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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.

Featured News Stories

With Love To Ukraine

Honorary Consul of Ukraine in Philadelphia, Iryna Mazur, hosted a benefit concert at the Vine Street Campus on Thursday, October 13th to raise funds for the Ukrainian Federation of America. Concert choir, concert orchestra, ballet majors, and three students from Ukraine provided the performances that evening.

FOX29's Bob Kelly Visits String Theory Aviation Academy

Bob Kelly visited Philadelphia Performing Arts, Vine Street Campus to meet with high school students and learn about the new String Theory Aviation Academy. He interviewed students and course instructor, Brandon Tomasello, who shared with him their own flight experiences. Check out the clip to watch Bob take the school's flight simulator for a test flight!

Matthew Cramer on WHYY's Movers and Makers

Philadelphia Performing Arts high school student, Matthew Cramer, is the subject of this episode of WHYY's Movers and Makers series. Matthew and his family's incredible journey to discover a means of communication for Matthew is explored, as well as how his pathway in education changed drastically. Watch the episode to hear from Matthew himself on the power of communication.

Ms. Natalia and the Ballet Majors Prepare for Nutcracker

This special holiday feature on FOX 29 news highlights Ms. Natalia and her ballet students as they rehearse for their first Nutcracker since the start of the pandemic. The clip includes interviews with Ms. Natalia and her students where they discuss the importance of the art form and what they love most about it.

KIDFUN at Performing Arts, West Campus

In a special edition of KIDFUN, author Sharla Feldscher visits Performing Arts, East Campus to talk with the students about what they are thankful for this Thanksgiving.

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.