The Southwest Academy for the Visual and Performing Arts moved one step further from the image of "starving artists" as it received a state Department of Education grant last month funding the program indefinitely.
Described as a "very, very competitive grant" by SAVAPA site coordinator Debra Buchanan, the funding amounts to $42,000 for the remainder of this year, $71,000 for next year and $81,000 for each year after that indefinitely.
The California Partnership Academy grant is one of just 20 given in the entire state and the only one for implementation of the performing arts.
"It's a very, very exciting thing," Buchanan said.
The money will help provide additional equipment, professional and curricular development and field trips, Buchanan said.
"The field trips are one of our biggest strengths," Buchanan said.
SAVAPA students make frequent trips out of Imperial Valley to watch live performances, take backstage tours and attend workshops.
Focusing on theatre, dance and music, SAVAPA, based at Southwest High School in El Centro, partners with local and San Diego businesses to create a cross-curricular emphasis to enrich students' learning experiences.