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Arts high school aiming for a performance in Scotland

February 10, 2011 | 12:41 pm

Students, parents and staff at the downtown arts high school are scheduling a blitz of cultural and fundraising events in an attempt to raise money to send student performers to the Edinburgh International Festival in Scotland in the fall.

A student cast from Central Los Angeles High School  No. 9 has been invited to perform its production of "The Crucible" by Arthur Miller.

A Friday benefit concert called Rock the Arts will feature performers Jake T. Austin (from the Disney Channel's "Wizards of Waverly Place"), Roshon Fegan (from Disney's "Shake it Up") and Leon Thomas (from Nickelodeon’s "Victorious"). Tickets for the 6 p.m. show are $10 in advance and $12 at the door.

Overall, the still-unnamed arts high school, in its second year of operation, has not drawn the fundraising support hoped for from arts groups or philanthropies. The school costs substantially more to operate than a regular district school — even without the prospect of a trip abroad. The recession has been a key factor, as arts organizations are facing their own struggles. (Many have still made performers and artists available for student workshops.)

Notably absent has been billionaire philanthropist Eli Broad, who has held back since expressing unhappiness about how the school district has managed the $232-million campus.

Broad, who had lobbied successfully for the school's expensive modernist architecture and arts focus, is widely respected by other donors. His reticence to provide support may well translate to others, school and district officials have said.

The Friday concert will also benefit the nonprofit group A Place Called Home, which provides educational services, arts and recreation programs, and health and counseling services to local youth.

For information about this event, call (213) 217-8751.

The school also has scheduled a "Gala/Variety Fashion Show" for March 16, hosted by dancer/choreographer Debbie Allen and emceed by actress Margaret Avery. The information number for this event is (213) 217-8600.

These fundraisers, and others to come, are to take place at the school, which is located at 450 N. Grand Ave., just north of downtown.

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-- Howard Blume

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