November 17, 2008

November 17, 2008

Dear LoMA Family,


An oft-repeated African proverb states that it takes a village to raise a child. I think we have a pretty a remarkable village at LoMA. With our community based partners and dedicated staff our students have many wonderful opportunities to grow through new and exciting experiences. I was reminded of this wealth of enrichment as I wandered around the school last Thursday and saw the following:


Ø  Flourish, a drug education program from Edgies, was working with a freshmen advisory class to teach students about the risks of drug use through games and conversation.

Ø  Candido Tirado, a well-known playwright, was inspiring our drama students with tales of how and why he writes his poignant plays.

Ø  The Anti-Defamation League was finishing its third day of diversity workshops for twenty of our leading freshman. Next month these students will lead a series of workshops for their peers.

Ø  Peter Daltry, the choreographer for Phantom of the Opera and Billy Elliot, was leading a master class for the dance majors.

Ø  A popular Manga artist spoke with some of our students in the library about how she creates her artwork.

Ø  Teaching artists from Fidelity Future Stages led a group of seniors through a playwriting workshop that will lead to a staged production off-Broadway.

Ø  Every junior took a trip to New York Theatre Workshop to view the sold-out show “The Grand Inquisitor.” After the play, they took part in a talk-back with the actors to deepen their understanding of a very difficult philosophical work.

Ø  Thirty of our students at Henry Street took part in the last week of rehearsals for Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Ø  Another group of thirty students went to Oppeheimer Funds to take part in their weekly mentoring. Later that same night, one of Oppenheimer’s mentors was chosen as a NYC Mentor of the Year at a celebration attended by thousands of NYC volunteers.

Ø  Twenty more of our students took part in the after –school programming at Edgies.

Ø  Back at LoMA the Fashion Club was designing and sewing bags, the Chess Club was competing against each other and plenty of students were taking part in tutoring.

Ø  Finally, that night at our Open House, Gaby Dominguez and Shanece Adams spoke glowingly of their experiences at LoMA and students and teachers led perspective students on tours of the building. We had only been expecting about 70 people but nearly 300 showed up.


So many people are applying to LoMA because word has gotten out about how good we are. Last year over 1000 students applied for 85 spots, and even more will apply for next year’s class. I’ve been in schools with 3000 students who didn’t have as much going on in a week as we have on a typical day. I’m impressed with the programming that LoMA’s team has put together and proud of how well our students are doing in expanding and deepening their understanding of the arts and of themselves.


Great Work Everyone,



John Wenk