Monday, February 2, 2009

Pawlenty vs. Perpich

Governor Pawlenty's recently released budget proposal hit a personal note.

It calls for the virtual elimination of the Perpich Center for Arts Education; converting it to a charter school and taking away almost all of its funding. These cuts would force the institution to end its housing option for students.
In 2001, I moved into the residence hall of Perpich to attend school. The Perpich Center for Arts Education was 240 miles away from my parents' home, and to go there I paid to stay in the dormitory with half of the student population whose parents lived too far away to commute. Going to Perpich was a huge opportunity for me and many other rural students. Unlike the metropolitan area that has many options within commuting distance (including schools that have adequate art departments) my rural background did not allow for in depth arts education. My only real option for additional arts training while in high school was Perpich.

It was at Perpich that I learned to screenprint.

The elimination of the boarding house at the Perpich Center for Arts Education would make it impossible for rural Minnesota high school students to have a second chance at receiving the arts education their local school lacks. The Star Tribune had a front page article today on the consequences of Pawlenty's proposed budget for the school. Please read it.

5 comments:

Jude Ryan said...

If there is an effort to fight this cut I would like to know about it.

Matt B. said...

(Sorry, I don't know you and I don't usually do this, but your post came to my attention.)

There is an effort to fight it. There has been several lobbying days as well as a student performance at the capitol. If this is too much, then call or email your legislatures. We need all the help we can get.

Tonja Torgerson said...

Thank you for your comments! There is an active effort to save Arts High. There was a rally at the Capital last Monday and future efforts are being planned. You can go here for more information:

http://artseducation.typepad.com/perpich/2009/02/perpich-foundation-seeks-volunteers.html

Everyone should do what they can to help keep Perpich alive!

Sharon said...

Posted at tcdailyplanet dot com:

While I didn't quite "get" it when Perpich was founded, as an artist, I liked the idea. I liked it even more when my son got older and it was clear he was going to be an artist too. I well remember high school, where, despite the teachers' best efforts, their training to teach the general student could not keep the artistically-talented students engaged. I saw the same thing happening as my son entered 10th grade. Gifted kids of that age are ready for college prep, and it doesn't exist for artists in the regular schools, public or private. Perpich was a lifesaver. Not only was it a carrot to hold out to my son to keep his grades up so he could get in, it kept him completely engaged through the rest of high school (where he took AP calculus as well as his arts courses), and the teachers were very tuned in to the post-secondary opportunities. He took himself to the art college fair at MCAD, got himself a scholarship, and the rest is history. He's now a graduate of a fine design school in San Francisco. Perpich is invaluable for providing a valid academic pathway for the gifted Minnesota arts student. We did not have to use the dorm option, but I am so glad it's there and that every gifted arts student in Minnesota has equal opportunity to further their career.

Spadoman said...

I am a blogger and I wrote a story recently about my involvement with the Perpich School for Arts Education.

I found your blog while doing some research and linked to your great post about the idea of closing this great school.

Please feel free to check out the story:

http://spadoman-roundcircle.blogspot.com/

Hopefully, we'll generate more attention and more letters to elected officials and do our best to save Perpich from the proverbial ax.

Peace.