Girl standing next to wall artGroup of People Dancing
Perpich Arts High School

academic,
intensive
trainingin the arts

Art meets academics

Perpich Arts High School opened its doors in 1989 and graduated its first class in 1991. It is a tuition-free, public, residential high school for students in 11th and 12th grades. The school is part of Perpich Center for Arts Education, a state agency funded by the Minnesota legislature.

Students who wish to attend Perpich Arts High School must go through a competitive application and review process. Those accepted have shown artistic promise and a strong commitment to serious study in the arts and academics. The school stresses arts and academics equally and emphasizes creative and analytical thinking, problem solving, and decision-making.

WE ARE TUITION – FREE

Perpich Arts High School offers a robust academic program with an emphasis in the arts. Each Perpich student focuses on one of six art areas during their time in our school. The six areas are: dance, literary arts, media arts, music, theater (including a musical theater track), and visual arts.

We regularly graduate 98-100 percent of our students and an average of 85 percent of them make plans to go on to postsecondary education every year, winning between $3 and $4 million in scholarships annually. We offer Advanced Placement and College in the Schools courses. In addition, qualified students may also participate in PSEO options. Our students win honors ranging from National Merit Scholarship recognition to national Scholastic Arts & Writing awards.

AN EQUAL FOCUS ON ACADEMICS

Perpich Arts High School stresses arts and academics equally. Arts are frequently associated with creativity and openness, while academics are associated with rigor and discipline. At Perpich, we combine those ideas to show that the arts demand rigor and the academics expect creativity. Problem solving, writing, measuring, creativity, reading, analytical thinking, negotiating, and decision-making are skills that students practice throughout the day, within arts and academics.

 

“From the moment I came to Perpich, it was like a college campus, with an emphasis on independence and finding your own self, with training in academics and becoming an artist.”

Trent Ramert (Theater 2020)

"I run art groups for women and men who been affected by sexual and domestic violence at a center in Faribault called Hope Center. When I went to school at Perpich, I learned how art could save the world. How healing it can be. I love this school. Love what it taught me because I feel like I can show people why now, art can save the world."

Rose Johnson (Visual Arts 2003)

"[Perpich] helped me grow as an artist and a person."

Alexis Larson (Visual Arts 2012)

"Perpich absolutely changed my life. It validated in me something I couldn’t understand at a young age…that I wanted to be around creative people and to learn from teachers with big brains and open hearts. I devoured everything the school had to offer."

Jessica Johnson (Theater 1997)

"[Perpich] was a hugely formative experience for me and I think gave me many of the tools to get to this point of doing meaningful work that I love."

Andrew Edman (Visual Arts 2005)

“If I had to choose a single defining moment of my career it would be going to the Arts High School. I learned artistic skills and a deep sense of social and cultural responsibility there that has aided me throughout my life. Perpich is where I learned to take ownership of my work, my actions, and myself. Now, as the Co-Artistic Director of my own company, I use my Perpich education every day. Most people cannot deny that we need a vibrant, artistic culture, and if we need that, then we need Perpich Center, and more places like it.”

Walken Schweigert (Theater 2006)

"While I was there I felt such a strong sense of a community, and one that grew from mutual respect between the faculty, staff, and students. For me this enforced the feeling that what we were exploring as young artists was valid and worthwhile. I didn’t attend a private art school for my bachelor’s degree, but even in my first semester on a liberal arts campus, within a sea of Economics and Geology majors, I felt a strong sense of purpose in my choice to make art. Without a doubt, that confidence, insight, and sense of validation came from being a student at Perpich."

Laura Fischer (Visual Arts 2002)

"It changed my life. Completely. It was the best thing to happen to me"

Anna ten Bensel (Visual Arts 2013)

"With all of the great mentoring at Perpich, I met professionals in the theatre and film arts. This showed me that it was possible to be a filmmaker (or any kind of artist) for a living. I was able to focus more on theatre (as opposed to regular high school), which was inspiring. I wanted to get good grades in my regular studies because my main focus was on something I was passionate about. I had something to aspire to."

Tasha Hardy (Theater 1992)

"Perpich gave me a direction in life and kickstarted my career."

David Machov (Visual Arts 2012)

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PERPICH NEWS

  • New Art Books in the Perpich Collection

    July 19, 2021

    The Perpich Library has been adding lots of new titles to the collection this summer! Here are just a few of the newest art books which are now available for checkout. All items on this list, curated by our Perpich librarian, Anne…

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  • Kevin Clark Retires After 31 Years at Perpich

    Kevin Clark

    July 16, 2021

    Kevin Clark, English Instructor, is retiring from Perpich after 31 years. His last day at Perpich will be Monday, August 9th. Kevin started at Perpich in 1990 as a German instructor. In 1994, he became a full-time…

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  • ​Anniversary of Juneteenth Freedom Day in Minnesota

    June 18, 2021

    Governor Walz and Lt. Gov. Flanagan proclaimed June 19 as Juneteenth Freedom Day in Minnesota. Juneteenth commemorates the freedom of an estimated 250,000 enslaved African Americans in 1865. This day became known as America’s Second Independence Day as it occurred approximately two and a half…

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