Where the arts are scarce, Southwest High School offers an oasis for talented Imperial Valley students


Oil paint by Paola Hernandez, a senior at Southwest High School in El Centro, Calif., May 2010

EL CENTRO, Calif.— The visual and performing arts have not always been a rich part of the culture in this desert region in Southern California’s Imperial Valley.  Riches here are normally measured in water, produce and geothermal, and experiencing the arts was typically done 120 miles away in San Diego.

But, the one and only arts magnet school—Southwest High School in El Centro—is producing a rich pool of future artists for local and global enrichment.  Students of computer animation, media arts, acting, and dancing are pulled from high schools in Imperial County as far as 30 miles away.

The following video showcases five outstanding artists from the Southwest Academy of Visual and Performing Arts at Southwest High School. They were chosen by faculty members based on their hard work and exceptional talent as artists:




1 Comment

  1. Alejandrina Rangel
    Alejandrina Rangel on

    Very impressive and an eye-opener for schools that don’t
    have the same opportunities to have student’s express themselves through the arts. Extra-curricular activities is critical as well as offering art, music, drama, computer
    animation,and…during the regular school day.

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