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President's Welcome Message 2016-17

Welcome to the Westborough Fine Arts Education Association’s 39th year of supporting the fine arts in the Westborough Public Schools. We are a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization comprised 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. Our support encompasses theater, visual arts, dance, and musical ensembles and goes beyond funding unmet budget needs to include advocating, volunteering, chaperoning, and supporting staff in all fine arts programs. We thank the Westborough community for their continued support and look forward to a continued partnership between the community, WFAEA, and the school district for years to come. 

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 National Association of Music Merchants Foundation (NAMM) to recognize Westborough Public Schools as “One of the Best Communities for Music Education” ten of the past seventeen years. In addition, during the 2015-16 school year, Westborough Public Schools students have received the following honors:
  • 23 students were named Boston Globe Scholastic Art Award Winners
  • 4 students received Congressional Art Awards
  • 2 students were accepted into the Massachusetts Art Education All-State installation
  • 52 WHS students were accepted to the 2015 Central District Massachusetts Music Educators (CDMMEA) Music Festival
  • 15 students were accepted to the MMEA All-State Festival
  • 2 students were accepted to the National Association for Music Education (NAfME) All-Eastern Festival
  • 2 students were invited to perform with the 2015 NAfME All-National Honors Ensembles
  • 37 Gibbons Middle School students were accepted to perform in the CDMMEA  Junior Music Festival
At the ensemble level, the district also continued its top-notch performances, bringing home seven gold, seven silver, and one bronze medals at music festivals in Massachusetts and Virginia. The district also won the Massachusetts Education Theater Guild award for Best Set Design for the 2015 production of “Pippin”.

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, building sets, selling concessions, and much, much more. Financial support takes the form of 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 successfully undertook the most ambitious project in our history, raising $30,000 to help replace the district’s marching band uniforms and women’s concert gowns. This project would not have been successful without the unwavering support of the district, our volunteers, and, most importantly, the Westborough community. To build on that support, we are now announcing a new two-year goal of raising money to replace the 25+ year old curtain in the Gibbons Middle School Auditorium. By the start of the next school year, Gibbons will have received a major facelift.  Unfortunately, the stage curtains in the auditorium were not part of the plan, and we would like to do our part to make the space attractive and functional for our students. You can donate to this worthy cause through one of our targeted fundraisers, or through an online donation at http://bit.ly/wfaeainthewings. Any amount, large or small will help us reach our goal. 

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 businesses and patrons purchased 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. 

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 (https://www.facebook.com/wfaea.org). Here you will find information on meetings and events. We typically meet the first Tuesday of the month at 7PM in the WHS library. You need not be a member to attend meetings or volunteer, so we look forward to seeing you there and welcoming your involvement. 


Neil Feldman, Denise Whitehall, Lynne VanDoren, and Sue Smith - WFAEA Executive Board