November 2, 2011
By Carole Haas Gravagno Zulmarie Nazario, a 16-year-old junior at Palumbo high school in South Philadelphia, is a testament to the power of arts education. She has been painting and drawing at the Fleisher Art Memorial just about every week since she came here from Puerto Rico three years ago. "I feel like a totally different person when I come to Fleisher," said Zulmarie. "It allows me to express my feelings and not be afraid of being judged or self-conscious. " Today, Zulmarie will represent the Fleisher Art Memorial at the White House, where first lady Michelle Obama is scheduled to present this year's National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Awards.
August 31, 1986 |
During an arts-education conference last month at Columbia University in New York City, one speaker said he saw a bumper sticker that read: "Back to the Frills. " The audience - arts teachers, artists, and arts-in-education administrators - reacted with laughter and a tinge of sad recognition. Frill is a scary word to those who practice or support arts education. The word, implying "nice but unnecessary," is often used to justify cutting or removing arts education from school budgets.
October 25, 1989 |
As part of the wide-reaching education reforms championed by Gov. Kean, New Jersey students might soon have to do a song and dance to get a high school diploma. Or, write a screenplay. Or, perform the role of Hamlet. Or, design an original building. A state task force yesterday issued a report recommending that the state's schools increase the amount of arts instruction that is a mandatory part of their curriculums. The main premise is that the arts are as basic to a good education as reading and math; for students to be fully literate, the report argues, they must be grounded in five major art forms - dance, music, theater, creative writing and visual arts.
November 29, 2007 |
Barbara Hall is a freelance journalist who writes on education His name is Andrew, and we nearly lost him. Around 2000, Andrew was a 12-year-old, at-risk student at Harding Elementary School in Erie. He was saved from dropping out, his teachers believe, by an all-community arts-education program focusing on opera. The program, an ambitious and successful effort, thrives today. Erie has received a $15 million, five-year math-and-science grant from General Electric. Thinking creatively, Erie administrators are directing a portion of this to Harding's school opera program.
June 19, 1988 |
The six Burlington County students honored at the Governor's Awards in Arts Education ceremony June 8 in Trenton are full of promise. Chosen on the basis of skills in writing, dance, dramatic arts and music, they are bright, dedicated and purposeful. They paint. They sculpt. They create etchings. One, barely into her teens, has written a play. Another is all but married to her violin. Here are their stories: Tiffany Staton was in the third grade when a music teacher came to her classroom and, like a peddler plying his wares, displayed a variety of instruments.
June 2, 1993 |
There's nothing remotely make-believe about the violence in 12-year-old Robert Pass' neighborhood. Gunshots. Stabbings. Drug deals gone bad. It's all part of growing up on the mean streets of Norris Square in North Philadelphia. So when Robert and five other neighborhood youngsters in a community art program wanted to figure out how to put their newly learned skills of stage combat to use, they decided to go with make-believe all the way. The staged fighting - fake punches, choreographed kicks and pretended choking - would be part of a play about the fantastic world of video games, where characters fight and never really get hurt.
May 11, 2015 |
When it comes to insuring a healthy future for arts and culture in Philadelphia, does it really matter who becomes the next mayor? The answer is important because, like a prospector who discovers a gold mine then watches others pull riches from it, the Philadelphia arts and culture community has been looking around and wondering when its turn will come. Center City is a boomtown, its vibrant street life and desirable real estate in large part a consequence of arts pioneers taking a chance on new facilities and expanded missions more than two decades ago. Yet even as the city's riches have grown, support for arts and culture groups has not kept pace.
August 16, 2014 |
The self-deprecating comedy whiz from Upper Darby Township probably didn't think of herself as the cool girl. In her youthful days, Tina Fey was the theater nerd embraced by the Broadway geeks, she writes in Bossypants , her best-selling 2011 memoir. But to Bethany Paxson, Fey was the coolest. As a young teacher and director at the Upper Darby Summer Stage community theater program, Fey made theater so much fun that Paxson, a member of the chorus in Fey's Pippi Longstocking , was inspired to go pro. For that, Paxson, now an actress based in Orlando, Fla., has long wanted to say thanks.
June 30, 2013 |
As the Philadelphia School District braces for massive cuts to art and music education, two women who were considered the heart and soul of those programs made a bittersweet exit Friday. Virginia Lam, the district's music specialist, who has overseen the annual all-city music festival at the Kimmel Center, is retiring. So is one of her best friends, Tessie Varthas, the art specialist who coordinated the citywide competition and exhibition of student artists. "When people talk about the arts in the district, they talk about Tessie and they talk about Virginia," district spokesman Fernando Gallard said.
December 9, 1991 |
Federal arts money is flowing strongly these days to places that have seen minimal support in the past. Take Nevada, for instance, more famous for its lounge lizards and nuclear test sites than for its symphony orchestras. Funding to that desert state from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) shot up 42 percent from 1990 to 1991. North Dakota has seen a 62 percent rise in NEA funds over the same period. West Virginia is up a whopping 74 percent. At the same time, those places well-known for their arts activities have seen stagnant or declining NEA support, according to an Inquirer analysis of agency budget figures.