Why a school for the performing arts in upper Northwest and why a capital campaign to raise money for this cultural education? Coincidentally, the showcase exhibit currently on display at Duke Ellington High School is ‘Why Ellington?’
“Ellington is public education that works,” claims Head of School Rory Pullens.
Moved by a lack of real programs for DC students, Peggy Cooper Cafritz co-founded the Duke Ellington School for the Arts about 35 years ago. She “felt deeply that arts could provide a ticket to a better life.”
Now tickets, such as those to Thursday night’s Stevie Wonder concert at the Kennedy Center, may be just the thing to help the school to stay alive. With arts education funding difficult to secure and voices calling for a closing – or relocation, the popular public high school seeks support from famous alumni and others in the arts community, like Wonder.
“Stevie recognizes the importance of arts and academic excellence,” Pullens says, “and the importance of giving back.”