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Due to the unified voice of Los Angeles citizens, spearheaded by advocacy efforts of Arts Action Fund partner Arts for LA, the Los Angeles United School Board (LAUSD ) backed down from total elimination of arts education in the Los Angeles County. They have requested alternatives and additional options regarding funding for arts education. Debbie Allen, famed choreographer and director along with Matt Sorum, former drummer for Guns N’Roses spoke at the LAUSD public hearing February 14th.
Allen shared with the school board, “The arts helped me overcome racial segregation,” as she grew up in Texas during the Civil Rights Movement. She insisted that arts education was central in the development of children. Right in the major city of the entertainment industry Allen founded the Debbie Allen Dance Academy.
Sorum told the school board, “I am here as a proven fact that public schools and music and arts works.” His mother was a music teacher he explained. Exposure to the drum in public school helped him stay in class. Sorum co-directs a new organization Adopt the Arts. Their mission is to have adequate funding for arts education in all Los Angeles County schools and eventually the nation. They are working successfully with their first pilot school Rosewood Avenue.
The 2012-2013 budget will be adopted March 13th giving the LAUSD time to seek alternatives and fundraising options for early childhood education, adult education, and arts education. Arts for LA has written a Thank You letter to the school board that can be sent electronically via email to all 7 District leaders and Superintendent John Deasy. For those that reside in the Los Angeles County and wish to send the letter, you can find it here.
Check out Arts Action Fund partner, Arts for LA recap of the developing story LAUSD Delays Budget Cuts, Requests Options for Arts Ed.