The Milwaukee High School of the Arts Advantage

What makes MHSA different?

MHSA provides  dedicated arts instruction that is combined with a rigorous academic curriculum.  Arts instruction provided is progressive and normally involves up to two hours or more of daily programming, pending the individual student's academic and artistic progress.  We are a creative, challenging, and nurturing cultural community. MHSA provides a distinguished foundation for higher education. A unique characteristic of the student body is found in how they embrace differences and the worth of every person. Acceptance and tolerance are hallmarks of students pursuing and concentrating on their artistic and academic dreams. We support the belief that our common interests are more powerful than the differences between us.

Left: The MHSA Orchestra & Choir collaborates with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra to perform their annual Holiday concert, 2012

Now accepting applications for our Spring Auditions

The final audition date is February 8, 2017 at 6:00 pm with a 5:30 pm check-in

To Start Your Application

Increased arts involvement among disadvantaged students leads to
finding a better job, earning a college degree and volunteering.
Source: "Advantages of Arts Learning Continue Over Time"

Remarkable Students

Students thrive at Milwaukee High School of the Arts, and many continue to thrive after graduation. Some of our Alumni have generously written to us about their experience during and after MHSA, and they say it so much better than we ever could:

Caissa Casarez

MHSA Major: Piano
Year of Graduation: 2007
Present Occupation: News Producer / Social Media Editor at WKOW-TV in Madison

I think it's fair to say that MHSA changed my life. I came in as a 13-year-old freshman who was insecure but really excited to play piano for two hours every day (if I had the time to do that now, I still would!), and I left feeling confident while preparing for college – all because of the four years in between.

It was my 9th grade year when I began to figure out who I was and what I wanted to do. After passing the swim test in class on my birthday, I would end up joining the swim team for the next two years, which were a blast. And while watching the news with my parents one night before bed, I realized I wanted to be on the air just like the anchors I would eventually end up working with at WISN-12. While MHSA didn't have a TV station, I got a chance to join basically every other journalism-related club in the school while still playing piano for two hours a day, which meant a lot to me. Seeing my name on bylines in the school paper, on top of pages in Self-Express Magazine, and on the Yearbook Staff page gave me such a thrill. The opportunities I had at MHSA were unlike any other. I'm proud to call myself an alum."

I believe that MHSA helped me out a lot for the preperation of college. Whenever I am in town I will be willing to help with anything that involves The Great Milwaukee High School of the Arts.

Crystal Owney, Class of 2005

MHSA was a great school and gave me some wonderful experiences, I will never forget my time there.

Joanna Leon, Class of 2001

I will always treasure the time that I had at MHSA. It led me to so many great opportunities in both dance and art.

Ashley Mikewski, Class of 2005

MHSA was the best high school I can imagine attending.

Heather Thompson, Class of 2001

MHSA was a great experience for me. Proud graduate, proud music business person!

Carolyn Stoner, Class of 1997

The year I spent at MHSA were some of the best years of my life.

Marc Pera, Class of 1989

Instructional Excellence

Our mission at Milwaukee High School of the Arts is to provide an educational experience which enables all students to nurture their academic and artistic talents to the fullest. Students will develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills, communicate effectively and become proficient in the use of modern technology. The MHSA staff, in collaboration with parents and community, will create an educational atmosphere fostering excellence and achievement. The school’s curriculum, based on respect for people of all cultural backgrounds, prepares students to be responsible citizens of a democratic society.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Intervention Strategy. At MHSA we use the acronym STARS, as all of our students are stars in some way! STARS stands for Safe, Timely, Accountable, Respectful. These are the qualities we would like to guide our students as they walk through our halls, participate in our classrooms, and collaborate to make meaningful statements in artistic ways about their world, their community, and their academic learning. Regular incentives are in place for those who exemplify these STAR principles. Please support your child in contributing to our school community by being a STAR!

Response to Intervention (RtI)
RtI stands for Response to Intervention, which simply means we know that every child learns in different ways at different levels in different subjects, and we will do our best to respond accordingly to these needs. If a student needs additional help, they can receive accommodations that will further their progress in any subject. The same is true of those who wish to move ahead faster than the prescribed curriculum. We are here to facilitate learning and growth in all subjects for all students. A child may be gifted in one area and challenged in another. Our goal is to differentiate curriculum as much as possible so that all students may grow according to their own needs and at their own pace.

For even more information about either of these initiatives, or to find out how you can get involved with your child's progress and needs in any school subject or in any behavioral area, please contact Ms. Collenburg at, or call her at (414) 934-7011.

Learn more about our arts curriculum: