All CPFA students are PALCS students, but not all PALCS students are accepted into CPFA. CPFA is for PALCS students in grades 6-12, and auditions are required for acceptance to the program.
CPFA opened in the fall of 2005 and today has an enrollment of more than 200 middle and high school students. Students study four main disciplines: theatre, music, dance, and fine arts.
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Our center is located in West Chester, PA and students attend for two of the five school days per week. Middle school students in grades 6 – 8 attend on Mondays and Wednesdays, high school students in grades 9 – 12 attend on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Classes are generally offered from 8:15 am to 2:45 pm, with occasional evening or weekend hours for performances, multimedia presentations, and interactive sessions.
Individual classes generally range 60 to 90 minutes, allowing students to take at least four classes a day. All courses are graded, typically last for a full school year, and become part of the student’s transcript.
PALCS students who are unable to attend due to the distance are welcome to apply for a remote access version of the program, with digital studio classes offered in multiple disciplines.
The Center for Performing and Fine Arts produces five main stage theatre productions, three main art exhibits, six music concerts, a dance showcase, and an annual dance concert. In addition, CPFA hosts several smaller acting showcases and mini performances.
Periodically throughout the year, CPFA hosts a Friday Night Cafe for the public, an homage to coffee houses and open mike nights, to showcase works in progress – music compositions, garage bands, song performances, comedy routines, and more. CPFA also hosts a series of Dinner and a Movie nights with classic films from the 20th and 21st century, accompanied by homemade dinners and a mini lecture.
Students in CPFA
Some of our students will go on to pursue careers in the arts; others will simply benefit from their exposure to the arts and heightened development in the areas of communication and self-expression. The Center for Performing and Fine Arts prepares students to become fully involved citizens who are well versed in all aspects of the arts and their historical impact on human culture. The Center also develops individuals with a deep respect and appreciation for human potential, creativity, and expression of the human spirit.
Students are encouraged to take advantage of cross-discipline opportunities. This is especially important in today’s competitive marketplace and in industries that incorporate many diverse skills. However, participation in all four disciplines is not a requirement. Upon acceptance to the Center for Performing and Fine Arts, faculty will work with the student to design an individualized program based on the student’s key areas of interest and future goals.
CPFA looks for students with aptitude, motivation, active participation, commitment, self-discipline, consistent academic success and diversity of interests. See if you are a good candidate for CPFA »
Apply to CPFA
Families interested in applying to CPFA may begin by reading the detailed information on the Apply to CPFA page here on our website and completing a Student Profile. After the student profile is complete, students will be invited to tour the Center and meet with key faculty. If CPFA seems like the right fit, students may begin the audition process.
Available slots in the middle school program (grades 6-8) typically far exceed available slots in the high school program (grades 9-12). We typically look for an overall balance of 25-30 students per grade. Note: As our most successful graduates are students who have had the benefit of consecutive and consistent training across multiple years of study, graduating seniors (12th grade) and sometimes juniors (11th grade) are not often accepted into the program. If enrollment allows for us to include students with specific interests in preparation for attending an arts college or professional program, exceptions are sometimes made to this practice.
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