About the SCPA

Mission & Vision Statement


SCPA is a world class public arts school where dedicated students prepare for a lifelong involvement in artistic and scholastic pursuits.


The mission of SCPA is to foster independent thinking in a creative and challenging environment. By providing a diversified curriculum and environment for bright and talented individuals, we seek to offer preparation for higher education and professions in the arts.

School Profile

The School

The School for Creative and Performing Arts is a K-12 Cincinnati Public School offering world class pre-professional arts training and advanced college preparatory academics. Approximately 1500 students attend SCPA, which is housed in the new Erich Kunzel Center for Arts and Education in downtown Cincinnati. Artistic Departments include Creative Writing, Dance, Drama, Instrumental Music, Technical Theater, Visual Arts, and Vocal Music. Academic departments include English, Foreign Language, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Students entering grades 4 through 12 are admitted through highly selective auditions in the seven artistic majors. Students are permitted to have two artistic majors in selected programs. Arts Proficiency Board Exam Reviews are conducted each semester to ensure that students maintain high artistic standards. Academically, state proficiency test scores at many grades levels are among the highest in the local system.


The Students

The student body is the most diverse in the region. Our student body is made up of African American, Hispanic, Asian, Central and Eastern European, Native American, and multi-racial students from a variety of economic backgrounds. Approximately 5% of the students live outside the public school district (including the neighboring states of Kentucky and Indiana). Students and their families often move into the Cincinnati Public School District to attend SCPA.


Artistic Program

Arts classes are interspersed throughout the day. Each class meets daily for one or two periods of approximately 45 minutes each. Many students take electives in their majors as well as the required courses. Students must have at least 8 art credits for graduation, and they must maintain good standing in an arts major.

Upper level performance majors audition for participation in showcase ensembles including Dance Ensemble, Drama Ensemble, Chamber Orchestra, Symphonic Wind Ensemble, Senior Jazz Ensemble, Chorale, Meridian 8 Vocal Ensemble and Baby Grands Vocal Ensemble. 4th-12th grade students have the opportunity to audition for age appropriate major productions including the Major Musical (5-12th grade), High School Drama (9th-12th grade), Junior High Drama (7th-9th grade), and Elementary Drama (4th-6th grade).  All K-3 students participate in their grade level musical production.  Private music lessons are available to any student who attends SCPA.  In an average school year, over 125 student performances are presented at SCPA.