HSA’s 60th Anniversary!


HSA is a cultural arts center located in central Harlem.  Every year, the institution serves over 5,000 students in a 37,000 square foot facility and through programming in the community. Since its founding by internationally-acclaimed soprano Dorothy Maynor in 1964, Harlem School of the Arts at The Herb Alpert Center has transformed the lives of tens of thousands of young people ages 2-18 through world-class interdisciplinary training in the arts.  Students study and are exposed to music, dance, theater, visual arts and design.

Harlem School of the Arts (HSA) offers its students the freedom to find and develop the artist, student, and citizen within themselves in an environment that teaches discipline, stimulates creativity, builds self-confidence and adds a dimension of beauty to their lives, empowering them to become the creative thinkers and innovative leaders of tomorrow.

Thanks to the Herb Alpert Foundation’s exceptional support, HSA begins a new chapter with a $9.5M major renovation project which has transformed our building into a vibrant cultural hub.






HSA Music curriculum includes all the instruments of the orchestra, piano, organ, guitar, African and Latin percussion and voice. Its philosophy is to prepare the individual to be a proficient performer and reader of Western music as well as of the various musical styles of the African Diaspora.


HSA Dance offers courses that develop students’ physicality, creativity, technical ability and performance skills. Classes are offered in African Dance, Jazz, Modern, Hip-Hop and Tap, as well as a ballet program following the American Ballet Theater’s National Curriculum of the classical ballet technique.


HSA Theater utilizes a traditional arts conservatory approach to prepare its students for the demands of professional application, along with providing a general understanding and appreciation for the theater. Students enroll in classes on monologue development, audition techniques, scene development, movement, voice, and speech.


HSA Musical Theater introduces the fundamentals of musical theater to young actors. Simple pitch recognition, breathing techniques, vocal projection, movement, choreography, storytelling and teamwork are the main focus as this program explores the importance of ensemble performance through show tunes. HSA’s Musical theater courses allow students to develop confidence, coordination and integral skills required for success in this field and learn how to prepare themselves for the varied demands of a musical theater career.



HSA Art & Design develops young people’s mastery of drawing, painting, sculpture, photography, graphic design, fashion illustration, animation, digital art, filmmaking, functional art, and printmaking. The curriculum is designed to offer holistic instruction in various art mediums, fostering creative expression, developing technical skill and encouraging broad arts and cultural appreciation.


HSA ensembles are in demand throughout the New York metropolitan area. Students have performed by invitation or through partnerships with Disney Theatrical, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Bryant Park Contemporary Dance Series, City Parks Foundation SummerStage, NASDAQ, and Toyota.


HSA Prep is a highly selective pre-professional merit-based program that offers students rigorous training, master classes, college and specialized high school application support, mentoring, and performance opportunities. HSA Prep students have gone on to college level study in arts programs at colleges such as NYU, Berklee College of Music, Juilliard, Howard University, The New School, Cornell University, Yale University, Morehouse College, Boston University, and Temple University. Students admitted into the HSA Prep program receive full tuition and program benefits funded through the generosity of our donors and support.


  • Giancarlo Esposito
    Giancarlo Esposito Television and film actor

    (Do The Right Thing, Malcolm X, Once Upon A Time, Breaking Bad, The Get Down, The Mandolorian)

  • Lenny Kravitz
    Lenny Kravitz Musician & Icon

    (The Hunger Games, Precious, Lee Daniels’ The Butler)

  • Caleb McLaughlin
    Caleb McLaughlin Television and Broadway actor

    (Netflix’s Stranger Things, Disney’s The Lion King on Broadway, BET’s The New Edition Story)

  • Matthew Whitaker
    Matthew Whitaker Jazz Pianist

    (Carnegie Hall, Ellen DeGeneres Show, Fox's Showtime at the Apollo)

  • We McDonald
    We McDonald Musician

    (NBC’s The Voice)

  • Condola Rashad
    Condola Rashad Musician, Television and Broadway actor

    (Billions, Romeo & Juliet, Master of None, Smash)

  • Zazie Beetz
    Zazie Beetz Television and Film Actor

    (FX’s Atlanta, Deadpool 2, Joker, The Harder They Fall)