Inside Our School

Image with words About NSA

Nashville School of  Arts is a public magnet high school serving arts-interested students in grades nine through twelve living within Metropolitan Nashville (Davidson County). Major arts areas include dance, theatre, visual art, music, and mass media. Students must audition, interview, or write an essay to be accepted into Nashville School of the Arts.


Nashville School of the Arts began as a small magnet program for arts-interested students within Pearl-Cohn Comprehensive High School in 1993. As time went on, NSA grew to a size warranting its own facility. It became an independent arts magnet school in the 1997-98 school year under the direction of Mr. Robert Churchwell. NSA’s new home was the old Cumberland High School located in the Bordeaux area of the Northwest section of Nashville. There was a change in leadership the following school year, 1998-99, with Dr. Elbert Ross taking over the executive principal position. The continued growth of NSA allowed for an addition of an assistant principal to the faculty and staff in 2000. Additionally, in 2001, the executive principalship changed hands again to Bob Wilson, the current principal. Under his leadership, NSA has enjoyed a continual growth in students, staff, and popularity in the Nashville community.


The students of Nashville School of the Arts live in all areas of Nashville, whose population is over 550,000. Prior to the 2003-2004 school year, NSA was housed in the old Cumberland High School building, which was built in 1920 at 3500 John Mallette Road. Due to the age of the building, parts of the Cumberland High School building were condemned. As a result, the Nashville School of the Arts community is temporarily located at the former Tennessee Preparatory School (TPS) building, a twenty-year-old facility. The TPS building is located at 1250 Foster Avenue and is a more spacious building than Cumberland High School. The TPS facility has thirty-six classrooms, two gyms, an auditorium, one kitchen, one science lab, an in-school suspension room, a library, two office areas, a career counseling area, a piano lab, a guitar lab, two teachers’ lounges, a teacher work area, a conference room, a nurse’s office, and several storage areas. We also have areas set aside for the school psychologist, data technician, technical support specialist, campus supervisors, and police officer. The school also has a swimming pool and a patio area that are currently not available for use.