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The High School of Performing Arts, usually referred to as the School of Performing Arts and informally known as “PA” was a public alternative high school established in 1947 by educator and creative thinker Franklin J. Keller, as a part of Metropolitan Vocational High School, using his staff and administrators on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Under Keller’s stewardship, it offered music and theater arts programs in addition to the traditional “trade” skills. In 1948, the school occupied a disused 1894 public school building on West 46th Street in the Times Square area. The new school offered programs in music, dance, drama, and, for a time, photography. There were many professionals on staff, including the young Sidney Lumet in the drama department. From 1948 to 1984, the school was located at 120 West 46th Street in the borough of Manhattan, New York City. In 1961, the school was merged with another alternative arts school, the High School of Music & Art, while each retained its own campus. Plans for establishing a joint building for the merged schools took many years to be realized. There was opposition to the loss of PA’s individual identity, but both student bodies eventually moved into a shared building in 1984, christened the Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School. Many well-known performers were trained at the school, such as Eartha Kitt, Liza Minnelli, Jennifer Aniston, Ving Rhames, Lorraine Toussaint, acting coach Bernard Hiller, and Suzanne Vega. The 1980 film Fame and the TV series that followed were set in the High School of Performing Arts, though the actual school was not used in the filming of either. The High School of Performing Arts situated at 120 West and 46th Street refused to let the filmmakers use the school or even photograph the exterior due to the graphical content in the film. So instead the filmmakers were forced to look for an alternative venue, which turned out to be the disused church on the opposite side of 46th Street. The church doorway was used as the school’s main entrance, whereas Haaren High School on 10th Avenue at 59th Street was used for the interior shots.
Like all our designs, this one is treated with our signature ‘relic-ing’ process which includes our own secret recipe of hand-painted chipping, cracking, fading, and just the right touch of yellowing to ensure that it looks the part of a true vintage imprint.** We lay these works of art down on premium Next Level 3900 Premium Women’s tees, aka ‘the boyfriend tee, one of the softest, best-wearing women’s t-shirts available today. We utilize state of the art direct to garment (DTG) printing which allows us to create a vintage effect that simply can’t be accomplished with other printing methods. In short, these shirts are everything you’ve dreamed of and more – it feels soft and lightweight with just the right amount of stretch making it both comfortable and flattering while the feminine fit and shorter sleeves add a special touch to this classic missy cut tee.
Not sure what size is your best fit? We recommend taking one of your current t-shirts, laying it flat and measuring it. The measurements in the chart below are taken with the shirt laying on a flat surface. To get the length, measure from the high shoulder point down to the bottom of the shirt. To get the width, measure approximately 1-inch below the armhole, across the chest, from seam to seam. The Next Level 3900 is a fitted women’s t-shirt, so if you are looking for a roomier fit, we suggest going up a size or with the unisex Bella + Canvas 3001 we print our men’s t-shirts on as they are the same super soft ring-spun cotton that feels like an old favorite. While our tees are all made using premium, pre-shrunk, ring-spun cotton, there can be some shrinkage depending on your personal wash and dry cycles. With that said, if you’re on the fence, we always suggest going up a size.
All sizes are provided in inches!
*Heather colors are 90% ring-spun cotton and 10% poly. **Due to the nature of the printing process and different sizes of shirts offered, imprint position and scale may vary slightly from the product images, but we do our best to be as accurate as possible.