HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) – Their dream is to excel in the arts. Many high schools in the state are not equipped to provide students with intense study in that area. That’s where the Greater Hartford Arts Academy half-day program comes in.

Students from nearly 40 high schools around the state travel from their home high schools every afternoon, four days a week, to get intense training at one of the best arts magnet schools in the country.

“We are to prepare them to be the best college candidates that they can be,” said Kim Stroud, the director.

The Greater Hartford Arts Academy prepares students in six art disciplines: dance, music (instrumental or voice), musical theater, theater, theater design & production, and visual arts.

The work is intense, so by the time seniors leave this space, they feel fully prepared for a career in the arts.

Briar Boehm is headed for Savannah College of Art and Design and will major in the performing arts with a minor in costume design. She’s joyful about her time at the school.

“The fun thing about being in the theater department is that they teach you a lot about people. I’ve become so much for inciteful. The theater department, especially, is very collaborative. Our senior piece this year was from the Epic of Gilgamash and so we took a piece of text and we made it into this amazing physical workpiece and it was just really, really cool and we each took turns directing little parts of it and it was really collaborative and it was really amazing,” Boehm said.

Thomas Kannam is headed to Yale University to major in theater with a minor in musical theater.

“I love the community of it. It’s so unique. I come from Durham, it’s a tiny little town, lots of farms, and coming here, I’ve met so many people who aren’t like me, and who are like me, so many people I’ve never met before and it’s such a family,” Kannam said.