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History of
the Chavez College of Magic

During his early years in professional magic, it became Ben Chavez's aim to make it possible for prospective magicians to be taught in an organized, practical manner. It had long been possible to be trained in most brances of entertainment, but magic had remained almost untouched in the field of education. With this thought in mind, he founded the Chavez College of Magic in 1941. It established for the first time a genuine school of magic.

In 1946, the course of study was approved by the California State Department of Education, the only school for magicians in America where Verterans of World War II could study under the GI Bill of Rights. Over the years, methods of teaching have been perfected and new material has been added to the curriculum. When Ben Chavez passed away in 1962, Marian Chavez contined to operate from her studio in Panoram City, California.

Ben Chavez

Marian Chavez

Among the school's outstanding students was Neil Foster. An unusally gifted performer, he ramained as an instructor for three years following his graduation in 1947. Foster went on to be recognized worldwide as a great teacher and performer of magic. When Marian Chavez passed away in 1978, it was her wish that Neil Foster continue operation of the school. Accordingly, a studio was opened in his home state of Michigan.
Neil Foster
After seeing Chris Jakway perform in 1978, Neil Foster wrote in THE NEW TOPS: "He possesses that certain 'it'... which is a prime requisite of all sincere students of the art of magic." Foster then asked Jakway to join the Chavez School, and trained him in the Chavez methods of teaching. Together, they operated the studio until Foster passed away in 1988.
Chris Jakway
As Dean of the Chavez College, Chris recognized the untapped talent and potential of Larry Wirtz. Larry was brought on board as an instructor and assistant to the studio's operations in 1989. Drawing on years of experience, Chris Jakway and Larry Wirtz carry on the training in the tradition established by the College.
Larry Wirtz