In 1979, John Blank, an administrator in the Pinellas County Schools, felt the need for an emphasis in the arts in the Pinellas County School System. Through his leadership and guidance, a preliminary survey of the County's students, facilities and communities was taken and Mr. Stan Le Boss was sent to Dallas, Texas for an on-site visit of their visual and performing schools. A need for an artistically talented program was recognized and several teachers, supervisors, and county administrators undertook the task of applying for a federal research grant. With the approval of the school board, a full time director was provided to work with three Gibbs High School arts instructors, three supervisors and an administrator to prepare a model project for the artistically talented students for the State of Florida. After some thirty on-site visits to well-established secondary schools and programs, a model was written for the State of Florida, published and distributed to all sixty seven county school superintendents and known arts supervisors.
Dr. Scott Rose, with the approval of the School Board, chose as one of his five year objectives the development and implementation of both the Artistically Talented Program (now known as The Pinellas County Center for the Arts) and an Academically Talented Program (now known as the International Baccalaureate Program at St. Petersburg High School).
After several years of hard work and dedication by those originally involved in implementing PCCA, this school of the arts officially began in late August of 1984. There were approximately 200 9th and 10th graders starting school; it was hoped that eventually the student population would reach 400. As of today, the number of students attending PCCA is approximately 500, fairly equally divided among the four major disciplines, Dance, Theatre, Music and Visual Art.