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‘Incredible Gift’ For Utica Students

(from left: Cindy Roefaro, Tracy Rueckert- Stanley board members, Mayor David Roefaro, Serena Bellmont- Arts In Education manager, Elizabeth Tantillo- Stanley interim executive director)

Utica, NY (WIBX) – The Mayor’s Charity Ball in January raised $74,620 for The Stanely Center for the Arts’ – Arts In Education Institute.

The goal of the Institute is to work the arts into the everday school cirriculum,  and it allows students to enjoy events and performances.

In the training summer sessions for teachers, “…We have teaching artists that we hook-up with the schools and we show the teachers how to incorporate different art forms in their regular academic cirriculum,” said Elizabeth Tantillo, interim executive director of the Stanley.

That could include, for example, using music beats with math instruction, she said.

The Roefaros made a check presentation at Albany Street School this morning. They started the annual charity celebrations in 2008 with the each year’s proceeds going to a charity of choice.

“We did a great job, the children will enjoy it,” Cindy Roefaro said.

To trim its budget, the Utica School District chopped all funding for the program, while at the same time, the New York State Council on the Arts eliminated all local financial support, Tantillo said.

“Last year, NYSCA only funded downstate program and of the upstate and central New York programs. Overall, it was over a $100,000 [cut to the program],” Tantillo said.

However, the Arts In Education Institute still existed in Utica schools last year, she said. Private donations allowed students to still enjoy the arts at the Stanley and in their schools, and many Utica teachers ‘paid they’re own way’ to attend the summer training seminars, Tantillo said.

Tantillo called the funding from the ball an ‘incredible gift.’

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