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City renews push to renovate Boston Arts Academy, Quincy School

The City Council yesterday approved proposals by Mayor Walsh, that, if they actually go through this time, could lead to major renovations to the Boston Arts Academy, now housed in an old, formerly condemned post-office warehouse in the Fenway and the Josiah Quincy Upper School, housed in a 19th-century former elementary school.

The council approved spending $1.7 million to hire somebody to design a revamped arts school - still in the same old building, however - and up to $13 million to do the same thing at the Quincy School and to use the leftover money for actual construction. The $13 million would come from the sale of a city parking lot on Hayward Place, which is now sitting in a BRA fund but earmarked for the Quincy.

In both cases, the city would apply for state school-building funds to help pay for the renovations.

The votes come long after the state said it wouldn't pay to build an entirely brand new building to house both schools near South Station.

As he always does whenever the subject of school-building money comes up, Councilor Charles Yancey (Dorchester) said he would vote for the measures but that the city should finally just give in and build a brand-new high school in Mattapan.

Last fall, the council actually approved Yancey's proposed $120-million high school but Yancey withdrew the proposal before a required second vote because he could not get the unanimous vote he wanted.



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Seems like an awful wast of money, you could build an amazing school for 10% of that or 10 new schools.

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That'd help pay the bill for a new school in mattapan.

It would also make forest hills ten times safer

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It's not often remembered, but the old post office/warehouse that currently houses Boston Arts Academy on Ipswich Street housed Boston State College in the 1970s and early 80s, along with the buildings on Huntington Ave. (now Mass College of Art). It was quite an ordeal trying to make it from the Ipswich Street building to the Huntington Ave buildings in the allotted time between classes. There was a shuttle bus, but it was not reliable and got stuck in traffic, so we used to just dash across a very unsafe footbridge in the Fenway. Ipswich Street really felt like the middle of nowhere back then. The back of Fenway Park was unglamorous, and the only thing around was the ramshackle Town Taxi facility. Even the now bustling Landsdowne Street was a deserted alley back then. No clubs. The Tea Party had closed and the very short lived gay bar that replaced it was shuttered.

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I really hope something can be done at least for the Arts Academy. Of anything, it is such a valuable resource for the city to have a public school dedicated to the arts--especially in the only state in the country with a public art school. This isn't just a question of 'cultural enrichment'--there are a lot of good jobs for which people with a strong arts education are needed (graphic and web design), and I'd hope BPS can help the kids who might not really fit in a traditional academic setting through this.

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I guarantee that there are other states that have public high schools that are arts-centered. San Francisco has School of the Arts; NYC has a number of them.

That said, yes, it's absolutely essential in this current age of screw-the-humanities-STEM-or-nothing funding for education that we also provide strong programs for our artistic youth.

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I was referring to MassArt, sorry for the confusion

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BLOKHedZ Music Magic & Mayhem
Panel Discussion Visual Translation: Crafting Sonic, Signifying and Visceral Imaginary in Graphic Novels
Moderator, Marcyliena Morgan, Director, HipHop Archive & Research Institute
Panelists, Mike & Mark Davis aka MadTwinz, Blokhedz: Music, Magic & Mayhem Creators
Ericka Alexander, Actress, Writer/Producer & Co-Creator of the Graphic Novel Concrete Park
Nicole Hodges Persley, Professor, Actress & Director, University of Kansas
John Jennings, Professor, Cartoonist, Designer, Graphic Novel Writer, University of Buffalo
Tony Puryear, Screenwriter, Co-Creator of the Graphic Novel *Concrete Park*
Deborah Whaley, Professor, Visual Artist, Curator, University of Iowa

5pm Friday 10 April 2015 Gallery Opening
6pm Panel Discussion
The HipHop Archive
104 Mount Auburn Street, Floor 3R
Cambridge Massachusetts 02138



Hiphop Archive & Research Institute at the Hutchins Center

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Will you be attending, Don?

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BLOKHedZ creators Mike and Mark Davis could design Stageset for an Alvin Ailey Dance ! BLOKHedZ characters and ADT dancers jibe, ADT dancers and BLOKHedZ characters jibe

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