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Washburn Arts Council to Hold Third Annual Fall Arts Gala to Fund Critical Arts Needs
By: Washburn Arts Council
The Gala will be held Saturday, November 15 from 6:30 – 10:30 PM at St. Mary’s Greek Orthodox Church, located at 3450 Irving Ave South in Minneapolis. The Motown-themed celebration will feature student performers and artists, and a special performance by premier jazz vocalist and Washburn alumnus Ginger Commodore. During the evening, there will be opportunities to purchase student art, sign up for a Great Gathering, buy wine chances and mystery box items, bid on live auction items, and donate cash. Advance tickets are $35 ($40 at the door). The Gala will include light appetizers and a cash bar.
In 2013, Gala proceeds funded wireless mics, instruments, and art equipment, including a printing press and a pug mill for studio arts classes. Washburn studio art and IB teacher Nancy Hinz describes the impact. “The printing press not only enhances our curriculum, it raises the level of professionalism our students are able to achieve. It also saves us money. In the past, we would have paid for a workshop outside of school, including transportation, to experience professional printmaking. Now all of our students—not just advanced students—are able to access this incredible medium.” Cristina Benz, studio art and ceramics teacher, adds, “Having a pug mill in my ceramic classes gives us the ability to recycle and reuse clay, saving on costs in the long run. I've also been able to teach my student aide how to recycle the clay in preparation for me to pug the clay.”
The arts not only change the classroom experience, they change students’ lives. Davis Brinker, 2014 WHS graduate and winner of the Hennepin Theatre Trust’s Triple Threat Award, explains: "In my four years at Washburn, the performing arts transformed from a simple hobby to a career path that I am now embarking on. Washburn's arts programs taught me countless lessons on how I can better myself as an artist and as a human being. I believe that those lessons will never lose their value in my life as I continue to grow."
Karen Reisch and Deb Keefe, Co-Chairs of the Washburn Arts Council, have seen significant growth in the Washburn arts programs—and the audiences—in the past four years. “The arts at Washburn have become a significant draw for students and their families. We are tremendously proud of our artists and performers, and are committed to making sure they have the resources they need to succeed.”
Washburn’s mission ensures students’ academic and social growth in an environment that fosters active student involvement. Instruction at Washburn takes place within integrated/inclusive classrooms where instruction focuses on academic excellence, equity and access. Washburn High School students, teachers and administration are focused on excellence in academics, athletics and the arts.
About Washburn High School
Washburn High School, located in the heart of South Minneapolis near the crossroads of Nicollet Avenue and 50th Street, has a school population of more than 1300 students with nearly half of the students participating in the arts programs including studio arts, choirs, bands, orchestra, theater, and musical theater.
The Washburn Arts Council, affiliated with the Washburn High School Foundation, supports high-quality arts programs at Washburn High School. Volunteers partner with staff and students to promote visual and performing arts. For more information, visit http://washburn.mpls.k12.mn.us/
The Washburn High School Foundation supports Washburn High School by providing financial aid in the form of scholarships and grants in four areas: student scholarships, curricular activities and projects, extracurricular activities and projects and staff professional development..The Washburn High School Foundation is a 501 (c) 3 tax exempt organization. For more information, visit www.washburnconnections.org.
Anna Korinko, Margaret Berg