This fall, the Davenport School District will launch a one-of-a-kind program called the Creative Arts Academy of the Quad Cities.
Initially open to students entering 6th, 11th, and 12th grades, the Academy will focus on the visual performing arts and communication media arts. Students auditioned in a variety of categories, including dance, vocal music, theater, and art.
Friday night, the Creative Arts Academy hosted a reception to welcome the nearly 90 students who will make up its first class.
"This is the only institution of its kind in the state of Iowa," said planning consultant Doug Miller. "We do not believe there is another institution like this between Chicago and Omaha, Minneapolis to St. Louis."
Sixth graders will start their school day downtown Davenport, at the academy's new hub being built inside the Davenport Public Library. They'll take arts classes at various locations around the Quad Cities, including the Figge Art Museum, River Music Experience, and Arthur Murray Dance Studio.
In the afternoon, they'll be bussed to Sudlow for classes in more traditional subjects, like math, science, history, and English.
The program will be different for high school students, who will be able to choose classes and job shadow opportunities that best fit their future career interests.
"All these classes are going to be geared towards the individual," said Miller.
Among those eager to start the program are students like Hannah Williamsen. The soon-to-be sixth grader was accepted into the Creative Arts Academy for vocal music.
"It's really cool. You can listen to it, you can make it, and you can express your thoughts through it," said Williamsen, explaining her love for singing.
She hopes the new program will be a chance to meet new people and expand her musical skills.
"I think it'll be a really cool experience. I mean, even if I don't like it, at least I said I could do it," said Williamsen.
The Academy's first classes get underway this August.