When my youngest daughter was admitted to kindergarten at PS 6 (pictured above) in Manhattan, Carmen was the principal. At the welcoming party for new parents I introduced myself, and she told me that the Annenberg Challenge For The Arts had given $75,000 for 3 years to PS 6 and our sister school, PS 198 on 96th Street, and would I please think about how we at PS 6 could continue to fund the arts after the 3 years were up.
I went home that night thinking that this was a momentous honor, to be asked to help the principal raise funds for the arts. My mom was in the Broadway arena as a benefactor of the theater and Trustee of the Neighborhood Playhouse, so I grew up sort of "on Broadway". I also have my own company, Theater Kids, Inc. Two of my daughters were signed up to sing at the New York City Opera at the ages of 9 and 5, so I consider myself a person of and in the arts.
I designed the Arts Together Community Partnership (ATCP) and brought it to Carmen the next day, or a few days later. She loved it. I became her arts program lead parent, and I also was on the Executive Committee as the "Director" of the ATCP. My one condition was that I would not handle any money, checks, accounting, etc. Nada. Carmen said that was ok.
I have never been given an answer to that question ("where is the money - $225,000- Carmen?").
On or about May 24, 2000 Carmen and parent (and Corporation Counsel Attorney) Jane Gordon threw away the ATCP brochures, I was told. I have 5 of them.
I wrote a report and sent it to Annenberg, and in 2003 they published the Summary findings. I suggested that there be accountability measures more clearly in place to prevent misuse of funds. Without this, the programs would continue to fail.
I wrote this in 2004:
Carmen Farina: Politics Wins With Her Appointment as Deputy Chancellor in New York City
NYC’s $23M plan introduces 22,000 kids to music, dance, art
The city’s $23 million plan to boost arts instruction has introduced about
The Education Department’s report also says the school system has added
The Big Apple’s 1,800 public schools now employ 2,568 teachers who
“We believe that this is fundamentally every student’s right and not just a privilege.”
The report also says 96% of city middle schools offered arts classes in 2015,
Education experts have long believed arts education has a positive influence