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Idyllwild Arts Academy & Summer Program

Southern California’s world-class arts high school and celebrated summer program is offering grant-funded full scholarships to American Indians eager to excel in the arts.

Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program sits on a forested mountain campus two hours inland from Los Angeles, on land of historical — and current — importance to the Qawishpa Cahuillangnah (Cahuilla Band of Indians) and all nine sovereign Bands of Cahuilla people who have stewarded the land throughout the generations and continue to steward it for future generations. 

The Academy and Summer Program intends to express its dedication to American Indian art by increasing its American Indian enrollment. Full scholarships are available to artistically talented and ambitious American Indians, who will enjoy not only outstanding teachers and a beautiful natural environment, but what the Cahuilla mother of a current Academy student calls “the freedom to be themselves and not just follow pop-culture norms learned from the media.” 

The Cahuilla mother is Terria Smith, editor of the print magazine, News from Native California, (, who adds that “At Idyllwild you don’t see the cliques that you see in public high schools, and Idyllwild students are so much more self-assured and comfortable with themselves than students in public high schools are.”    

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Because the self-confidence encouraged by the Idyllwild Arts community enables students to focus on education, an Academy graduate like Greg Ballenger (Class of 2014), of the Diné (Navajo) Nation, has been able to shine at the Institute of American Indian Arts, in Santa Fe, as well as in an internship with Walt Disney Imagineering, a group exhibit in England, and additional studies in Italy. 

Besides Visual Arts, which Greg Ballenger studied, the Idyllwild Arts faculty of working professional artists teaches students in the specializations of Music, Theatre, Dance, Fashion Design, Film & Digital Media, Creative Writing, and Interdisciplinary Arts. 

And although the Summer Program is arts-only, the high school, Idyllwild Arts Academy, also teaches a challenging academics curriculum, making it a true college-preparatory school. 

Please contact Tara Sechrest ( or 951-659-2171 x 2345) about scholarships for Idyllwild Arts Academy, or Sharon Sabenorio ( or 951-659-2171 x 2367) about scholarships for the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program. 

About Idyllwild Arts Academy and Summer Program

The forested 205-acre Idyllwild Arts campus sits two hours inland from Los Angeles and an hour and one refreshing mile above Palm Springs. The campus hosts Idyllwild Arts Academy, where talented high school students from around the world specialize in their chosen arts disciplines while studying challenging college-prep academics, and the Idyllwild Arts Summer Program, offering immersive workshops in every arts discipline to people of all ages and skill levels. Both the Academy and the Summer Program accomplish the Idyllwild Arts mission of changing lives through the transformative power of art.

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