Hey, Fillmore supporters: I hope you all had a chance to read the Education issue of the Washington Post Magazine on Feb. 24th, 2013. There was an article about arts education in D.C., but somehow Fillmore’s award-winning, 35 years and counting program wasn’t mentioned!
Anne Masters found this lack of Fillmore inclusion as a serious oversight. Ms. Masters is a current Fillmore Board Member who joined the Board about 10 years ago, a former DCPS student herself, a mom who had three children participate in Fillmore, and a successful arts professional who has had a design firm for over 25 years. She wrote the following Letter to the Editor on Fillmore’s behalf. Thanks! Anne
Below please find my response to Can the Arts Save Students? from the 2.24.12 Post magazine education issue.
In my view, Anne Midgette really missed the boat when she wrote about the importance of arts education without mentioning the Fillmore Arts Center, the oldest public arts education program in the city at almost 40 years running. In recent years, this program, which puts students in classes taught by real, working artists, has expanded to 11 schools and two sites, serving 3,500 DCPS children across the city. It offers choice in a multitude of arts disciplines including dance, digital arts, theater, music and visual art. Our many alumni can testify to the lasting influence of Fillmore in their lives.
We’ve been successful in teaching young people through instruction, appreciation and exposure to the arts to be critical thinkers, decision makers and problem solvers both in the classroom and beyond. But as a Friend of Fillmore (and also as someone who earns a living as an artist), I’d like to remind the writer and the public of the fragility of arts ed in general, often considered expendable, our program is frequently under scrutiny and our budget threatened. While we’re pleased art education is finally getting some traction in DC, at Fillmore, we’ve always known that “the arts make us smarter.”
Friends of Fillmore