Seniors advocate for arts
By Eunice Park
COLUMBUS — Ten Perrysburg High School seniors were selected to go to the state capital May 13 for the annual Arts Day. The Ohio Citizens for the Arts organization helped send these PHS seniors: Tatianna Rodzos, Henry Newberg, Faith Best, Ceimoani Bumrah, Mahnur Khan, Abrielle Newman, Carter Adams, Erica Fastnacht, Eunice Park, and Connor Treece.
The group departed early in the morning with teachers Candra Boggs and Joel Hamilton to discuss with legislators about the importance of the Arts in education. Teachers and students talked about the effects it could have if it received more financial investments.
The day began with a performance by Momentum, a children’s program founded by Monica Kridler that focuses on engaging children in the art of dance.
Faith Best particularly enjoyed the performance.
“The kids were super cute,” She said. “I thought it was really interesting having the kids do the production, and it’s really awesome that they had so many kids do it.”
Afterward, the students met with multiple legislators in the state house and Riffe Center.
“We talked to Senator (Cliff) Hite and he was very supportive of the arts,” Faith said. “To hear someone with that kind of authority talk about how much he cared about the arts was really cool. One thing that stuck with me all day was how he said teachers are being laid off for the lack of funding in the arts and he said it was criminal.”
The students concluded their day with a luncheon where legislators and leaders of the Ohio Citizens of the Arts presented multiple awards to people involved in the art community. One award went to Marie Bollinger Vogt, founder of the Toledo Ballet.
“I think this event really helps students realize that their voice and opinion does matter,” Mrs. Boggs said.
“And that they need to advocate what they believe in. It also helps them see that you are the person that changes something that you feel is unjust. You can’t just sit around and complain about it.”