NEWS: ECA Students Show Off Their Creativity

(Photo courtesy

By Valeria Araujo – Editor in Chief

ACES Educational Center for the Arts students and staff are completing another year capitalizing on the amazing opportunities afforded to them.

ECA is a magnet school based in New Haven that is focused on certain sectors of the arts. Inside the brick stone building in New Haven is a staff of brilliant educators and hardworking students. 

“ECA is a model for arts infused education,” director Jason Hiruo said. “It builds skills in innovation and creativity and critical thinking that they don’t get to advance in their typical high school.”

Currently ECA has five departments: Theater, Music, Dance, Visual Arts, and Creative Writing. A student can apply, through the ACES website, for as many departments as they want but can only study in one of the departments throughout the year.

“If you plan on going into the arts in college or whether you just like writing/dancing/singing as a hobby, this program is for you,” Law senior music department student J.P. Amaro said. “You will gain so much knowledge and wisdom from ECA that regular high school students won’t gain.”

When applying, students must  submit portfolios at the department’s request which will help with the admissions process.

“It’s different from a club/after school activity because it’s an actual school,” Amaro said. “You have homework and it is graded, unlike after-school clubs. You get graded for doing what you love to do.”

Unlike after-school clubs, students from all over Connecticut begin their day at their home school and then attend ECA from 1-4 p.m.

“I enjoy ECA because there are so many other like-minded students here with me,” Law senior theatre student Jaden Esse said.

ECA is a rigorous curriculum that pushes students towards honing their skills in their artistic field. Students at ECA go above and beyond to make sure that the work they put out is their best and will help them in their field of study in the future.

“Managing regular school and ECA is a little hard at first because you are juggling two schools at one time, but when you get into the routine of things, it gets easier,” Amaro said. “I would say that being collected and organized is what will help you manage.”  

ECA provides the opportunity for students to pursue their passion in the arts which allows them to be creative and learn to take risk and to be individuals.

Students have expressed the wish for ECA to add more departments and elements in the future.

“Hopefully, in the future ,ECA will expand to encompass three more departments such as culinary, film, and a technical department (for theatre and film),” Esse said. “ECA is one of the only schools like it in the entire country. That alone makes this school important to me and unique.”


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