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METRO DETROIT’S PREMIER PUBLIC EDUCATION ARTS & MUSIC PATHWAY
Detroit Public Schools Community District (DPSCD) is leveraging its legacy and expertise, and partnerships with 26 Arts Organizations for the Detroit School of Arts (DSA) Pathways Initiative for students in grades 6 -12. By positioning DSA as the premier performing and fine arts high school in Metro Detroit, students have a unique opportunity to combine outstanding academics and arts instruction, and connect with acclaimed professional artists via residencies, master classes, and workshops at the following schools:
Middle School Arts Conservatories: Grades 6 - 8
- BRENDA SCOTT ACADEMY FOR THEATRE ARTS
- EDWARD ‘DUKE’ ELLINGTON CONSERVATORY OF MUSIC & ART AT BECKHAM ACADEMY
- JOHN R. KING ACADEMIC AND PERFORMING ARTS ACADEMY
- SPAIN ELEMENTARY-MIDDLE SCHOOL
High School: Grades 9-12
- Detroit School of Arts
To make this process easier for students and their families, the District will provide free bus transportation from the four middle schools to DSA, seamlessly connecting the conservatory graduates to their new high school in the heart of Midtown Detroit.
Download brochure here: DPSCD - DSA Pathways 2022 Brochure
Download flyer here: DPSCD - DSA Pathways 2022 Flyer
Core Art Areas
DSA and the Middle School Arts Conservatories offer the following core art forms of study:
- INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC
- LITERARY ARTS*
- MULTIMEDIA PRODUCTION**
- VISUAL ARTS
- VOCAL MUSIC
* At DSA only, ** At DSA and Brenda Scott Academy only
DSA Pathways - Schools
Where you find your heart in the ARTS! Detroit School of Arts honors the talents of Detroit-Area youths and provides an extraordinary program in a facility that is world-class and a midtown treasure. Just minutes away from the theatre and museum districts, DSA provides exceptional resources through a college-prep curriculum that maximizes student learning, motivation, achievement, and excellence by integrating artistic mediums and academic rigor. Ph: 313.494.6000, web: detroitk12.org/dsa
Committed to students' academic and artistic excellence, we develop, cultivate, and celebrate our scholars' unique gifts, talents, abilities, and skills. BSA scholars are positioned to soar high. #LearnersTodayLeadersTomorrow. Ph: 313.866.6700, web: www.detroitk12.org/brendascott
Experience a 21st century state-of-the-ARTS learning environment where award-winning students and teachers are recognized for their academic achievement and rigorous arts education. Ph: 313.852.8500, web: detroitk12.org/ellington
While always legendary, JRK Conservatory students are engaged in high-quality performing arts programming, a rigorous academic curriculum, and technology in a creative learning environment aimed at producing beyond extraordinary future artists. Ph: 313.866.9600, web: detroitk12.org/jrking
Located in the heart of the Midtown cultural district, students in the Spain Middle School Arts Conservatory are encouraged to showcase their talents and set high expectations infused with intensive arts education and a challenging academic anchor housed in a dedicated fine and performing arts wing. Ph: 313.494.2081, web: detroitk12.org/spain
26 DSA Pathways Partners have been established to support the arts training at DSA and the 4 DSA Middle School Arts Conservatories. These partners include colleges and universities, major cultural institutions, and community arts organizations. The partners’ work will be spread across the five DSA Pathways schools, though each school will not necessarily work with all of the 26 partner organizations.
- Art Road
- The Carr Center
- College for Creative Studies Community Arts Partnerships (CCS CAP)
- Design Connect
- Detroit Creativity Project (DCP)
- Detroit Institute of Arts (DIA)
- Detroit Institute of Music Education at Oakland University (DIME @OU)
- Detroit Jazz Festival Foundation (DJFF)
- Detroit Public Theatre (DPT)
- Detroit Symphony Orchestra (DSO)
- Eisenhower Dance Detroit (EDD)
- Heritage Works
- InsideOut Literary Arts (iO)
- Living Arts
- Michigan Opera Theater (MOT)
- Michigan State University Community Music School – Detroit (MSU CMS-D)
- Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit (Mosaic)
- The Motown Museum
- Music Hall Center for Performing Arts (Music Hall)
- Pewabic Pottery (Pewabic)
- Shakespeare in Detroit (SiD)
- Sphinx Organization (Sphinx)
- University of Michigan School of Music Theatre and Dance (UM SMTD)
- University Musical Society (UMS)
- Wayne State University College of Fine, Performing, and Communication Arts (WSU CFPCA)
- YMCA of Metropolitan Detroit -- Y Arts
Middle School Conservatory Audition GuidelinesMiddle School Arts Conservatory applicants are required to audition for admission consideration. Applicants may opt to audition virtually or upload a recording of their audition. You will select your preferred audition method below. All students will be required to abide by the following audition guidelines.Virtual Submission Requirements
Videos and photos can be taken by any device, including smart phones and tablets.
Video and photos must be clear and easy to see.
Audio must be clear and easy to hear.
Instructions for all video uploadsAt the beginning of every video, please state the following:
The grade that you will enter in the fall of 2022
The name of the school that you are coming from
What you will be doing for your audition
Video or Live Audition: Perform two songs on the instrument(s) of your choice. Each performance must be at least 1 minute each.
Documents: Upload or bring with you copies of the sheet music for the songs you perform.
Vocal MusicYou will be required to perform two selections. You may upload two videos or perform two songs in a live audition.
Selection 1: Sing 1 minute of a song of your choice which you feel best highlights your singing talent.
Selection 2: Sing one of the following songs: “Lift Every Voice and Sing” “The Star-Spangled Banner” or “Happy Birthday” (one verse, without accompaniment). Once again, choose the song that you feel best highlights your singing talent.
Visual Art & Design Portfolio
Samples of Work: Bring with you or upload 3-4 photos of your original artwork. These can be drawings, paintings, sculptures, cartoons, etc.
Portfolio Review/Interview: Be prepared to discuss with the panel OR record and upload a video of yourself talking about the artworks you uploaded and why you are interested in studying these art forms. (1 – 3 minutes).
Perform live or record and upload a video of yourself performing a 1 - 2 minute dance solo with recorded music or other musical accompaniment. Choose a dance solo that you feel best highlights your dancing ability.
Dress in attire that allows you to move freely. No costumes, please.
Theatre AuditionAudition video/performance and one document:
Your performance may be comedy, drama, classic, contemporary or poetry. It can (but it is NOT required to) include music if student would like to showcase singing and dancing skills.If you need monologue suggestions, you may use any of the Monologues listed at this link by DSA Pathways Partner Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit.Multimedia Production PortfolioThis discipline is offered at Brenda Scott Academy ONLY. No formal training is required to apply.Submit one interview video and 1-4 photos, recordings and/or videos:
Video or live performance: Perform a memorized 1 – 2 minute monologue on a topic of your choice.
Document: Upload or bring with you a copy of the monologue script.
Uploads may include, among other things:
Samples of Work: Upload or bring with you 1-4 examples of technical or media projects that you have filmed, built, designed, recorded, produced, and/or repaired. Examples are listed below.
Portfolio Review/Interview: Record and upload a video of yourself discussing your work or come prepared to tell the panel about your "Samples of Work.". Please share why you chose to submit each and why you are interested in learning about Multimedia Production. (1-3 minutes)
A short film/video made on a smartphone
A recording of an original piece of music
Digital art made on a smartphone, tablet or computer
A piece of mechanical equipment that you have adapted or repaired
A recording of an original radio show/podcast.
Questions?If you have any questions about the auditions or audition requirements, please contact Richard Sperling at firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail message at (313) 873-4990.
Frequently Asked Questions
DSA PATHWAYS: DETROIT SCHOOL OF ARTS, MIDDLE SCHOOL ARTS CONSERVATORIES
What is the DSA Pathways Initiative?
DSA Pathways is an initiative launched by the District to devote resources and expertise to enhancing the artistic and educational programs of Detroit School of Arts (DSA) and four selected K-8 Feeder Schools: John R. King Academic and Performing Arts Academy, Brenda Scott Academy for Theatre Arts, Spain Elementary-Middle School, Edward “Duke” Ellington Conservatory of Art and Music at Beckham Academy. “Pathways” not only refers to creating pathways for admission to DSA but also to the College and Career pathways for which these programs will prepare DPSCD students. New Middle School Arts Conservatories will be established in each of the DSA Feeder Schools, and all DSA Pathways schools will be supported by DSA Pathways Partners.
What are DSA Pathways Partners?
26 DSA Pathways Partners have been established to support the arts training at DSA and the 4 DSA Feeder Schools. These partners include colleges and universities, major cultural institutions, and community arts organizations. The partners’ work will be spread across the five DSA Pathways schools, though each school will not necessarily work with all of the 26 partner organizations.
What is a Middle School Arts Conservatory?
Arts Conservatory is a term for a school focused on the advanced study of one or more art forms. The DPSCD Middle School Arts Conservatory programs will allow selected 6th–8th-grade students to focus on intensive arts training in addition to their academic classes. Students will be admitted to DSA Pathways Middle School Arts Conservatories through application and audition.
Why do students need to apply and audition for Detroit School of Arts and Middle School Arts Conservatories?
Like other Application and Examination schools in DSPCD, DSA Pathways Schools are looking to identify students with specialized interests, talents and skills – in the Arts for potential conservatory students. In addition to identifying the students who would most benefit from advanced arts training, having them study alongside other students of similar artistic interests and skills will intensify the learning experience.
Can students currently attending schools outside of DPSCD apply and audition for DSA or the 4 Middle School Arts Conservatories?
Yes. Middle School and High School students from any school are eligible to apply, audition and – if accepted – attend Detroit School of the Arts or any of the 4 Middle School Arts Conservatories.
Will students already enrolled in one of the 4 Feeder Schools need to apply and audition for Middle School Conservatories?
Yes. All grade 6-8 students who wish to be a DSA Pathways Middle School Arts Conservatory must apply and audition to be accepted. Students already enrolled in the school will be given “audition priority.” This means that students already enrolled in one of the 4 DSA Feeder Schools will be allowed to audition for Conservatory spots on-site at their schools prior to auditions for students from other schools.
Do all middle school students at the DSA Feeder Schools need to apply to be in the Middle School Arts Conservatory in order to be enrolled in the school?
No. Middle School students at the DSA Feeder Schools do not need to be in the Arts Conservatory in order to be a student at the school. Middle school students not in the Arts Conservatory will continue to have the opportunity to take Arts and other K-8 electives.
Which Arts Disciplines can a student apply for?
Students applying for DSA and all Middle School Arts Conservatories can apply to major/focus in the following areas: Dance, Drama, Vocal Music, Instrumental Music, and Visual Arts. Students applying for DSA can also apply to major in Multimedia Production (a College Technical Education program) and Literary Arts (9th-grade applicants only). Students applying for DSA can only audition for one major. Students applying for the Middle School Arts Conservatories can audition for up to 3 areas of focus.
How does a student “audition” for non-performing arts, such as visual arts, literary arts, and multimedia production?
Students applying for non-performing arts will have a “portfolio review” and interview instead of a traditional audition. An arts “portfolio” is a collection of examples of a student’s work in that art form. For example, someone applying for visual arts would include samples of drawings, paintings, sculptures – or photos of these.
Are 8th graders in the Middle School Arts Conservatories guaranteed admission to Detroit School of Arts?
No. Students from the Middle School Arts Conservatories are still required to apply and audition for admission to DSA. The advantage these students will have is that at the Middle School Arts Conservatories, students will get intensive arts training that will help them prepare a competitive audition for DSA and they will get the opportunity to interact with and familiarize themselves with the DSA teachers in their artistic disciplines.
THE FINE & PERFORMING ARTS PROGRAM APPLICATION
How do I apply for DSA or a Middle School Conservatory?
Applications will be accepted online only. Visit detroitk12.org/DSAPathways and click on the Apply Here button after 10 a.m. on March 7, 2022, to start the process. The first round of applications is due no later than 11:59 pm on May 29. Additional rounds will only be announced if space remains.
When will auditions take place?
Detroit School of Arts auditions are online only and must be submitted with the application.
The Middle School Arts Conservatory application allows online auditions to be submitted with the application, but also gives the option to schedule a virtual or socially distanced live audition. Once an application has been submitted and accepted, the school will schedule a specific audition date for students who do not submit an audition with their application.
I don’t have a computer at home, and don’t have a way to start my application, and I need help with uploading documents.
The application is mobile-friendly and you can do it all on a smartphone. If you prefer, you can visit one of the DSA Pathways schools or check out one of our parent workshops. Be sure to bring all documents with you. You will have access to a laptop and someone to assist you with scanning and uploading your documents.
Whose contact information should I enter at the beginning of the application?
The contact information provided on page 1 of the application should be for the parent or guardian who can serve as the primary contact person for the student. Make sure you have regular and frequent access to the email address used to create this account; all major communications will be sent to this same email address. In most cases, it is best if this email is that of the parent or guardian.
I need to change the email address on my account. How do I do that?
You can change the account email by clicking "Settings" from the user menu found in the top right of the browser, then clicking "Update Profile Info."
I’m interested in more than one school. How many schools can I apply for in this process?
You may only apply for one DSA Pathways school per student.
How will I know if my child was accepted?
After the audition process, final notifications will be provided by the school you applied for. It will be sent via email, or you can log into your Submittable account to see your results. Middle School Arts Conservatory students who apply on or before May 29th will get their results by no later than June 17th.
I had some problems with my application. Can I just start a new one?
No. You may make changes to your application before submitting it. You may save drafts and return to it anytime before the deadline. If a student submits multiple applications, the first one will be accepted.
How do I save my application so I can return to it later?
You may save and come back to your application submission at any time by scrolling to the bottom and clicking "Save Draft." You can access it and resume editing by clicking on "Submissions", "Saved Drafts" and then "Continue."
I submitted my application, but realized I needed to make a change.
If you would like to change, edit, or modify something on an application that has already been submitted prior to the application deadline, you can click into the application submission and then click "Edit" on the top right of the submission detail page.
I have general questions about DSA Pathways, DSA or Middle School Arts Conservatories.
Contact DSA Pathways Initiative Lead Consultant Richard Sperling, email@example.com 313-873-4575
I have questions about each specific school.
Call the school or attend one of their scheduled open houses.
I have a technical question about Submittable. What should I do?
Contact Submittable's customer support helpline from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday.
The phone number is: (855) 467-8264 ext. 2.
Whose email should I use to create my application account?
The email associated with the Submittable account will be used for all communications regarding the application, including exam and interview appointments and acceptance decisions. Please be sure the email address meets the following criteria:
- Belongs to, or is easily accessible by, the applicant’s parent/guardian
- It is an account that is frequently checked.
- Please do not use a school-issued student email account, as firewalls often prevent emails from being sent to these accounts.
I don’t have a home computer. How can I submit an application?
The application is mobile-friendly, so you may apply using any internet-enabled device like a smartphone or tablet. If not, we encourage you to schedule an appointment with our trained support team. Services include webinars and 1-on-1 support phone and video calls.
Whose contact information should I enter at the beginning of the application?
The contact information provided on page 1 of the application should be for the parent or guardian who can serve as the student's primary contact.
Ensure you have regular and frequent access to the email address used to create this account; all communications regarding the application will be sent to this same email address.
Who should complete the application?
A parent or guardian should complete the application and electronically sign it.
Now Accepting Applications for Fall 2022!
APPLICATION AND AUDITION PROCESS
All students entering Grades 6 – 8 and applying to a Middle School Arts Conservatory Program or entering Grades 9 – 12 applying to Detroit School of Arts will be required to submit an online application only.
DSA requires each student to provide two references:
- An academic recommendation
- An artistic recommendation
Middle School Arts Conservatories require each student to provide one Artistic Reference. Each school will contact and schedule an audition directly with prospective students. Applicants may audition in person, online or via video conference. Acceptance to DSA requires each student to pass an academic screening.
Upon acceptance, admission to DSA or a Middle School Arts Conservatory will be on a rolling “first-come first-serve basis” until all spaces are filled.
- Visit either Detroit School of Arts or one of the Middle School Arts Conservatories in person.
- Call (313) 240-4377
Now accepting applications for Fall 2022!
Apply To DSA - APPLY HERE
Apply to a Middle School Conservatory - APPLY HERE