I sometimes get asked what it’s like to work at ACMA. People know the school for our amazing performances, have been impressed by our students’ artwork, or maybe even visited campus to watch a senior capstone or volunteer at a dance or activity. They know that we’re a place of wild creativity, acceptance (even encouragement) for the unconventional, and a place where students can discover themselves as people as well as artists.


Are there really students who wear horns/stilts/tails/capes/youfillintheblank? some ask. Yeah, I answer. But we’re more than any fashion choice.

Do students really play music in the hallways, take dance for PE, and not have a mascot? Yep. But we’re more than these choices and exuberant expressions of art.

You were in a student’s film about cannibals? We’re more than any single strange decision by the principal. We’re ACMA.

A magical place.

As I reach the end of a long series of posts on Arts & Community Magnet Academy’s history, I wanted to pause long enough to share a handful of the pixie dust that is ACMA today.

These half dozen stories seem, from my perspective, to capture some of the magic that is our school. If you’re willing to click on the links, you’ll find a window into our world. They certainly can’t catch all the spirit of our little school, but taken as snapshots can give a sense of the family album.

Any ACMA album would include silly photos. Our yearbook, for instance, knows the value of a rainbow wig, false glasses, and giant doughnut.

Halloween at ACMA is a national holiday, and more than a good excuse for students (and staff) sharing their creativity in a playful and proudly public way. It is a great day to expect the unexpected and more fun than anyone should have at school.

Here we believe in the transformative power of art, including the possibility of creating a community welcoming to all and truly a haven for hope and justice.

That hope and justice extends beyond the community writ large, and shows itself in the little and profoundly meaningful interactions we see every day.

“So very ACMA.”

Yep. That’s us.


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