High School of Performing Arts

High School Of Performing Arts

Secondary School
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High School of Performing Arts

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The High School of Performing Arts, more formally known as The School of Performing Arts: A Division of the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts, informally known as "PA", was a public alternative high school in New York, New York, USA that existed from 1948 through 1984.


Early years

The school was created in 1947 by educator and creative thinker Franklin J. Keller, as a part of Metropolitan Vocational HS, using his staff and administrators on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Under Keller's stewardship, it offered music and theater arts programs in addition to the traditional "trade" skills.

In 1948, it occupied a disused 1894 public school building on West 46th Street in the Times Square area. The new school offered exciting programs in Music, Dance, Drama, and, for a time, Photography. New staff hired, had many professionals, including the young Sidney Lumet for the Drama Dept. His production that year, was "The Young & Fair."

Threatened existence

Beginning in the mid 1950s, the New York City administration regularly announced plans to move PA out of its ancient building and into new quarters. These plans included joining the current PA student population (around 450-500) with another student body from another school in a newly constructed building. A site in the then-Lincoln Square area was chosen,...
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