Download our AVPA Production Flyer 2017-2018

About the Curriculum

Majors are offered in Theatre, Art, Dance, Film, and Music. Students complete required coursework and production work that together provide a balance between academic and hands-on training. Students choose one department as their major (or primary department), but can take classes and participate in other programs. Students earn credits to receive a certificate as a “major” or “minor,” depending on the number of credits accumulated.

AVPA students complete their college entrance and graduation requirements during the traditional high school day. AVPA courses begin after school, Monday through Friday. Some courses during the school day count towards AVPA credits. Many of the courses are offered for college credit (UC/CSU approved). Note: Not all AVPA courses taken outside of the school day are counted toward graduation requirements from Culver City High School. However, all AVPA courses and productions will be listed on the AVPA transcript.

The Academy produces over 25 productions, exhibitions, and events each year across all five majors. Productions include films, festivals, concerts, art exhibits, plays, dance performances, and musicals. Depending on their major, students can be involved in all aspects of production, receiving practical experience in their major that is reinforced by classroom instruction. “Java Drama” is an annual collaborative production involving all departments.

Our entire faculty and staff are teachers who are also working professionals, thus students gain valuable insight about their chosen field, as well as access to connections beyond the walls of the Academy.

Creative Directors

Dr. Tony Spano – Co-Executive Director, Creative Director of Music (email –

Kristine Hatanaka – Co-Executive Director, Creative Director of Art (email –

Carol Zee – Creative Director of Dance (email –

Alexis Reyes – Creative Director of Film (currently on maternity leave; email –

Erik Paesel – Temporary Creative Director of Film (email –

Kirsten Opstad – Creative Director of Theatre (email

Sponsors/Advisory Board

Support from prestigious schools of higher education, businesses, professional film and theatre companies, museums, local institutions, and companies has been of tremendous benefit to the Academy. The Academy has received financial assistance, in-kind donations, technical support, curriculum support, internships, and teachers from a variety of sources. Please visit our SPONSOR page by clicking here!


Hey Alumni! We need your help. Please take a few moments to fill out this brief survey. It will help us create an Alumni network as we build our first Alumni Association. It will also give us feedback on how to improve the program, as well as using your experiences and statements for grant applications in the future. We appreciate your help!

Alumni Survey:
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AVPA graduates have continued their studies at many arts institutions, colleges, and universities, including

NYU Tisch School of the Arts
University of Southern California
Los Angeles Film School
UC Santa Cruz
Long Beach State
Parsons The New School for Design
Brigham Young University
School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Howard University
Bob Cole Conservatory of Music at CSU Long Beach
Emerson University, Boston
Northeastern University, Boston
Fordham University
Pacific Northwest College of Art
Boston University
UC Berkeley
Cal Arts
CSU Northridge
Santa Monica College
West LA College
San Francisco State
Spellman College
University of Washington
American University, DC
DePaul University, Chicago
UC Riverside
Academy of Art University
Pepperdine University
UC Los Angeles
Otis College of Design
San Diego State
Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising
Rhode Island School of Design
Columbia College, Chicago
CSU East Bay
East Tennessee State University
New York University
CSU Monterey Bay
Art Center College of Design
California College of the Arts

AVPA students also are currently working at their craft in companies throughout Southern California and elsewhere.
2012 Graduates
2011 Graduates
2010 Graduates
2009 Graduates
2008 Graduates