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Students bask in arts nirvana at state summer school




California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
Students participate in a figure drawing class during the four-week California State Summer School for the Arts program at CalArts. More than 500 students take part in the program each summer.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
Barrett Cahalen, 16, of Santa Cruz, center, participates in a ballet class on Friday, Aug. 2 at CalArts. Students have concentrations in either music, theatre, video and film, visual arts, dance, creative writing, or animation.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
Avi Shorer, 16, of Berkeley, left, makes an abstract sculpture out of a plaster block during the California State Summer School for the Arts program at CalArts.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
Alfred Ladzekpo, right, teaches an African music and dance class during the California State Summer School for the Arts program at CalArts.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
Mandy Zheng, 17, of Davis makes a stop motion animation using black sand. Zheng was inspired by a film called "The ErlKing" she watched at the beginning of the four-week program.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
Mariela Figueroa, 17, of Puerto Rico cuts out her "Maestro frog" for a cut-out animation project.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC
California State Summer School for the Arts students take part in an African music and dance class on Friday, Aug. 2 at Cal Arts. The four-week program selects talented high school students from throughout California and out of state.
Teacher Lori Damiano and animation students Kannon Rickell and Kira Buro look at their classmate Devan Muchnij's progress in his project during the California State Summer School for the Arts program at CalArts.
Maya Sugarman/KPCC


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More than 20 years ago, California lawmakers started a program they hoped would help retain the state's up-and-coming creative talent. It's called the California State Summer School for the Arts, and its summer home is the 60-acre Cal Arts campus in Valencia.

For part four in our summer learning series, KPCC reporter Mary Plummer paid a visit to this year's crop of aspiring artists.