Fund Fillmore in FY 16-17

By the BCA Board,

On February 25, the board of the Burleith Citizens Association urged school and city leaders to restore full funding for Fillmore Arts Center in the DC Public School budget for the 2016–17 school year. In our letter, we noted that closing Fillmore with no plan for its participating schools to provide a similar arts curriculum “would leave over 1,700 elementary students with no access to education in the arts and would eliminate a beloved and useful arts program that has served generations of students.”

Fillmore Arts Center, which provides most of its programs at Hardy Middle School, serves as the consolidated arts campus for students from Key, Ross, Marie Reed, Hyde-Addison, and Stoddert. It offers arts instruction in dance, music, theater, visual arts, and digital/media arts for DC public school students; it also serves the greater DC area through its after-school classes and summer camp.

The BCA represents over 500 households in Burleith. Our children attend Stoddert Elementary and will eventually attend Hyde-Addison Elementary, both of which are at or over capacity and have no physical space to host an arts program. Our families have come to love and respect the education provided at Fillmore. Moreover, research consistently shows the value-added from exposure to the arts for student learning.

As our letter concluded, “After all the hard work to keep families in the District to attend our public schools, it is short-sighted to cut the very programs that attracted families to begin with.”

Our letter, which was emailed to mayor Muriel Bowser, DCPS schools chancellor Kaya Henderson, the city council, and some ANC2E members, among others, was signed by the BCA's board of directors and at-large members.

More information about this issue is available at the Friends of Fillmore website. You can also sign its petition.