Education

Take a tour of a new arts academy for students struggling in traditional LAUSD schools

The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
17-year-old Lamar Outlaw says the newly painted hallways, featuring bright colors, make him feel more comfortable at his high school.
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
Couches allow students at the Design + Media Arts Academy to relax as they complete their assignments.
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
As part of their multi-media class, students at the Design + Media Arts Academy are making dioramas of places they feel safe.
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
In addition to their eight hours of arts instruction a week, the students also integrate art into their core academic subjects. The goal is to get them engaged in the material, and to graduate.
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
Students at the Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, use paint to make dioramas of places they feel safe.
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
The goal of the Design + Media Arts Academy is to teach the students skills they could use to get a job in the creative economy.
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
The students are working in two teams to create structures to help homeless people in Los Angeles.
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
17-year-old Lamar Outlaw calls this arts lab "the garden." "Because a garden is where you grow," he explained. "And you don't have any bad in there. You just grow."
Carla Javier/KPCC
The Design + Media Arts Academy, a partnership between LAUSD and artworxLA, was created inside of a former middle school in South LA.
Lamar Outlaw says this arts lab, which he calls "The Garden," is his favorite spot on campus.


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There already are schools around Los Angeles to help kids who didn’t make it in the traditional high school system. A new one opening in South L.A. offers something a little different.

LAUSD is partnering up with an arts nonprofit called artworxLA to open up the Design and Media Arts Academy in South LA this year. While other schools do have teaching artists come in to work with youth, this one requires eight hours of arts a week. 

You can click through a slideshow of photos from the school above.