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Alicia Keys Donates $60k to Performing Arts School

Alicia Keys Donates $60k to Performing Arts School

Alicia Keys and Roc Nation have come to the rescue of a New York City school’s performing arts program following a heartfelt plea from a seventh grader.

The Professional Performing Arts School in Hell’s Kitchen, where Alicia Keys once studied, faced the imminent closure of its performing arts program due to financial constraints, as informed by the school’s education and artistic director, Heather Lanza.

This included the acclaimed Waterwell drama program.

A Plea for Support

Responding to the crisis, 12-year-old Tennyson Artigliere sprang into action, launching a GoFundMe campaign on March 12 with the ambitious goal of $102,000.

In the campaign’s description, Artigliere highlighted the devastating impact of budget cuts on the program, which has been a source of hope for countless students.

The initiative gained momentum when the program itself shared the fundraising efforts on Instagram, tagging Alicia Keys.

Within a short span, over $50,000 poured in from generous donors.

Alicia Keys Steps In

Just days after the campaign’s inception, Alicia Keys and her label stepped in with a remarkable contribution of $60,000, ensuring the program’s continuation until the Department of Education could provide adequate funding support.

Reflecting on the significance of Keys’ intervention, Artigliere expressed gratitude, emphasizing the ongoing legacy of her support.

“I had no idea that it was going to be this big and blow up this huge,” 7th grader Tennyson Artigliere told ABC 7 NY“Today we found out that Roc Nation is going to be donating $60,000 and will also pledge to continue to fund the program until the DOE can sufficiently keep the program going.”

Notably, other celebrity alumni, including Jeremy Allen White from “The Bear,” also lent their voices to the cause, urging their followers to contribute.

While some parents expressed frustration over the lack of communication from the school’s principal regarding the funding cuts, Marcus Artigliere, Tennyson’s father, commended his daughter’s proactive approach, seeing it as a testament to the power of collective action.

The financial shortfall stemmed from city budget cuts, leaving the program in dire need of financial assistance.

An email obtained by W42ST revealed how Waterwell Director of Education Heather Lanza was the one to inform PPAS parents and students that the school’s Principal Leah Dyer told the organization about a 20% budget cut the department would be receiving for the remainder of the 2023–2024 school year.

A Zoom meeting held by Dyer claimed the program faced a deficit of at least $80,000, while Lanza says the deficit is at least $102,000, hence the GoFundMe campaign.


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