The comparative arts major is designed for high school students who want to pursue in-depth, self-directed study across arts and academics. This program is a college preparatory experience built into an arts-oriented curriculum that allows students to explore their own cross-disciplinary interests. The comparative arts major is ideal for students who have a proven interest in the arts, a strong academic record and a desire to investigate and synthesize a wide range of arts and academic subjects.
Through their coursework, annual projects and experience in a variety of arts disciplines, comparative arts students cultivate research and communication skills, critical thinking and aesthetic awareness. They develop as self-directed learners and problem-solvers who can confidently navigate the creative process from an original idea to implementation, evaluation and refinement.
Arts courses: Comparative artists will take multiple arts courses each semester and are encouraged to participate in a wide variety of classes. There is also a possibility that students will be able to take an independent study with a specific focus of their own choosing.
An annual project gives students an outlet to channel their own creative energies while receiving support and guidance from the Interlochen faculty. The self-directed projects allow students to cultivate their own skills and interests while synthesizing multiple arts and academic disciplines. All annual projects contain a written component along with a presentation, which could include a performance or demonstration given to students and faculty. Previous project examples include: writing and directing an original play; developing a series of interrelated poems and photographs; developing an original animation based on research into anime; composing original pieces based on the history of the saxophone; and creating an installation based on historical views of women in society.
Like students in all majors at Interlochen Arts Academy, students in the comparative arts program take a challenging and comprehensive college-preparatory curriculum that includes courses in math, science, English, history and foreign language.
Performance and Presentation Opportunities
Comparative arts students have opportunities to participate in performing groups, readings, presentations, gallery exhibitions, motion picture productions and publications. Some activities have audition requirements or prerequisites which must be met before a student can become involved. For more detailed information on performance opportunities for comparative arts majors, please contact an enrollment counselor in the Office of Admission and Financial Aid.
How to Apply
- Prepare the materials listed here: admission requirements
- Complete the online application
- Submit your materials online: http://academy.interlochen.org/submit
Though not required, a campus visit is recommended. You can tour the campus, visit classes, and possibly take in a performance. You can meet and talk with students who are living the Academy experience. You may also arrange for an audition or portfolio review.
Our enrollment officers are here to help you in any way they can. If you wish to talk with someone about Academy programs, the application process, a campus visit, audition or portfolio presentations, or other topics, they will be happy to work with you. Simply call 800.681.5912 or 231.276.7472 or email email@example.com.
Graduates of the comparative arts program are currently studying at Bard College, Hampshire College, California Institute of the Arts, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland and Yale University. For more than five decades, Interlochen Arts Academy has integrated artistic study with college-preparatory academics. Although the comparative arts program is a relatively new major, there are many Academy alumni who exemplify the goals and philosophy of the comparative arts program; individuals who used their deep experiences in the arts to develop highly successful careers in a variety of fields.
Aaron Dworkin (class of '88, music major) is an arts administrator, founder of the Sphinx Competition and a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient.
Steven Goodman (class of '75 visual arts major) is a leading wildlife biologist and conservationist and a MacArthur Genius Grant recipient.
Fredrik Hiebert (class of '78, visual arts major) is an archaeologist and explorer with National Geographic.
Chris Klimecky (class of '91, music major) is a video game developer, a career that requires him to leads a large team of artists, programmers, composers, writers and actors.
Claudia Polley (class of '67, music major) is a museum consultant and founder of the National Association for African-American Heritage Preservation.
Kenneth N. Jones, Jr. (class of '98) is the founder and president of Ken Jones Jr. Fine Art and at one time was Ralph Lauren's personal art dealer.
Director of Comparative Arts, Interlochen Arts Academy
Instructor of Theatre Arts, Interlochen Arts Academy
Director, Junior Musical Theatre Production, Interlochen Arts Camp
M.F.A., Acting, The Ohio State University; B.A., Theatre, San Diego State University
Enrollment Officer - Motion Picture Arts, Visual Arts, Rock (summer Arts Camp only), Comparative Arts, Guitar, Bassoon, and Oboe
B.S., Art and English (Creative Writing emphasis), Certificate in Celtic Studies, University of Wisconsin - Madison