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Budget Cuts Damaging to Wootton Arts and Humanities Program

The school will host a Gala event Saturday, with proceeds benefiting its Arts Department.

An organization called Thomas S. Wootton High School Patrons of the Arts, is staging an 'Opening Night' performance Gala Oct. 15 and you are invited. The group hopes it will be the first of many special events to raise money for the Arts Department at , in the aftermath of severe budget cuts throughout the Montgomery County school system.

One of the organizers of the event, Amy Fowler, said funding for the high school's Arts Department has "almost completely dried up."

She noted that the Arts and Humanities signature program budget has steadily fallen over the past five years beginning with an annual budget of $26,000 from Montgomery County Public Schools down to zero this past year. Principal Dr. Michal Doran has stepped forward to keep the program alive with his discretionary budget funds.

Doran says Wootton's Arts and Humanities Program is a very worthwhile program that provides the type of specialized arts opportunities that students do not soon forget. Although the budget is not what it used to be, the students are still able to go on a local field trip or two with Arts and Humanities director Michelle Hanson that may inspire them to accomplish important things in their careers, he said. Doran also provides the funds for an evening recognizing the Arts and Humanities signature program graduates. 

The 501c organization was formed to go after bigger donors of the arts, should teachers need to replace equipment or supplies, such as a new podium or new auditorium seats that the school can not afford to replace on its own.

The Gala will feature Broadway song and dance with alumni students, some of whom are Broadway veterans, current students, and future students from Frost Middle School.  The event will honor Wootton graduate Cicily Daniels, from the cast of 'The Little Mermaid, Rent, and 'All Shook Up' and was featured on the hit television sitcom 'Ugly Betty.'  Stanley Brodsky, Wootton's distinguished former theater director will be honored at the event.

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The event will be held Saturday, Oct. 15, at 7 p.m. in the Wootton Auditorium. Adult tickets are $25. Student tickets are $10. Discounts are offered for alumni, senior citizens and groups.

People are encouraged to buy them in advance.

For more information or tickets contact:

www.woottonpatrons-arts.org or Bethgoldberger@gmail.com

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