Petition to Anaheim Union High School District Board of Trustees, Liliana Carrillo
Please reinstate Ms. Harvey's teaching position.
On April 16, 2017, Cypress High School’s choral program learned that their new director, Ms. Melanie Harvey, was to be laid off due to budget cuts proceeding the end of the 2016-2017 school year. The district has ensured that the choral program will remain intact, but our director, Ms. Harvey, has lost her job. Ms. Harvey is the greatest thing that has happened to this program in a long time and we students believe that with the support of our community, the AUHSD Board of Trustees will hopefully acknowledge Ms. Harvey’s impact on our lives and education, and how essential she is to the program. With your participation in this petition, you are contributing to the fight to keep strong arts programs in the education system. We must emphasize the importance of music education and the fine arts as it is generally overlooked. Every signature helps us let our voice be heard. Thank you for your time and support for students, the arts, and a dedicated teacher. Thank you for using your voice to help a teacher that has allowed her students to find theirs. BACKGROUND Ms. Harvey is a first-year teacher at Cypress High School, and was vulnerable to the budget cuts due to her low seniority, but has grown the choral program to new heights. Ms. Harvey is the hardest working and most influential person we have ever had the honor to have as an instructor. Her impact on the Cypress choral program includes, but is not limited to: The number of students signed up for the upcoming school year (2017-18) has doubled in comparison to the current school year (2016-17). Ms. Harvey combines show choir and concert choir into the curriculum, giving students a strong background to classical music education, and a show choir (singing and dancing) experience. She is also dedicated to making sure students are proficient in music theory. Ms. Harvey offered to teach a separate music class to the Special Education students at Cypress High School, but since she has been terminated that class is no longer for sure being taught. Whoever replaces her has the decision to take it or not, and it is a difficult class to teach for some teachers. Ms. Harvey was actually excited and eager to teach and give this opportunity to the Special Education students. Ms. Harvey organized and directed four choir shows the past school year, as well as taking the advanced group, High Voltage, to four show choir competitions, and to one choral festival along with the beginning level group, Shockwaves. Ms. Harvey organizes after school and weekend rehearsals, taking time out of her own personal life for the students. Ms. Harvey teaches not only music, but life lessons and morals. She teaches integrity, teamwork skills, and confidence. The budget cuts by the State of California left Cypress High School without an on campus drama/theatre class, and threatened the existence of the dance program. They also completely cut the floral program. Students feel as if their arts programs are slowly diminishing. (As shown through the hashtag #savechsarts on Instagram) The arts is a calling to many students who are passionate about what they create. It is something that they can rely on for stability and communal support every single day when they walk into a choir, drama, or dance classroom. Cypress has had a different choir director every single year for the past three years. This has hindered the choral program from growing and stabilizing. If the teaching position is changed once again for the 2017-2018 school year, the program will repeat the cycle of having to reform and rebuild. Ms. Harvey was hired from outside of the district specifically for our class because there was no one else qualified for the position she took. If she leaves, then who will teach us? This causes emotional stress on the students, but also puts Ms. Harvey out of work. Every student deserves a strong music education. Ms. Harvey has provided Cypress High School with that, and could continue to impact more students’ lives with your support.
Petition to One91 School Board
Please support the growth of the One91 Strings Program
Please support our cause to build the One91 Strings Program with equity and vision by expanding the Strings Program to include all 5th grade students and provide unique, enriching educational opportunities for students at every stage of the Performing Arts Pathway. The One91 Orchestra Program is currently in its eighth year, serving over 200 students in grades 5-12. However, strings is only offered to 5th grade students in 2 out of 10 Elementary Schools. In order to sustain and strengthen the program, Strings needs to be available to all students in 5th grade throughout One91. The Strings Program is an essential part of our community which enhances the lives of our students and of all its community members. With your support, we can show that our district strings program is an integral and valued part of our community. It is one of very few string programs south of Twin Cities and unique in that students may start strings in Elementary School. One91’s orchestra program was featured in Kare 11’s "Cool in School." According to Kim Insley, Anchor/Reporter for Kare 11, “it is unusual to find that kind of commitment in elementary school, if you can even find one.” Notably, this program began during the great recession and is growing. If a program can thrive during a great recession, imagine the possibilities in times of abundance. Together, we hope to achieve a shared vision of One91 as the leading and preferred source of learning and education for its students and adult learners. Your support of the One91 String Program reinforces the belief in this shared vision. Thank you for your continued support. Sincerely, -- Students, families, educators and community members of One91
Petition to Carmen Farina, Fred Walsh, Melissa Mark-Viverito, Bill DiBlasio
Bring Fame Back to the "Fame" School!
What if Jennifer Aniston, Adrian Grenier, or Robert DeNiro didn't have the chance to study drama at a high school for the arts? What if Ben Vereen or Desmond Richardson weren’t able to study dance; or Nicki Minaj and Pinchas Zuckerman, music; or Milton Glaser, art? The world would be a poorer place without their enormous contributions. Fortunately, they went to the best high school in the country for artistically gifted students - Fiorello H. LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts in NYC. Unfortunately, the next generation of talented artists may not have the same opportunity to develop their skills. Since the 2013 arrival of principal Dr. Lisa Mars, LaGuardia's admission process has been radically altered in favor of academic scores and attendance records. With these new admission criteria, talent counts for only 14% of the admission decision.* As a result, hundreds of qualified and gifted students have been denied admission. This change not only defies the 80-year-old mission of the Fame school, it also violates the Hecht-Calandra Act of 1971, which gives specialized high schools the unique power to choose their students based on a specific set of criteria. We demand that the Department of Education return the admission criteria to those consistent with the law and the original mission of the school. The Facts The Hecht-Calandra law provides that candidates for a specialized arts high school be required to “pass competitive examinations in music and/or the arts in addition to presenting evidence of satisfactory achievement.” However, since 2013, applicants who do not have at least a grade of 80 in every core academic subject are rejected, regardless of their audition score. So a student can receive a perfect 100 on their audition but be rejected because of a 79 they got in junior high school math. According to the 2015/16 Department of Education School Survey: - only 25% of LaGuardia's teachers say they trust the principal - only 28% of teachers say the principal communicates a clear vision for the school - only 32% of teachers say the principal understands how students learn - 73% of teachers feel disrespected by the principal According to the DOE’s framework for successful schools (which includes 6 categories) LaGuardia continues to decline in areas relating to leadership. In the most recent DOE School Dashboard, Dr. Mars received a stunning 1.76 for Trust and 1.2 for Effective Leadership (the scale is 1.00 - 4.99). LaGuardia is not meeting target in any of the 6 categories! Since the arrival of Dr. Mars, there has been an unprecedented exodus of teachers and staff. This year alone nearly 18% have left. Dr. Mars, who has had little experience in educating artistically talented students, has hired questionable replacements – for example, she replaced the Assistant Principal of Art with a middle school English teacher. The DOE and UFT are both aware of these issues, but have chosen to ignore them. The esteemed legacy of LaGuardia High School of Music & Art and Performing Arts must continue. By our signatures below, we demand a return to admission requirements consistent with the Hecht-Calandra law and effective leadership for the school. * This percentage was for the 2013/14 school year, provided by a Freedom of Information Law request. Requests for subsequent years’ admission statistics have gone unanswered.
Petition to UTD Students, UTD Alumni, Richardson residents, UTD Faculty, UTD donors, UTD employees, Dallas residents
Save UTD's Historic Art Barn
UTD's Art Barn (or Visual Arts Studio- VAS) was built in 1976* and has since been considered a cultural hub for the city of Richardson. The building is home to the visual arts program and features a main exhibition gallery, mezzanine student gallery, black & white photography lab, color photography lab, a painting and drawing studio, a two-dimensional design studio, three-dimensional design and sculpture studio, printmaking studio, a media-ready lecture room, and studio spaces for students. The Art Barn is a unique building and the only space on campus that can accommodate sculpture, printmaking, and gallery space for sensitive issue oriented works. After years of an uncertain future and rising student concerns and backlash, Arts and Humanities Dean Kratz announced last night at a gallery show in the Art Barn, that the building is scheduled to close May 13th and planned to be demolished at a later date. The decision to destroy the building was ultimately made by other unidentified members of administration, without the participation of the A&H department as well as the student body as a whole. Even professors, academic administrators, and staff who work and manage the Art Barn were not notified of the official closure until recently, resulting in an undetermined fate of the classes scheduled in the VAS for the upcoming summer and fall. There was no official announcement of the closure from any UTD official and no discourse on plans for the building or the future of the A&H department with the student body. This decision demonstrates a lack of transparency and accountability when it comes to construction projects on campus. There are currently no official plans for accommodating the opportunities this space currently provides, but no future buildings could ever replicate the historical and cultural value the Art Barn possesses. I urge everyone to sign this petition to save the art barn and, as paying students, to demand involvement in campus affairs of this magnitude. (From The Dallas Morning News in 2014) "Opened as the Fine Arts Building and now officially the Visual Arts Building, the Art Barn was designed by Lawrence Wood of the Dallas firm Fisher & Spillman. It opened in 1976 at what was then the far north end of campus. With wide panels of vertical white siding, porthole windows on its southern flank, and a staggered profile to the north, it has a distinctive graphic profile amplified by the bright Texas sun. The simple geometry of Its sheer planes offers a welcome and relieving contrast to the the largely undistinguished concrete architecture that characterizes so much of the campus. Rice's Art Barn was clearly an influence on the design, which also reflects Wood's interested in photography. Inside, studio and gallery spaces are arrayed around an open "commons," intended to provide students with plenty of reconfigurable room for work and display, with exposed mechanical equipment and lots of natural light. The layout was the product of a close collaboration between the architect and the arts faculty. George Holman, then the arts department chair, described the design as "a chance to define from the ground up an ideal environment for the making and study of art by the people who would actually be using the facility.” In 1979, it was honored with a merit award from the Dallas AIA."
Petition to Kirk Schultz
Immediately re-instate the theatre program at Washington State University
Washington State University President Kirk Schultz has targeted the self-sustaining theatre program at Washington State University and cut the positions of well-liked and respected professors Ben Gonzales and Mary Trotter. The theatre program has already been cut down over the years, and operates on a budget so small that it doesn't have a large impact on the WSU budget. Without the presence of the theatre, not only will the theatre building be an empty wasteland, but so will the soul of WSU be empty. Theatre has an amazing impact not only on the students who choose it as a major, but on the campus community and greater community as a whole. Theatre teaches students the importance of empathy, diversity, problem solving, communication, working to a deadline, narrative, group leadership, and is now an area that the business world is seeing as a well-spring for adaptable employees who can work with complex issues and meet deadlines and budgets. Groupon purposefully hired actors and comedians for customer service, sales, and account management positions within the company. Even top team leaders and managers come from the arts world in that company, and several others. Several graduates for the program have worked in Hollywood, New York and Chicago. The program has also brought in incredible guest artists, and former students like Ted Tremper who now works for comedienne Sarah Silverman. Theatre also enriches the educations of students in the Pullman area from kindergarten through grad school by providing performance opportunities, educational opportunities that teachers can add to their lesson plans, and opportunities that are sorely underserved in the Eastern Washington State Community giving children their first glimpse at the arts. President Schultz is selling the Washington Community short by eliminating this program in such a narrow-minded cynical fashion. In this era of devisiveness, theatre can heal divides, but that takes foresight, support, leadership and care, which the Washington State University Administration seem to be lacking. I will make it my personal mission to let the world known about corporate bottom line administrators like you, President Schultz who are undermining the well-rounded educations of liberal arts and state universities everywhere. President Schultz this is your chance to correct a wrong. Save the artistic soul of WSU.
Petition to Manor ISD school board
Provide Art Classes at Manor New Tech: We demand Creativity
We want art classes at Manor New Tech High School to be provided for us. We shouldn't have to choose between a good education and a stimulating creative environment. The two should go hand in hand and we won't wait any longer.
Petition to Thespian Society
Support the production of a Performing Arts Center
Southaven is a city that is teeming with relentless potential and talent, yet it lacks the proper space. Over the years, The artistic presence in Southaven has grown immensely and is continuing to grow. The time has come for our city to finally receives a space where all artistic talents and potential can flourish, a Performing Arts Center. In this center the school can hold art shows, debates, band concerts, theatre productions, and choir concerts in a building that welcomes their natural gifts. We want art.
Petition to Manhattanville College Administration
The Importance of Having a Dance and Theatre Administrative Assistant at Manhattanville
The importance of a Dance and Theatre Administrative Assistant extends beyond just the Dance and Theatre Department as a whole. Without an Administrative Assistant, the DTH Department will be forced to cut back on academic courses and productions starting IMMEDIATELY! PLEASE sign this petition to fight for a new Administrative Assistant, and to fight for our education!