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Welcome to Philadelphia Performing Arts:
A String Theory Charter School

Founded in 2000, Philadelphia Performing Arts is the largest 
tuition-free, K-12 charter school in the city of Philadelphia.

With a premium on both academic and performance excellence, our students learn how to perform on stage, and in life.  At Philadelphia Performing Arts, our arts-infused curriculum begins in Kindergarten and remains an integral part of student life throughout elementary, middle, and high school. We believe every student must be nurtured as an individual. In addition to academics, we offer our students opportunities to study specialized subject areas in the arts and sciences that are meaningful to them though our Majors Program. Our inclusive school culture encourages students to explore their creativity, develop confidence, and reach their highest potential. As a String Theory School, we take pride in growing the next generation of creative leaders.

What Makes Us Great

Philadelphia Performing Arts: Top 10 Pennsylvania Charter Elementary School

Philadelphia Performing Arts has the largest charter in Philadelphia and is one of the only K-12 schools in the city. We are also the only school with an arts-integrated curriculum designed for elementary school children.

Apple Distinguished School

Philadelphia Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, is recognized by Apple as an Apple Distinguished School. 

A Mission Dedicated to the Arts and Innovation

We believe in the profound positive impact that exposure to the arts has on a child's creativity, confidence, self-discipline, and greater understanding of the world. Starting in Kindergarten, our students have seven additional arts classes woven into their daily schedules each week. Once a student enters fifth grade they begin their own artistic and academic journey in our unique Majors Program.

Authentic Learrning Experiences

From performing at professional venues to working at our student-run coffee shop, Café Vine, to internships with our Incubator Fellows, our students have access to a variety of exciting real world experiences.

Learn more: Incubator Fellowship

Philadelphia Performing Arts: Recognized as a Top Public High School

Our high school is located at our Vine Street Campus, a state-of-the-art 265,000-square-foot facility. This building promotes project-based learning and interdisciplinary instruction with a motion capture studio, a 200-seat theater, two ballet studios, four science labs, four music studios, two fine arts studios, an engineering and robotics lab, a culinary test kitchen, a recording studio, and a student-run cafe. Our middle school is also housed at Vine Street Campus.

Student and Family Resources 

Featured News Stories

PPA High School Senior Displaced by War Accepted to Berklee College of Music

Despite being forced to flee Ukraine, Performing Arts Senior David Kozyrkov never gave up on his passion for music. David's unwavering dedication to music and hard work have now earned him a spot at the Berklee College of Music, the school of his dreams. His story is truly an inspiration to anyone facing obstacles on their path to achieving their goals. 

Café Vine Opens to the Public

Café Vine is the student run coffee shop located on the first floor of the Vine Street Campus. A favorite of students and staff alike, Café Vine not only serves as a fun, hands-on internship for high school students, it also supplies fantastic pastries and coffee to faculty, staff, and students throughout the school day. After years of success, and the addition of a New Pastry and Baking Program that adds an exciting new dimension of student involvement, Café Vine is now opened to the public. The café is operated by students over the summer who work as paid interns. The public can purchase beverages and pastries through a take out window and outdoor seating is available. Check out some of these great features by local news stations then stop by on a weekday morning for a coffee and croissant!

Masterclass with Broadway Star, James T. Lane

Dance, theatre, and vocal music majors at Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, participated in a masterclass with James T. Lane. James, who is currently performing "Chicago" on Broadway, is a South Philadelphia native and started his career in Philly before heading to Broadway. Students went to New York to see James perform on Broadway the weekend before the masterclass, and had the opportunity to meet him after the show.

KYW Newsradio Interview: Supporting Our Students from Ukraine

By Mike DeNardo, KYW Newsradio. 

In this interview, Mike DeNardo speaks with Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus, school translator Kate Guns, ESL Teacher Daniel Betekhtin, ESL coordinator Damon Bennett, and Ukranian student Yurii Bohrebniuk.

You may also read the interview on KYW's website here.

Performance Spotlight

Spring Dance Performances

Philadelphia Performing Arts
The Classical Ballet Department and high school Contemporary Dance Department had their annual Spring Performances at our Vine Street Theatre.

The Adams Family

String Theory Players
From the Philadelphia Performing Arts archive: featured photos of a school favorite from 2018.