Arts Academy in the Woods

One of Macomb County’s great jewels

By: Maxwell Spayde, Principal Arts Academy in the Woods

If your child is passionate about the arts, he or she will definitely be passionate about Arts Academy in the Woods, Southeast Michigan’s premier public high school for the fine and performing arts.

Located in a tree-lined Fraser neighborhood right here in Macomb County, we are chartered by the Macomb County Intermediate School District and open to any high school student in Michigan.

You won’t find our sports teams competing for state championships, but you will find our performing and fine artists receiving accolade after accolade for their immense talents in their particular art.

Our graduates move on to some of the most prestigious colleges and universities in the nation, including the University of Michigan, Michigan State and premier fine and performing arts schools, like the College for Creative Studies, the San Francisco Art Institute and the Berklee School of Music.

And they also excel in the art careers they have selected, appearing on the Broadway stage, participating in national dance companies, working in Hollywood or succeeding in graphic design and other commercial art fields.

In addition to providing the same rigorous Michigan Merit Curriculum as other high schools across Macomb County, we offer our students the equivalent of six years of art instruction during their four-year career at our school. Our arts curriculum includes courses in dance; multimedia arts; theater; guitar; instrumental and vocal music; and 2D and 3D visual arts.  AAW has been consistently ranked with the top high schools in the metro region in the state of Michigan’s “Top-to-Bottom” list, similar to schools such as Grosse Pointe North, Rochester High, and Eisenhower High.


Arts Academy in the Woods students create the mural inside Chrysler House in downtown Detroit

Our students have between one to three hours a day of art classes, and are afforded exhibit and performance opportunities both at the school and throughout the community. You may have seen our kids perform in recent months at Noel Night in Midtown or at the Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday celebration at the Royalty House in Warren. Or maybe you caught the visually striking mural our kids just finished creating in a breezeway at the Chrysler House office tower in Downtown Detroit.

We attract students from the majority of Macomb County communities, as well as many communities in Oakland and Wayne Counties. Many of our students and alumni often proclaim how our school literally “saved their lives” through a nurturing, judgment-free zone for creative expression and arts-infused learning. Our culture and environment offers students a place where they will be accepted and encouraged and also where they will flourish academically, artistically, emotionally and socially.


Students perform at Noel Night in Midtown

To see our students in action during a world-class performance, come to our second annual Evening of the Arts at the Macomb Center for Performing Arts on Tuesday, May 14, at 7 p.m.  Students will be performing on stage and also exhibiting artwork in the lobby at the event. Tickets are $10 reserved and $15 for the Gold Circle. Get your tickets today by clicking here.

If you think Arts Academy in the Woods might be a good fit for your student, we invite you to come in a take a look. Visit our webpage or like us on Facebook.

Maxwell Spayde is the principal of Arts Academy in the Woods.

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