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President's Welcome Message 2015-16

Welcome to the Westborough Fine Arts Education Association’s 38th year of supporting the fine arts in the Westborough Public Schools. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization made up of parents and community members who believe the arts are an essential part of a strong public school curriculum.  Our main goal is to support and sustain the arts by helping the teachers and staff deliver a high-quality, fun, educational fine arts program from kindergarten through high school. We thank the Westborough community for their continued support and look forward to a continued partnership with the community, and the school district for years to come.

WFAEA supports all aspects of the Westborough Public Schools arts curriculum, including theater, visual arts, dance, and vocal and instrumental ensembles. Our support goes beyond funding unmet budget needs to include advocating, volunteering, chaperoning, and supporting staff in all fine arts programs across all grade levels.

The time, energy, and dedication of the district’s fine arts staff, from the music and art teachers in the elementary schools up through the staff at the high school have led the NAMM Foundation to recognize Westborough Public Schools in 2015 for an “outstanding commitment to music education with a Best Communities for Music Education (BCME) designation”—our 6th straight year, and 9 times over the past 16 years.

In addition, individual students have received the following honors over the past year:
  • 10 students were named Boston Globe Scholastic Art Award Winners
  • 54 WHS students were accepted to the 2015 Central District Massachusetts Music Educators (CDMMEA) Music Festival
  • 11 students were accepted to the MMEA All-State Festival and performed at Boston Symphony Hall
  • 9 students were accepted to the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-Eastern Festival in Providence
  • 8 students were invited to perform with the 2014 NAfME National Honors Ensembles in Nashville
  • 54 Gibbons Middle School students were accepted to perform in the CDMMEA Junior Music Festival
At the ensemble level, the district also continued its stellar performances, bringing home five gold and four silver awards for orchestras, bands, and choruses as well as three golds and a bronze for small ensembles at the Massachusetts Instrumental and Choral Conductor’s Association (MICCA) Rating Festivals, which we will be hosting for the first time in the spring.

WFAEA provides a wide variety of in-kind and financial support to the arts programs. Examples include chaperoning local and national field trips, providing meals to students at performances (have you ever seen how much pizza 500 hungry musicians can consume in under 30 minutes?), building sets, selling concessions, and much, much more. Financial support takes the form of senior scholarships, sponsoring fine arts clinicians for the middle and high schools, replacing or repairing instruments at the elementary schools, covering the cost of student activity fees for students in need, purchasing mirrors for the dance and theater program, and funding transportation, among others. Last year, we underwrote a Skype conversation with an original cast member of The Laramie Project Cycle, the WHS fall play.

We also receive tremendous support from our local community. Brian Marino of the Dunkin’ Donuts/Marino Organization provided eight scholarships for graduating seniors. Many local business and patrons purchase ads in this year’s Season for the Arts program. Please look through the program and express your appreciation the next time you patronize one of them. Green Thumb donated flowers for events. QuikPrint prints this program at a significant discount. Roche Brothers, Tavolino’s, Wegman’s, and Westborough House of Pizza provided food for our students and patrons. VIP Cleaners, Westborough Laundromat, and Edgar Mazariegos help clean all our uniforms and concert wear.

Speaking of uniforms, it is finally the time to replace our concert attire and marching band uniforms, some of which are older than our students. Our young artists should be dressed in updated, attractive and quality performance wear that is worthy of their dedication, commitment and the high level performances which they so consistently deliver. WFAEA will be providing almost half of the $80,000 needed to replace 350 concert dresses, 80 band uniforms, and numerous tuxedos. While this is an aggressive goal, thanks to community support, we have less than $10,000 remaining to reach our goal. Please consider supporting our efforts through one of our targeted fund raisers, or through a donation at   http://bit.ly/wfaeanewlook. Look for updates throughout the year.  And please join the efforts to bring new uniforms to Westborough High School’s performing artists. They earn our support every year with the art and enrichment they bring to the cultural life of our community. 

As you can see, we are a vibrant volunteer organization, but WFAEA needs your support so we can help the district continue this level of excellence. Support can come in many forms. Financial support is always appreciated, but you can also help by attending our monthly meetings, volunteering at performances, being a liaison between us and the many staff members and ensembles we support, or in any number of other ways. We need your help to shape and support the programs you desire for your children.

Find us online at http://www.wfaea.org or like us on Facebook. Here you will find information on meetings and events. We typically meet the first Tuesday of the month at 7PM in the WHS library. We look forward to seeing you there or welcoming your involvement however you can.

Sincerely, 
Neil Feldman, Denise Whitehall, Lynne VanDoren, Janet Larkin, and Janice Spofford – WFAEA Executive Board

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