Excelsior High.

5 Audition Venues

Auditions will be held in the school auditoriums at all five locations starting at 8:30 a.m. Sept. 27.

Students will be asked to audition for dance, voice and drama classes, while for visual arts candidates, a portfolio of recent artwork will be required. Those who wish to participate may contact the academy at (213) 825-5242.

Classes to be offered at Excelsior High include ballet, modern dance, acting, singing, jazz improvisation and sculpture.

Some of the classes will meet one evening a week as well as Saturday mornings.

Each year, the academy's classes and locations may change as the curriculum is modified to meet the needs of students, officials said.

Money for the program come from the state, unified school districts, private donations and grants, Levin said.

The first year, the academy received $498,000 from the state, but last year those funds were reduced to $329,000, she said. The academy has applied for a third year of funds, and is beginning this year's program by drawing on reserves, she said.

Administrators of the program are Linda Gibboney, director of education for UCLA Extension, and Marie Plakos, assistant superintendent of the Norwalk-La Mirada Unified School District.

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