Naperville, IL

(630) 243-5100

Same Programming, New Name! Academy of the Arts is now Illinois Conservatory for the Arts

what's happening

impact • june 10–14

impact • August 5–9

High-level arts meets high-achieving academics.

Illinois Conservatory for the Arts is a non-profit educational institution in the Western suburbs of Chicago.

ICA is committed to providing high-level arts programming while engaging students in a comprehensive academic education. We believe that creativity and the quest for innovation fosters individuality–allowing the holistic development of each student.

Performing Arts


Visual Arts

Ceramics & Sculpture

Media Arts

Graphic Design
Photo & Video

Arts Business


The School

The Pilot Program for ICA’s K-12 day school is launching Fall 2025.

At Illinois Conservatory for the Arts, our students will engage in a practicum of pre-professional arts training balanced with rigorous academics.

Applications will open Early Spring 2025 for a limited number of spots. Selected applicants will audition for ICA with placement for those accepted in Late Spring 2025.

The Studio

The Studio offers evening & weekend classes in Music, Dance, and Theatre for adolescents and teens.

There are two 14-week sessions each year–one in the Spring, one in the Fall–which offer a variety of Individual Courses and curated Conservatory Tracks.

Registration for spring 2024 is closed


IMPACT is our week-long intensives offered during summer & winter breaks for middle and high school students.

IMPACT brings top professional artists–from Broadway, TV & Film, and beyond–to work with students on growing their skills. The week includes a trip to see a show in Chicago and wraps up with a showcase and reception for family and friends.

session 1 • june 10–14, 2024

session 2 • August 5–9, 2024


ICA hosts exciting, star-studded events throughout the year.

Illinois Conservatory for the Arts is committed to community engagement, outreach, and fundraising. Events include concerts, workshops, and community outings.

Our History

ICA is the dream of three educators who have seen the positive impact of an arts-integrated education on overall academics.

With their combined decades in arts education, our founders recognize that young artists often learn differently because they are multifaceted. ICA believes that fostering creativity in all areas of their school experience benefits a creatively-driven child, whether they aim for a profession in the arts or land in a fulfilling career outside of the arts.


Ica... future in the arts path to a career world of possibilities dream becoming reality


Dream becoming reality
future in the arts
path to a career
world of possibilities
"Illinois Conservatory for the Arts is my favorite home away from home. I've met so many great people – some of my best friends – through ICA. After just a few months, I ended up signing with an agent that I met through IMPACT!"
"My child joined ICA at a vulnerable time in her life and this program truly helped her gain self-confidence, overcome obstacles, become more self-aware, and find skills inside her that she never thought she would have."

“The community at the Illinois Conservatory for the Arts is amazing. ICA helps us pursue our dreams and gives us more confidence.”

Joshua, student

"ICA offers programming unlike anything in the Western Suburbs. I didn't realize that [my daughter] could work with so many high-profile professionals right in our area."
"IMPACT really improved my confidence in how I act, sing, and dance.  I’ve made so many great friends and it just feels like one big family. It is my dream to come to the school at ICA."

“I was a little nervous, but immediately, everyone was so kind and welcoming. I saw how much I grew that week, and I knew that I wanted to continue because it was such a great experience.”

Maya, student

Key Supporters

These organizations are significant supporters of Illinois Conservatory for the Arts and the work we do.We appreciate your commitment to our students and furthering arts education for our community.

Nondiscriminatory Policy

Illinois Conservatory for Arts employs staff and admits students of any race, color, national origin, ethnic origin, gender, religion, and sexual orientation to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It doesn’t discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, and ethnic origin, gender, religion, and sexual orientation in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and other school-administered programs.


The Pilot Program for ICA’s K-12 day school is launching Fall 2025.

Fill out the form below to get on the official interest list and access the survey form. Applications will open in Early Spring 2025.


Evening & Weekend Classes
Individual Courses & Conservatory Tracks

Fill out the form below to get on the interest list for The Studio: Fall 2024. We will update you with schedules and registration information mid-summer.

session 1 • june 10–14, 2024

session 2 • August 5–9, 2024

Check availability

IMPACT is popular and fills up fast! You'll be forwarded to the registration form to grab your spot.

Tyler McKenzie / Dance

TYLER MCKENZIE has been a part of Hamilton since 2017. Other credits include – Broadway & National Tours: Matilda, Mamma Mia. He has a BFA in Musical Theatre from Western Carolina University and has served on many faculties and teaching staff around the country, including the Musical Theatre Faculty at Penn State University. IG: @tylrmckenzie

Melissa Foster / Voice

Melissa Foster is a Professor of Instruction in the Department of Theatre at Northwestern University, specifically teaching voice and topics in musical theatre such as Pop/Rock Vocal Style, and Pop Rock Musical Theatre. At Northwestern, she is the recipient of both the 2021 Galbut Outstanding Faculty Award and the 2022 Charles Deering McCormick Distinguished Professor of Instruction Award. She values her time inside the classroom just as much as she does outside, and simultaneously serves as 1 of 5 Faculty in Residence on Northwestern’s campus, mentoring students via their residential experience. When not at Northwestern, Melissa has been a Resident Vocal Consultant for LYRIC UNLIMITED (a division of the Lyric Opera of Chicago), and teaches for the CCM Vocal Pedagogy Institute at Shenandoah University. She has been guest faculty for Broadway Evolved, Artsbridge, Broadway Breakthru, IHSTA, ArtsLink and NATS. She has also taught countless masterclasses around the world. Highlights include: co-teaching a live-streamed, sold out masterclass with world renowned opera legend Renee Fleming and recent talks at schools and conferences in  San Diego, San Francisco, New York City, Ithaca, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Madison, South Bend, Goshen, Milwaukee, Detroit, Chicago, Birmingham, Palo Alto, Xi’an, Guangzhou and Hong Kong. Foster has consulted for the companies of numerous National Tours, including Miss Saigon, Fiddler on the Roof, and A Bronx Tale, and has recently enjoyed consulting for pop/rock projects like working with the NPR Tiny Desk series and for the multi-Grammy winning band Coldplay. Her book, “Don’t Sweat the Technique; A Performers Guide to Hip-Hop and Rap” (Rowman and Littlefield Publishers) was released in November 2023. Foster currently lives in Evanston, IL, with her husband Matt Boresi, their daughter Vivian, and their 2 adorable bunnies, Cinna and Rue.

Kara Lindsay / Acting

Broadway: Wicked (Glinda), Beautiful (Cynthia Weil), Newsies (Katherine Plumber) Original Cast/ Fathom Events Film. NYCity Center: Once Upon a Mattress (Winnifred Standby for Sutton Foster). National Tour: Wicked (Glinda), Little House on the Prairie (originated Laura). Paper Mill Playhouse: Newsies, Jolly Holiday, Little House…Prairie. Sacramento Music Circus: Singin in the Rain (Kathy Selden). NCT: Mary Poppins (Mary Poppins).Kansas City Starlight: Cinderella (Cinderella). Kansas City Rep: Cabaret (Sally Bowles). 5th Avenue: Lone Star Love (Miss Ann Page). Geva: A Christmas Carol(Belle). TV: Murphy Brown”ABC’s “Schoolhouse Rock! 50th Anniversary Singalong”ABC’s “The Disney Family Singalong: Volume II”, Tony Awards, Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. BFA Carnegie Mellon University. Huge thanks and LOVE to my friends, family, Stewart Talent/ Industry Entertainment. @karalindsay1

Brittainy Barattia / Casting

Brittainy joined the Gray Talent Group as an Associate Agent in July of 2015. She now heads up the Chicago tv/film/commercial/VO departments.  After earning degrees in Theatre Arts and Psychology from the University of Iowa, she began her career in theatre, working in the fields of fundraising and production and stage management. In tandem with her work in the field of performing arts, Brittainy worked in the aviation industry, during which time she learned that there truly is no place like sweet home Chicago. Brittainy is delighted to be part of the performing arts community and is thrilled to help showcase the amazing talents of the actors at Gray Talent Group.