Idyllwild Arts Academy is unlike any other boarding school in California, in many different ways. When visiting a school in California, I didn’t expect to find a campus surrounded by forests 5,300 feet up in the mountains. The school is located in the San Bernardino Forest, equidistant from Los Angeles and San Diego, and 1 hour away from Palm Springs.
Besides the campus setting, what really makes Idyllwild unique is that it is one of the few boarding schools in the US offering a pre-professional arts program. Students receive an education that prepares them for auditions, conservatories, BFA studies and academic universities and colleges, as well as careers in every professional field of the arts. Artistic studies include music, theater, dance, visual arts, creative writing, moving pictures and fashion design. The teachers at Idyllwild are all active professionals in their field, giving the students practical experience in additional to theoretical knowledge. A key strength of the school is its close proximity to Los Angeles, where much of the faculty draws experience and to which the school extends its resources.
In addition to its pre-professional training in the arts, Idyllwild also provides a college preparatory academic curriculum. Students follow many different options after high school that may or may not include further pursuit in artistic endeavors. Therefore, many students that attend the school have varying levels of interest in arts programs.