By creating a high school with a fine arts focus for Austin, Austin ISD and the McCallum Fine Arts Academy have created mutually supportive partnerships with arts organizations and artists across the region.

It was in consultation with The University of Texas College of Fine Arts that a curriculum of rigorous arts coursework was initially developed for our Fine Arts Academy students, including one of the few non drill-team based dance programs in the state. Advanced dancers study both ballet and modern, and guest choreographers often set pieces included in dance productions.

The McCallum Fine Arts Academy classical guitar program, the first in Austin ISD, receives curriculum and coaching support from Austin Classical Guitar Society. Another significant partnership provides wind ensemble, orchestra, and piano students weekly professional coaching provided by the Austin Chamber Music Center. All vocal and instrumental music majors take two years of music theory, the second at the Advanced Placement (AP) level. Visual Arts majors earn at least two honors or AP studio credits as well as take AP Art History. Advanced dance majors gain experience staging and choreographing and take Honors Anatomy and Physiology as part of their coursework. Senior theatre majors, who may choose to major in either performance or technical theatre, often direct and stage productions.

The success of FAA is well-known, with recognitions earned by Academy majors from every strand. Exceptional work by MFAA artists, actors, dancers and musicians has received national recognition. MFAA musicians earned the national GRAMMY Signature School for Excellence in Music Education and Recording Arts recognition and have performed on the stage of the Long Center and Carnegie Hall. Dance students attained new heights with choreography of the Blue Lapis aerial dance company. Theatre students have taken the international stage at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh (2007) and at the National Theatre of Costa Rica (2010). Three of 27 Texas Young Masters (two artists and a classical guitarist) chosen state-wide by Texas Commission on the Arts were from McCallum and received renewable grants for summer art studies in-state, nationally, and abroad, and many All State artists and Texas Outstanding Musicians hail from MFAA. Academy graduates in all strands are attending colleges and universities acrosss the US, and many are receiving significant scholarships.