As Austin ISD’s district-wide fine arts intensive high school program, the Fine Arts Academy at McCallum High School provides an exemplary arts education program for 9th – 12th grade students to pursue an accelerated arts curriculum as fine arts majors.

McCallum Fine Arts Academy attracts a diverse student body from all over Austin, including students who attended public, private, and home middle schools.

The movement for a fine arts intensive high school in Austin was initiated in the early 1990s and coordinated by a group of Austin community members who realized the value of drawing together like-minded arts students to study and learn from arts experts and from each other.

This community group asked for guidance on where to found a fine arts academy in Austin from Ruth Denney, who founded Houston's High School for Performing and Visual Arts after retiring as a professor at The University of Texas at Austin. Ms. Denney recommended McCallum High School as the site for the fine arts academy due to its rich history of excellence in arts education and its close proximity to a high concentration of community arts organizations.

Partly as a result of Denney's involvement, the McCallum Fine Arts Academy was embraced by The University of Texas College of Fine Arts from its inception and enjoys a strong partnership that continues today. The McCallum Fine Arts Academy also collaborates with the Austin Chamber Music Center, Texas State University, the Austin Classical Guitar Society, ZACH Theatre, the Austin Symphony, MINDPOP, and myriad other artists, community organizations, and cultural and educational institutions to provide the highest level of experiential learning opportunities to our students.