The Detroit School for the Fine and
Performing Arts is one of the best high schools in the Detroit
Public School District. Corroborating numerous studies that state
participation in the arts enhances academic performance, the high
school boasts an 82 percent graduation rate for students that enter
in ninth grade, 15 points above the district average. Additionally,
over the last few years, 100 percent of the students applying to
college have been accepted and have earned $10 million dollars in
scholarships per graduating class. Representatives of the school
have performed at Carnegie Hall, Detroit’s Fox Theater, as
well as other famous venues, and the school lists R & B singer
Aaliyah as an alum.

Laura Wong

A new facility for the school is now under construction and will
be a part of the Max M. Fisher Center in Detroit. This new facility
will help foster a new relationship between the renowned Detroit
Symphony Orchestra and music students in the city. Orchestra
members will provide tutoring and other assistance to student
performers in hopes of developing a continued dedication to the
arts in Detroit. But before the new facility, which will be shared
with the Communications and Media Arts High School, is completed,
students from the School for the Fine and Performing Arts will have
to live out their remaining time in their old building.

Unfortunately, a string of break-ins at the Wright Trade School
building, which currently houses the School of Fine and Performing
Arts, have been making the wait hard to bear. This past weekend saw
the most recent and devastating break-ins since the summer of 2003;
vandals caused over $200,000 worth of damage. Sheet music, CDs and
musical instruments were among the property destroyed this
weekend’s incident.

These acts of vandalism could stem from jealousy or simply
misguided energy. Regardless of the motive, it is particularly
troubling that anyone would seek to destroy a creative outlet for
children who may not have other mechanisms to express themselves.
Expensive instruments were destroyed, leaving,some students
wondering how they will be able to get new ones. The school
district, already strapped for cash, does not seem likely to foot
the entire bill. Charitable support will probably play a vital
role, and donations to the school have already been made. It is
only through the combined support of the local community and the
city government that these students will be able to live the dreams
their school provides. For further information about donating
equipment, the school can be reached at (313) 494 2357. Additional
contact information can be obtained from the school’s
website: www.dsabands.com.

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