Sarasota, Florida – January 15, 2019 The Booker High School Visual & Performing Arts (VPA) program is proud to host Kaleidoscope of Creativity, its first-ever fundraising event to support initiatives that provide meaningful opportunities for VPA rising stars. The event will take place from 7 to 9 p.m. on March 9 at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe rooftop deck and feature masterful performances by VPA students as well as culinary and cocktail creations by Michael’s On East.
Proceeds from the event will be earmarked for providing master classes on campus, money to gain access to performances that enhance appreciation and exposure, as well as fees attendant to pursuing placement in the country’s top collegiate programs, such as travel, audition and application fees, and tuition relief. While the VPA has earned national rankings for its excellence in arts education, many students of the program are from families whose marginal means place them at a disadvantage when it comes to pursuing arts at the college level.
“I walk away from our VPA performances and exhibitions just awestruck by the talent and dedication I see,” said Booker High School Principal Dr. Rachel Shelley. “Then I wonder what their next step is going to be, whether they’ll be able to afford to even audition for placement in the program of their dreams.”
Booker High School serves the most diverse and underprivileged student body in the district – with 70 percent of the population qualifying for free or reduced-price lunches, which is the federal government’s indicator of poverty. Kaleidoscope of Creativity hopes to “level the playing field,” so students coming out of the VPA program have experiences on-par with students nationwide.
“Art is everywhere; it informs our lives, whether politically or socially. Arts education is enlightening overall,” said VPA Theatre Chair Scott Keys. “It brings people together, and we certainly need that in this world.”
Tickets for Kaleidoscope of Creativity are $100 and available online at www.bookervpa.com/tickets or by calling the VPA Box office at (941) 355-2967, option #3.
About the Booker High School VPA Program
The VPA program was implemented at Booker High School, a traditionally African-American school, during the 1970s to encourage integration in Sarasota’s public high schools. The first magnet program in the district, it offers five areas of concentration to serious aspiring artists: dance, digital film and motion design, fine art, music, and theatre. In its 40+ year history, the program has earned several regional and national awards and graduated students who have gone on to achieve success in their fields, including Academy-Award winner Bill Corso, Broadway star and American Idol semifinalist Syesha Mercado, and NBC Chicago Fire star Charlie Barnett. To learn more, visit www.bookervpa.com.
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