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Ramón C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts

Los Angeles Unified School District

  • 450 N. Grand Avenue

    Los Angeles, California 90012

    Ph: (213) 217-8600

    Fax: (213) 928-0933

    Lori Gambero, Principal  

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    Special ANnouncements

    Welcome from Principal Gambero

    Orientation for Incoming Students

    We will host an orientation for all incoming students during these school days:

    New Student Orientation Calendar
    9th Grade Thursday, August 22
    10th Grade Friday, August 23
    11th Grade Tuesday, August 27
    12th Grade Wednesday, August 28


    Spring 2020 Musical Announced

    The 25th Annual Putnam Spelling Bee
    Directed by Wendell Stevenson
    Musical Director: Drew Lewis
    Auditions in the fall--all students are encouraged to audition!

    Grand Arts 2019 Film Festival Now available for Online Viewing

    2019 Film festival.

    Maybe you missed the viewing on campus, but here is the Grand Arts 2019 Film Festival!

    Vocal Jazz Wins Top Honors at Festival

    Vocal Jazz at Music in the Parks at Knott s Berry Farm.Vocal Jazz A, Vocal Jazz B, and Women’s Chorus competed in the Music in the Parks Festival at Knott’s Berry Farm. Vocal Jazz and Women's Chorus won 1st place Superior awards in their respective categories. Vocal Jazz B took 2nd place Excellent. Vocal Jazz A also won the award for the outstanding high school choral group. They had the highest score out of all 12 choirs that competed at the festival! The festival chair even asked them to do an encore performance at the awards ceremony—an honor rarely bestowed at this festival.


    Grand Arts Senior Chosen by Michelle Obama for Better Make Room

    Genesis with Michelle Obama.

    Grand Arts Senior Genesis Jackson shares her plans to attend UCLA with former First Lady Michelle Obama at the College Signing Day for Obama's organization, Better Make Room. Genesis was chosen to represent UCLA, where she will be attending as a Regents Scholarship recipient, pursuing a BFA in Dance while minoring in African American Studies. Only 100 incoming freshmen received that scholarship, putting Genesis in the top 1%!

    Chamber Singers Take First at Festival

    Chamber Singers win at Music in the ParkGrand Arts Chamber Singers, under the direction of Mr. Yraola, won FIRST PLACE in the most competitive category at the Music in the Parks Festival. The high school mixed choir category had eight high school choirs from Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, and California competing. Emmanuel Yoque also won best overall vocal soloist!

    PTSA Reflections Dance Winners

    The PTSA is pleased to announce the winners of this year's Grand Arts PTSA Reflections Program winners in the Dance Choreography category. Here they are:
    1st place: "Dance Is My Love" by Fernando Teyssier Reyes
    2nd place: "Set Me Free" by Paiton Diann Lee
    3rd place: "Idealistic Reality" by June-Lallah Romatif
    Our 1st-place Grand Arts entry will be representing Los Angeles Tenth District PTSA in the California State PTSA Reflections competition!

    Arts Academy Rotary Winners

    We are very proud to announce the students who participated in this year's annual LA5 Rotary Club art competition. They were honored with a "pop-up" gallery showing of their work, a luncheon in their honor and cash awards at the beautiful and historical California Club in downtown L.A.

    Additionally, this year they were asked to speak about their work and the inspiration from which it derived.  The audience members, consisting primarily of Los Angeles business leaders, were extremely impressed with their visual and verbal expressions and talents. They received positive praise regarding their art. They did a fabulous job representing our school!

    Milan Debert will now move on to the Los Angeles regional level of Rotary art competition, at Loyola Marymount University,  with a chance to win $1000.


    • Milan Dibert won 1st place
    • Demetria Perez - 2nd place
    • Ashley Medina - 3rd place
    • Aidan Chang - Honorable Mention
    • Lila Karp - Honorable Mention

    Congratulations, Artisans!

    Grand Arts eleventh grade students Bene't Benton and Anthony Cruz were featured on Channel 5 News for their performance on the Pantages Theatre stage in Hollywood. Grand Arts is thrilled that Channel 5 selected Benton's original "Ben Franklin" rap—based on primary source documents from the Revolutionary War era (and created under the guidance of Grand Arts music teacher Stormy Sacks)—out of all the other projects created by the 8,100 Los Angeles area students who participated in the Hamilton program.

    Grand Arts Students on Grand Ave.

    Listen to the story! Art Beneath Your Feet (KPCC, 89.3 FM)

    chalk gallery
    Grand Arts Students participate in Broad Museum Historical Event

    Students devote Labor Day Weekend to installation of crosswalk project by Argentinian artist Carlos Cruz-Diez. (Photo Credit: Eduardo Lopez, Grand Arts alum).

    Here's the LAUSD article about our students' involvement!

    2018 Update! KCET's Artbound show spoke with our students!

    Directed and Choreographed by Debbie Allen

    Read the Press Release!

    Katy Perry Performs on Grand Arts Campus

    Katy Perry concludes her You Tube live-stream with a concert on the Grand Arts campus for her new album, Witness.  Her world-wide tour for the album began in September

    Grand Arts Accolades

    Grand Arts senior Elija Hall won the Gold Medal for Dramatics and Poetry Performance at the NAACP’s Afro-Academic, Cultural, Technological and Scientific Olympics (ACT-SO) held in Los Angeles. This is the second year in a row that Elija has garnered the Gold. ACT-SO is a year-long achievement program designed to recruit, stimulate, and encourage high academic and cultural achievement among African-American high school students; the competition includes 29 categories in STEM, humanities, business, and performing, visual and culinary arts. Almost 300,000 young people have participated in the program since its inception. Elija’s Gold has earned her a spot in this summer’s National ACT-SO Competition in Baltimore.

    National Student Art Winners

    The Scholastic National Level Awards have been announced and Grand Arts students earned NINE national awards.  We salute the following students for being selected by a jury panel of esteemed arts professionals and professors as having some of the strongest artwork in the nation. Those students with "National Gold Key" distinction are invited to attend a show of their work at the Carnegie Hall in New York City this June.

    • Ella Bandouveris: National Silver Key
    • Eva Chambers: National Gold Key
    • Aidan Chang: National Gold Key
    • Naimh Hannigan: National Gold Key
    • Rowan O' Brian: 2 National Silver Keys
    • Wade Winslow: 1 National Gold Key and 1 Silver Key
    • Claudia Zambrano: National Gold Key
    Grand Arts Dominates Scholastic Awards -- Again!

    The 2017 results are in! Grand Arts students garnered 346 total awards, the highest total in the entire Western United States for the third year in a row. The Scholastic Art and Writing Awards are presented by the Alliance for Young Artists & Writers, a nonprofit organization whose mission is to identify students with exceptional artistic and literary talent and present their remarkable work to the world. For the 2017 program, students across America submitted thousands of original works in 29 different categories of art and writing. Grand Arts congratulates the students in this link for their individual Scholastic honors.

    School Total Awards Gold Key Silver Key Hon. Men.
    Grand Arts (CA) 346 66 118 162
    Palo Alto High School (CA) 204 14 69 121
    Waterford School (Utah) 150 25 51 74
    Marlborough School (CA) 120 11 56 53
    Harvard Westlake Upper School (CA) 117 24 58 35
    Grand Arts Theatre Student Succeeds in Competition

    Congratulations to Theatre Academy junior Ella Kopeikin, who was the 1st runner up for the City of Los Angeles' English Speaking Union competition. Should the first place winner be unable to move on to the finals, Ella will take her place on the Broadway stage in New York this May!

    Grand Arts Acting Majors SWEEP August Wilson Competition: 1st, 2nd, and 3rd Place!

    Congratulations to:
    1st: Aryana Williams
    2nd: Alexander Villaseñor
    3rd: Elija Hall

    National Finals Newsflash!
    On May 1st, Aryana and Alexander will travel to New York City  where they will attend a Broadway show, work with two of August Wilson's closest collaborators--director Kenny Leon and dramaturg Todd Kreidler, and explore popular Manhattan attractions before making their Broadway stage debuts at The August Wilson Theatre along with finalists from all over the country. Grand Arts salutes our magnificent theatre program!

    Grand Arts Alum in Oscar-Winning Moonlight

    Moonlight posterCongratulations to Ashton Sanders (Grand Arts Class of 2013) for his remarkable performance in the Academy Award-winning Best Picture of 2016, Moonlight. Ashton had leads in La Llorona and Dreamgirls while at Grand Arts and is now starring in this independent film that has taken the country by storm.

    We are proud to acknowledge this important event and wish Ashton all the best in his future endeavors.

    Grand Arts Student Winner at Rotary Club Competition

    Age of BloomCongratulations to Visual Arts Academy sophomore Dyllen Nellis for winning the local Rotary Club art competition with her artwork entitled "Age of Bloom." She received a $300 cash award and a chance to move on to the Los Angeles city-wide round of competition.

    Grand Arts Student A YoungArts Hip Hop Winner

    Grand Arts senior Arthur Richardson III won a Silver award for Hip Hop Dance at the national YoungArts competition in Miami! In addition to national recognition, the silver medal comes with a $5000 cash prize. Congratulations, Arthur!

    Grand Arts Alum in Academy Award-Nominated Moonlight

    The October 24th edition of The New Yorker includes a rave review of both Moonlight and our own Ashton Sanders—with a full-page photograph of Ashton!

    Not only did Ashton take rigorous academic classes, but he also participated in major theatre productions—including our school's first major production, La Llorona and, under Mr. Goldyn's direction, The Crucible. Ashton encapsulated VAPA's mission and vision of arts and academic integration; this article is a great reminder of our school's unique, powerful duality:

    (Courtesy of Ms. Ahn.)

    Grand Arts Student Winds CETA

    Grand Arts Theatre Academy student Benét Benton (Ouiser Boudreaux) won the California Educational Theatre Association (CETA) High School Theatre Festival honors for Best Actress! Congratulations, Benét!

    Theatre Academy Awards

    Steel Magnolias wins 3rd Place over all CETA-Adjudicated shows in L.A. County

    The cast and crew of our Fall 2016 production of Steel Magnolias will be honored at the CETA Conference this weekend, Jan. 14–15, 2017! CETA is the California Education Theatre Association, which sends out professional adjudicators to review high school theatre throughout northern and southern California. Shows are reviewed in the areas of acting, directing and technical theatre. This is the third time in three years that we have been honored among the top three shows in L.A. County!

    Spotlight Semifinalists:  
    Micha el Aghasaryan
    Elija Hall
    Samantha Healy
    Mia Hernandez
    Prudence Martinez
    Marcelo Monroy
    Alexander Villasenor
    Aryana Williams
    August Wilson Finalists:
    Ehvinny Mora
    Elija Hall
    Asa Ferguson
    Alexander Villasenor
    Aryana William s


    Music Academy Student Wins Composition Competition

    1 nextnotes logoThe American Composers Forum (ACF) has announced the winners of the second annual NextNotes™ High School Composition Awards. NextNotes is a national program designed to nurture the next generation of creative voices in music composition regardless of musical style.

    Lucy’s winning composition was …i hope the seawinds blow it out of mind… for flute, cello, and vibraphone.

    All six NextNotes winners will travel to Minneapolis, Minnesota in June for mentorship with leading professional composers Carol Barnett, Joshua Clausen, and Joseph Horton, as well as rehearsals and performance of their winning works by professional musicians.

    Click the NextNotes logo for more information.

    Master Musician Visits Grand Arts

    World-renown violinist Movses Pogossian visited Grand Arts for a master class with students in our Symphonic Orchestra. Left to right: Frank Heuser, Head of Music Education at UCLA; Dolores Loaeza, Concert Master of Grand Arts Symphonic Orchestra; Movses Pogossian, UCLA music professor; Anjelina Lopez Rosende, Music Education Student at UCLA; Michael Gasparik, Director of Symphonic Orchestra at Grand Arts.

    Grand Arts Faculty Member Receives Lifetime Achievement Award

    JerryHerman Stormy.jpgCongratulations to Grand Arts music teacher Stormy Sacks for earning the prestigious Ed Lester Lifetime Achievement Award for his extraordinary career as a musical director. Mr. Sacks was honored at the 5th Annual Jerry Herman High School Musical Theatre Awards held at the Pantages Theatre in Hollywood. Bravo!

    White House Education Director Visits Grand Arts

    congrats class of 2016

    Alejandra Ceja (center), Executive Director of the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for Hispanics, visits Grand Arts for College Signing Day on behalf of First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Reach Higher” Program.

    Grand Arts in LAUSD Daily


    Grand Arts in LAUSD Daily

    Our school and students were featured in a recent article in LAUSD Daily. Click the photo to read the whole piece!

    Here's a follow-up, focusing on the Grand Arts production of Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992:


    Star of LA Opera’s production of Madame Butterfly, Ana María Martínez, visited Grand Arts to speak to our students. Her life story and encouragement to follow a passion for the arts proved inspiring to all. Grand Arts received 30 tickets to attend her closing performance, after which she made time to see our students once more, answer questions, and even do a little vocal coaching. Brava!

    Allen Copeland.jpg

    Debbie Allen (Founder and Artistic Director of the Debbie Allen Dance Academy) and Misty Copeland (American Ballet Theatre Principal Dancer) at Grand Arts after both offered Master Classes in dance to Grand Arts students. Photo by Marcella Delgado, Grand Arts Visual Arts student.

    Grand Arts Alumnus WIns LAMC Competition

    Our very own William Cabison, 2013 Grand Arts graduate and now a music major at UCLA, just won the Los Angeles Master Chorale's Young Composers Contest! His composition will be performed by the Master Chorale April 22 at Disney Hall! More information . . .

    Grand Arts Students Dominate Scholastic Arts and Writing Awards

    We had 251 total awards given to our students--the highest total in the entire Western United States--for the second year in a row. The next-closest school took 170! For a complete list of the 72 Grand Arts awardees, see the Weekly Bulletin for February 29.

    Rotary Club Student Art Competition

    Sandoval art.jpgCongratulations to Leila Sandoval who won 2nd place for the City of Los Angeles in the Rotary Student Art competition for 2016.

    Here's a sample of Leila's art:

    Marlborough Invitational Art Exhibition

    Congratulations to the following students who are participating in the Marlborough Schools' Invitational Art Exhibition. Students from some of the best art high schools in LA are invited and the students representing Grand Arts are:

    • Florence Tolbert (traditional media)
    • Michelle Morales (sculpture)
    • Aidan Fidler (sculpture)
    • Robert Aguirre (photography)
    • Hyelim Yang (sculpture)
    • Estefani Chavez (traditional media)
    • Danette Bouzanquet (photography)
    • Gia Logan (traditional media)
    • Isaac Escoto (traditional media)
    • Anastasia Sanchez (traditional media)
    • Summer Evans (video)
    2015-2016 August Wilson Monologue Competition

    Grand Arts students Mylan Johnson and Aryana Williams have advanced to the Semi-Final round of the August Wilson Monologue Competition, to be held on Monday February 29 at the Mark Taper Forum. Monday’s winners will perform in the National Final Competition at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.

    Grand Arts Recognized as Top School in Arts Equity in LAUSD

    Read the full article!

    Grand Arts Students Performed at L.A. Central Library

    As part of the Changing America exhibit at the magnificent Central Library in downtown Los Angeles, Grand Arts students performed in the Library's Mark Taper Auditorium. The performance included an historical review of the civil rights movement and its modern-day lessons, which was followed by discussion led by a panel of scholars and community leaders.

    Grand Arts Recognized as Top School in Arts Equity by LAUSD

    Monk-LA-Peer-to-Peer-Jazz-Sextet-2015-450w-cropped.jpgGrand Arts Music Academy Junior Terran Artis has been named one of the six best high school jazz musicians in Los Angeles by the Thelonius Monk/Los Angeles Peer-to-Peer Jazz Sextet. Terran’s first gig with the sextet was at the Dolby Theatre (home of the Academy Awards telecast) in Hollywood on November 15. They played on the same bill with Patti Austin, George Benson, Dee Dee Bridgewater, Dave Grusin, Herbie Hancock, Al Jerreau, Arturo Sandoval, Wayne Shorter, and more. The event was hosted by Seth McFarlane, Andy Garcia, Jeff Goldblum, and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar. Grand Arts salutes you, Terran!

    Young Arts Finalist

    Eleventh grade Visual Arts student Olivia Winslow has been invited to Miami as a 2016 Young Arts Foundation finalist. Congratulations, Olivia!

    August Wilson 2015 Competition

    The following Grand Arts students advanced to the semifinal round of the August Wilson Monologue Competition. Congratulations!

    • Michael Aghasaryan
    • Raquel Arabalo
    • Jailene Bautista
    • Safiya Cooper
    • Jake Contreras
    • Mylan Johnson
    • Julian Montenegro
    • Maya Ordonez
    • Sydne Piatek
    • Imani Salazar
    • Aryana Williams
    ABT at Grand Arts!

    american ballet theatreAmerican Ballet Theatre brought its Make a Ballet on Tour program to two schools in Los Angeles this Fall, Gabriella Charter School and Ramon C. Cortines School of Visual and Performing Arts. Both schools worked with ABT’s Make a Ballet dance and design teaching artists October 9-16, 2015. The program  culminated in a showing of the two schools' work at Cortines High School on Friday, October 16.

    Make a Ballet on Tour, the traveling arm of American Ballet Theatre’s award-winning Make a Ballet program, is a one-week intensive residency program that tutors students in various aspects of ballet and stagecraft including choreography, performance, set and costume design. This residency, which reaches approximately 200 students, will explore ABT’s production of The Nutcracker, choreographed by Alexei Ratmansky. All participating students will be invited to attend a dress rehearsal of ABT’s The Nutcracker at the Segerstrom Center for the Performing Arts in Costa Mesa on December 10. American Ballet Theatre’s Make a Ballet on Tour in Los Angeles is made possible by Ellen and Harry Levitt, Jane and Ron Koblin, Robert and Alicia Levitt, Julie and Kenneth Moelis, Stewart Smith and Robin Ferracone, Stephanie and Leon Vahn, and Mary Jane Wagle. For more information on Make a Ballet on Tour and other ABT educational outreach programs, please visit

    Art Student Honored with National Tour

    Grand Arts student Josue Lopez's art work His Past Lives has been selected for the Art.Write.Now.Tour 2015–2016, the national travelling exhibition of the Scholastic Art & Writing Awards. His work will be featured at galleries, museums, and cultural spaces in Florida, Indiana, South Dakota, and Nevada.

    MOCA Teen Night Features 10 Grand Arts Students

    Congratulations to the following VAPA students who were selected for the exhibition at MOCA Teen Night April 11 at MOCA Geffen in Little Tokyo! Jasmin Ortega, Jung Hun Lee, Derek Luu, Camille Papa, Molly Kleinman, Crystal Sandoval, Jackson Crites, Patrick (PJ) Buckmar, Michelle Morales, Besso Mercado.

    Grand Arts Visual Arts Students Excel in National Scholastic Awards

    The following Visual Arts Academy Students received a total of 7 National Scholastic Awards:

    • Edward Abascal: gold medal for photograph "Sarge."
    • Kiriko Kajiwara: gold medal for the drawing "Better Life," silver medal for drawing "Behind the Fence."
    • Jasmin Ortega: silver medal for photograph "Stay."
    • Calliope White: silver medal for photo "The White Rabbit."
    • Maya Chambers: gold medal for drawing "No Face."
    • Josue Lopez: gold medal for digital image "His Past Lives."

    Their efforts represent the top artworks in the nation as chosen by a jury panel of professors, art professionals and artists. The gold medal recipients are invited along with their teachers and families to a national gala ceremony and art show of their work at Carnegie Hall in New York City. Congratulations, students and teachers! This is our highest number of national Scholastic awards ever!

    Grand Arts Young Arts Winner

    Grand Arts Visual Arts Academy student Olivia Winslow is a YoungArts award winner, one of 850 students nationwide chosen for this honor. Congratulations, Olivia!

    Grand Arts Artists Get the Gold

    Going for Gold, the title of our current student art show, refers to our students' collective attempts and efforts to create the best artwork they can in pursuit of Gold Key Award distinction in the prestigious annual National Scholastic Art competition. In 2014 we went up against literally every private, public, and charter school in California for this event and emerged with the second highest total of awards in the state.

    This year California was merged into the West Region-at-Large, so we were up against all schools not only in California but also in Oregon, Washington, Colorado, Idaho, Utah, Nevada, Hawaii, Montana and Wyoming as well. How did we do? Grand Arts students won more awards (159) than any other school in the entire west region!
    This effort put forth by our students was monumental! Congratulation to all on a job well done!

    School Total awards Gold Key awards Silver Key awards Honorable Mentions
    Grand Arts (CA) 159 41 49 69
    LA County HS Arts (CA) 100 43 26 31
    Palo Alto HS (CA) 95 20 32 43
    Waterford School (UT) 92 13 31 48
    Marlborough School (CA) 88 17 30 41
    Music Center Spotlight Award Winners

    Grand Arts had two big winners in the Music Center's annual Spotlight Theatre Awards! Shan Shaikh received third place/honorable mention and $1,000. Wayne Mackins was chosen as one of the two Grand Prize Winners and will receive $5000 in addition to his performing at Disney Hall. Congratulations to you both for your outstanding work!

    August Wilson Monologue Competition Finalists

    We are thrilled to announce that five of our student actors—Paul Vincent III, Philip Patrick Bucknor, Trecey Dory, Wayne R. Mackins-Harris, and Wendy R. Morrow—were among the 12 Regional Finalists for Center Theatre Group's August Wilson Monologue Competition.

    Grand Arts