Improving Our Schools: The Fine & Performing Arts

Updated: Sep 22, 2021

Spring 2016

Recent arguments over our school budget process pitted those of us who advocate for the fine and performing arts against those who demand fiscal prudence and a transparent process.


See my thoughts on that fight here (link to notes from fine arts fight in separate post)


These are not mutually exclusive goals.


We propose an effort to better utilize existing resources: fiscal, human and social capital in order to significantly improve the vitality of our public school fine and performing arts departments.

  • Invigorate the Board of Directors of the Williams-Rockwell Foundation, taking special care to include development professionals as well as professionals from the fine and performing arts.

  • Devise and implement a comprehensive donor strategy to include grants, donor relations and other fund-raising to meet or exceed financial goals.

  • Focus re-granting on the fine and performing arts, identify other means for invigorating other academic departments with separate strategies.

  • Appoint an executive director to manage organization and ensure success.

  • Improve transparency of organization: up to date reporting on city website, annual public meeting to display foundation's success, etc.


The intent of such an initiative is to create a more meaningfully-sized foundation capable of not only small-scale re-granting to educators and students but one capable of subsidizing a much more comprehensive curriculum course offering. Gardner could thus generate a fine and performing arts department with a ground-breaking financial model which would become the envy of school districts state-wide and potentially work as a draw for school choice and for businesses attracted to the schools for their employees benefit.


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