“You still hang out with lots of people from high school?”
“Well, it wasn’t a ‘normal’ high school…”
In the heart of Downtown, housed in the historic original Las Vegas High School (c. 1932) building plus a blocks-large campus, exists an artists’ utopia where freedom of expression is fostered rather than suppressed—often with award-winning results. Founded 30 years ago as an almost experiment for the Clark County School District, i.e., a public magnet school focusing on the arts, students from around the Valley audition or present portfolios to vie for the coveted admission spots. Students even have longer school days to accommodate for studying their majors via conservatories focused on theatre, dance, visual and media arts, and music. Think: The “Fame school” in New York City—and yes, random dancing and singing in the cafeteria included.
Fast forward to LVA winning multiple Grammys, producing such notable alumni including actors Matthew Gray Gubler, Rutina Wesley, and Baron Vaughn, singers Ne-Yo and the group 702, singer/dancer Julianne Hough, and many more.
Long after graduation, numerous LVA alumni remain in touch, despite being located worldwide. And through the 501c3 non-profit Las Vegas Academy Alumni Association, they periodically meet again—not just for class reunions—but to step on the stage at their alma mater. With the 30th Anniversary of LVA fundraiser variety show, the Alumni Association aims to raise money for scholarships, future class reunions, student needs such as art supplies or new instruments, and other essentials for optimal learning and success in high school and beyond.
This special one-night-only showcase and art show celebrating 30 years of LVA will take place Thursday, April 20, at 6 p.m. in the high school’s modern Lowden Theater and features alumni, current students, faculty, and more. General admission is $15 and available via Eventbrite, with options to purchase LVA Alumni merchandise, along with being able to make additional donations.
The multi-generational Alumni Association has also planned a full weekend of activities for fellow graduates of all years, such as a casual karaoke meetup on Friday night at Dino’s (21+, 10 p.m., 1516 S. Las Vegas Blvd., expect plenty of show tunes), an all-ages family picnic on Saturday from noon-3 p.m. at the Lorenzi Park Artesian Pavilion (3333 W Washington Ave), and a weekend wrap party Saturday night from 8-11 p.m. at Soulbelly BBQ (18+, 1327 S. Main St.).
For more information, visit lvaalumni.com, and graduates can join the official Las Vegas Academy Alumni Facebook Group here.
Full Disclosure: Deanna Rilling is a proud LVA graduate and member of the Alumni Association’s volunteer Board of Directors. Read more about the history of LVA from Deanna Rilling’s feature about the 20th anniversary here.