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L.A.'s Arts High plans big birthday bash at Ahmanson

December 16, 2009 |  6:00 am

Elfman With the success of Fox TV's "Glee" and the attention brought by the recent remake of the movie "Fame," underfunded arts education programs around the country are having their moment in the pop-culture sun.

What better time for the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts to throw itself a big birthday celebration? Organizers at the school that some call Arts High announced Tuesday that they are planning to celebrate the institution's 25th anniversary at the Ahmanson Theatre in downtown L.A. on April 17.

The party is expected to feature celebrity alumni, though the school hasn't confirmed names. Prominent Arts High alums include actress Jenna Elfman, actor Corbin Bleu (of "High School Musical") and singer Josh Groban

The gala will also honor arts patrons Flora Thornton, who has donated to arts programs throughout the city; Ginny Mancini, the widow of Oscar-winning composer Henry Mancini; and Ed Kantor, a physician specializing in ear, nose and throat treatment.

Checkbook alert: Celebrity alumni who are planning to attend can expect to be hit up by the school for some cold, hard cash.

"We are also using the evening to raise much-needed private support to help sustain the highly valued arts programs at LACHSA,” said John Jackson, executive director of the Arts High Foundation, in a statement.

The school is on the Cal State L.A. campus and is operated by the county Office of Education.

The competition for patron dollars grew more intense this year with the opening of Central Los Angeles Area High School #9, an arts school run by the L.A. Unified School District.

-- David Ng

Photo: Jenna Elfman, an alumna of Arts High. Credit: Michael Buckner / Getty Images

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