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Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

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Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

To provide intensive training in the arts and academics.

2501 Flora Street, Dallas, TX 75201, United States

TAG Magnet School, Woodrow Wilson High Sch, Highland Park High School, Disd, AT&T Performing Arts Center


Don t stop til you get enough booker t washington high school for the performing and visual arts

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is a public secondary school located in the Arts District of downtown Dallas, Texas (USA). Booker T. Washington High School enrolls students in grades 9-12 and is the Dallas Independent School District's arts magnet school (thus, it is often locally referred to simply as Arts Magnet). Many accomplished performers and artists have been educated in the school. Some examples include Norah Jones, Erykah Badu, Adario Strange, Valarie Rae Miller, Edie Brickell, Ephraim Owens, Sandra St. Victor, and Roy Hargrove, Scott Westerfeld, and Wendy Calhoun.



In 1892, Dallas established its first high school for African American pupils. In 1911, the school was enlarged and named the Dallas Colored High School. The school was moved in 1922 to larger quarters, designed by famed Dallas architects Lang & Witchell, and renamed Booker T. Washington High School, after the African-American education pioneer Booker T. Washington. For many years, it was the only Dallas high school that allowed students of color.

In 1939, Wilmer-Hutchins Colored High School of the Wilmer-Hutchins ISD burned down in a fire. Afterwards, African-American WHISD students were sent to DISD high schools for "colored" people such as Washington.

In 1942, teacher Thelma Paige Richardson sued the Dallas School District, demanding equalization of pay based upon tenure and merit; the school district denied that any discrimination was taking place. Richardson, with the help of the NAACP, won the case, increasing general awareness of discrimination in the public school system.

In 1952, it was enlarged yet again, and given the new name and mission as Booker T. Washington Technical High School.

In 1976, the school was repurposed as the Arts Magnet at Booker T. Washington High School, inheriting and expanding the magnet-school arts curriculum that had been in place in the Performing Arts Cluster at Skyline High School since 1970. The Arts Magnet would become a prototype for magnet schools across the country.

In 2008, the building was enlarged a third time. After receiving many grants, the school underwent a $50,000,000 expansion. [2].

The surrounding neighborhood has evolved into the Dallas Arts District and the school building is an official Dallas Landmark.

The mission statement states "To provide intensive training in the arts and academics". Arts Magnet prepares students to attend college, conservatory or to enter the professional field. Since its inception the school has garnered 18 presidential scholars and 194 DeeBee awards sponsored by Downbeat Magazine – a total unmatched by any institution, college or university in the country. The dynamic and constantly evolving curriculum prepares students to explore an artistic career. Rigorous academic program offers all courses required for the State of Texas 3 graduation plans. In addition to a host of honors and advanced placement courses in both the academics and the arts, the O’Donnell Foundation provides teachers with training in the Advanced Placement Program. Several teachers have been awarded the Surdna Grant which provides for professional enrichment. The National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts named BTWHSPVA as one of the five Distinguished Schools in the Arts.

•Recognized nationally as a prototype for successful arts magnet high schools •Curriculum integrates the arts and academics •Students select an arts cluster to major in: dance, music, visual arts, or theater •A complete academic program is offered including 20 AP classes •Grades 9 through 12; students must audition and interview to be admitted •99% graduate; 90% go on to higher education •Over $12.5 million in college scholarships awarded to 197 graduates in 2010 •National Blue Ribbon Award for Exemplary Education by the U.S. Dept of Education •The students’ achievement comes as no surprise to those familiar with the instructional staff and the administration. With an approximate ratio of 1 faculty member to every 12 students in specialized areas, the efforts of 61 full-time teachers and 14 part-time/consultant teachers are augmented by master classes from visiting professionals in every discipline throughout the year. •The distinguished faculty includes Fulbright Scholars, a Christa McAuliffe Fellow, a National Tandy Technology Scholar, a TI STEM Grant teacher, National Board certified teachers and several Surdna Fellows. Approximately 88% of the faculty has more than ten years of teaching experience, and more than 83% have advanced degrees.

The school’s dual emphasis on arts and academics consistently produces a stellar list of graduates. Among those are Grammy winners such as R&B vocalist Erykah Badu, jazz singer Norah Jones, jazz trumpeter Roy Hargrove, members of the gospel group God’s Property and Brave Combo. Other notable alums include dancer Jay Franke, Philadelphia Orchestra cellist John Koen, Broadway's "Porgy and Bess" musical actor Cedric Neal, film composer/musician Darius Holbert, visual artists Christian Schumann and Chris Arnold, drummer Aaron Comess, and Edie Brickell of the New Bohemians.

In 2008, a brand new $47 million state-of-the-art facility designed by nationally-recognized architect, Brad Cloepfil, was completed. The main building, incorporated as an historical landmark, has been preserved.


The attendance rate for students at the school is 96%, equal with the state average of 96%. 21% of the students at Washington are economically disadvantaged, 2% enroll in special education, 31% enroll in gifted and talent programs, and 1% are considered "limited English proficient." The class of 2015 managed to receive over $30 million in scholarships and grants.

The ethnic makeup of the school is 42% White American, non-Hispanic, 30% African American, 24% Hispanic American, 3% Asian American/Pacific Islander American, and 1% American Indian/Alaskan Native.

The average class sizes at Washington are 20 students for English, 27 for foreign language, 19 for math, 22 for science, and 25 for social studies.

Teachers at the school carry, on average, 19>

Test Scores

Below is a list of percentages that represent the percent of students meeting or exceeding standards on the Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) test. For the 2009-2010 School Year Booker T. Washington has received a rating of Exemplary by the Texas Education Agency

Recently, the 198 member class of 2012 earned over 23 million dollars in college scholarships.


Famous alumni include:

• Rene Gutierrez- Project Runway Junior season 2

  • Trevor Douglas- American Idol 2015; season 14
  • Kennedy Davenport- RuPaul's Drag Race season 7, top 4
  • Erykah Badu, Grammy Award winning artist
  • Ernie Banks, Hall of Fame baseball player
  • Perry Baty - Former CEO, National EDI Systems Corporation
  • Bill Blair, Negro Leagues baseball player, newspaper publisher
  • Zac Baird, keyboardist for nu metal band Korn
  • Edie Brickell
  • Todd Duffey - actor, Office Space (1999), Waiter with "flair".
  • Arlo Eisenberg Notable X Games in-line skate athlete and visual artist.
  • Shahine Ezell - Actor, producer, DJ
  • Comfort Fedoke - Dance
  • Roy Hargrove - Jazz Musician, Performer
  • Darius Holbert - Film/TV Composer, Album Producer, Performer
  • Willie Hutch - Singer, songwriter
  • Norah Jones Grammy Award winning artist
  • Elizabeth Mitchell - Actress, known for her role as Dr. Juliet Burke on Lost.
  • Julia Scott Reed - Journalist
  • Ephraim Owens - Musician (trumpet)
  • Don Sidle - NBA draft pick from Univ. of Oklahoma
  • Mike Washlesky - Cinematographer/Director.
  • Miguel Cervantes - Theater performer, portrays Alexander Hamilton in Chicago production of Hamilton.
  • Wendy Calhoun (writer of hit TV series "Empire")
  • References

    Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts Wikipedia