Heres some impressions that might give some insight on CalArts--on one day we visited, they put on quite the show.
It was a school day, and as we walked up to the front entrance, a group of students were doing tai-chi on the lawn.
While we waited for our tour, we peeked into the dance theatre and watched a group of dancers rehearse, doing series of leaps back and forth in relays across the stage, it was like watching gazelles crossing the plains.
As we walked along the hallways where the rehearsal rooms were you could hear either the tinkle of a piano practicing an amazing complicated piece or African drum or some other instrument drifting from behind the closed doors.
As it was getting towards noon, just outside the cafeteria a band took up a spot in a corner and put on an impromptu show. Not hard rock music, sort of jazzier--there was a horn and bass player too. Pretty soon there were 50 students sitting around them, eating and taking it in. I heard it was a pretty typical lunchtime.
Everyone seemed to be doing something amazing and creative. Walls are covered with animation art. Talent and exuberance oozes from everywhere. The facilities and technology appeared very comprehensive, up-to-date, and well-cared for. I thought the energy there was very positive and alive.
But as we left my husband noted one other thing with somewhat of a sigh: he hadn't seen one of the students carrying a textbook, paper, or pencil.
It really depends what floats your boat.