At ICON, you are the center of your high school experience. As the premier performing arts school in downtown Iowa City, ICON sees each student as the brilliant individual they are, with specific and unique talents, dreams, and potential. We guide you to reach your goals with personalized education both in the arts and in academic achievement. You will be seen here. You will be heard here. You will be known here. The artist who lives inside of you will break through current limitations and emerge confident and prepared.
Every aspect of ICON is curated to foster that transformation. Students will develop skill and deep understanding in their arts concentration area while engaging in project-based learning (PBL) experiences across disciplines. With the guidance of teachers-artists, collaboration with peers in artistic endeavors will produce meaningful outcomes.
In addition to these immersive engagements, students accepted at ICON will have full access to the rigor and richness of the Iowa City Community School District curriculum, recognized as the best in the state by US News and World Report. Academic and artistic growth progress harmoniously in the company and care of our faculty.
ICON is a destination that can be reached via many pathways. We celebrate the diverse experiences of the student artists that come through our doors, as well as the shared love of art —and artists— that shapes each graduate. We will see your passion and promise to feed it. We will hear your voice and promise to value it. We will discover the essence of who you are and develop who you aspire to be–an ICON.
ICON is an interdisciplinary, intensive arts education program with curriculum focused on developing the student holistically with special attention given to their artistic needs and goals. Unlike traditional high schools that have limited time or opportunity for the developing artist, or other conservatories that continue to embrace dated philosophies, ICON has assembled a pioneering group of passionate instructors and educators to facilitate student-driven experiences in a challenging, supportive, and nurturing environment, to foster the growth and development of every student-artist.
ICON Full Day students are offered an extensive arts education, which includes 25+ hours weekly of private and small group coaching sessions and coursework in the arts with our world-renowned faculty. Academic courses are completed in the state-accredited online learning program through the celebrated Iowa City Community School District. While students can choose to major in dance, theatre arts, music, visual arts, or design & production, they also practice their craft in an interdisciplinary, project-based learning setting, collaborating with other artists to build real-world experience. Upon graduation, ICON students receive a high school diploma from ICCSD and a high school Certificate of Performing and Visual Arts Industry Fundamentals with Arts Area Specialization from ICON.
Continue to explore your passion with ICON’s Gap Year Experience! The ICON Gap Year Program is designed for students looking to spend more time preparing to make the next step in their post-secondary educational journey. ICON’s expert arts faculty works closely with Gap Year students to achieve their dreams, whether that means preparing for college auditions or placement in professional companies. Students may elect to pair ICON’s arts education with college courses of their choosing or concentrate solely on building their artistic portfolio. Upon completion of two semesters of ICON Gap Year programming, students receive a Gap Year Certificate of Performing and Visual Arts Industry Fundamentals with an Arts Area Specialization.
ICON Half Day students are offered a comprehensive arts education, which includes 16+ hours weekly of arts curriculum provided by our expert faculty of artist-teachers. This program is a great fit for students desiring to remain in their home school setting* but need a more intensive arts education to complement their studies. ICON Half Day students head to the ICON campus each afternoon to be immersed in arts experiences, along with ICON Full Day and ICON Gap Year students. Students are placed in classes based on interest, skill level, and experience. They can hone their craft in the areas of dance, theatre arts, music, visual arts, or design & production. Opportunities are built into each week for interdisciplinary, project-based encounters with peers that build real-world arts experience. ICON Half Day students enrolled for more than two years receive a Certificate of Completion in Performing and Visual Arts Industry Fundamentals from ICON.
*Open enrollment into the Iowa City Community School district with a dual-enrollment option (a combination of in-person and asynchronous academic coursework) is available for ICON Half Day students, with ICON on-campus learning coaches providing support for online/asynch courses.
Ideally located within a four to five hour drive of Chicago, Minneapolis, Kansas City, and St. Louis, Iowa City is a Unesco City of Literature and proudly titled “The Greatest Small City for the Arts.” The University of Iowa and its diverse cultural influence is integral to the community and attracts world-class arts and artists, education, and healthcare making Iowa City one of the best places to live in America. The Eastern Iowa Airport (CID) is a mere 20-minute drive north, making travel to and from the area a breeze.
According to Livability.com, Iowa City packs a ton of cultural and recreational opportunities within a safe, caring town for the education and arts and lists it in the Top 100 Best Places to Live for 2022.