A fundraising campaign to fund improvements to the new campus


OCSA aims to develop a new student community with improved outdoor spaces for students to congregate.

Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) continues its 35th anniversary celebration with the announcement of Students First: A Capital Campaign, which aims to develop new welcoming student commons with enhanced outdoor spaces within the expansive urban campus of school. With the support of many generous donors, OCSA plans to innovate in the summer of 2022.

The OCSA campus currently lacks a flexible, central outdoor space that can comfortably accommodate a wide range of activities. As the school continues to provide an unparalleled artistic and academic education to thousands of students, improved facilities will give them a place to gather, relax, study, collaborate, perform, exercise and share meals with each other.

The campaign was announced by OCSA President and CEO Teren Shaffer on Saturday, April 23 at the school’s 2022 gala, “Night of a Million Dreams.” During the announcement, nationally recognized philanthropist and OCSA Board Member Emeritus Julia Argyros, along with her daughter and OCSA Foundation Board Member Lisa Argyros and baby -son and OCSA alumnus Ryan Mitchell, stunned the room with an extremely generous donation of $2 million for the $5 million needed. to carry out the fundraising campaign. In recognition of this extraordinary contribution from the Argyros family, OCSA’s new student space will be named The Lisa Argyros Commons.

“We are thrilled to support the Orange County School of the Arts Students First campaign. Our family have been major supporters of the school for many years, and it has been absolutely thrilling to be part of their incredible journey. We are so impressed with OCSA’s commitment to excellence in the arts and academics, and thrilled to be able to help provide the best possible environment for these amazing students,” said Lisa Argyros.

A typical OCSA student is on campus for at least nine hours a day. Students First: A fundraising campaign will transform the school’s outdoor spaces and remove the boundaries of campus design. New additions and upgrades will include:

  • A welcoming and tree-lined campus entrance
  • A landscaped central lawn
  • A flexible outdoor performance and event space
  • A variety of benches for comfortable seating
  • Decorative fence and gate to surround the entrance and the park space
  • A grand exterior staircase from the lawn to the OCSA cafe terrace on the upper level
  • A closed student study lounge
  • Three contemporary cafes and snack bars
  • A space designed for student activities on OCSA’s famous 10th Street
  • Several murals and murals to artistically highlight school facilities
  • Improved senior parking

The purpose of this common space is to create an environment that will encourage experiences outside of the classroom and meet the educational, recreational, and social needs of the diverse community on OCSA’s campus.

“Our students receive a one-of-a-kind educational experience during their time at OCSA. I think it’s important that we not only provide them with the best artistic and academic programs possible, but also an incredible environment where they can comfortably thrive. and continue to succeed. Our students deserve it,” Shaffer said.

Since the launch of this campaign, with the help of many generous donors, OCSA has already raised nearly $3 million to carry out the project.

OCSA thanks the following contributors for their support of Students First: A Capital Campaign:

  • Julia and George Argyros
  • Lisa Argyros
  • Dr. Gretchen and Mr. James Conroy
  • DevTo Support Foundation
  • The Dirk family
  • El-Erian Family Foundation
  • Ryan and Jin O’Grady
  • Shannon and Andrew Patterson
  • Samueli Foundation
  • Anna Schlotzhauer and Jim Bergman

For more information on Students First: A Capital Campaign, visit http://www.ocsarts.net/StudentsFirst.

About Orange County School of the Arts

The nationally recognized Orange County School of the Arts (OCSA) provides an unparalleled arts and academic education in a creative, engaging, and stimulating environment to a diverse student body with a passion for the arts, preparing them to achieve their highest potential. Founded in 1987 by visionary educator Ralph Opacic, Ed.D. and currently led by President and CEO Teren Shaffer, OCSA serves approximately 2,300 gifted students in grades seven through 12 in more than 100 cities across California. In addition to a college-preparatory academic program, OCSA offers pre-professional arts training at 16 conservatories within schools of applied arts, dance, visual and media arts, music, and drama. The nonprofit public charter school depends solely on private donations, totaling $13 million annually, to fund pre-professional arts training programs. For more information, visit http://www.ocsarts.net.

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