AbstractThis study examined the effects of performing arts participation on the academic achievement of African American male high school students. The study investigated how engagement in school-based performing arts influenced the academic identity development and school experiences of African American males who attended an arts-themed urban high school. This interpretive case study used African American Male Academic Identity Development Theory, a proposed original theoretical framework, to address the following research questions: What are the experiences of African American male students who participated in standards driven performing arts education programs while attending an urban high school? How do performing arts education experiences influence the academic identity development of African American male high school students? Purposive criterion sampling was used to recruit participants for this study. Semi-structured interviews were conducted with 5 African American males who attended and graduated from Piedmont School of the Arts (Piedmont School of the Arts is a pseudonym), an urban performing arts based high school. The findings of the study suggest that Black male students who participated in school-based performing arts 1) Experienced a positive school climate, 2) Demonstrated enhanced academic achievement, and 3) Acquired a more positive racial identity. The findings from this study help to inform educational policies and practices that are aimed at improving school outcomes for African American male students.