A friend of mine teaches strings at a Chicago inner city school and they are in danger of having their program cut due to lack of funding. A mutual friend of ours sent me the following email and asked for help spreading the word.
I am writing you today to ask that you join me in supporting a music program that is very dear to my heart. One of my lifelong friends, Art Weible, developed an inner-city orchestra that is due to lose it funding in September unless private donations can be secured to keep the program running for the next school year. I would like to tell you about Art, his program, and my hope that you can contribute in some manner to this very worthy cause.
Art Weible and I are lifelong friends going all the way back to first grade. In many ways our lives are parallel: We grew up in Oak Park, attended the same college, married our college sweethearts, and we both have very satisfying careers with the Chicago Public Schools. Art pours his heart into his life’s work and his passion is music.
Art teaches at Lafayette Elementary School in Chicago’s Humboldt Park neighborhood. He is teaching in a very challenging part of town. Early in Art’s career he won a grant that let him build a student orchestra from the ground up. The grant funded instruments for the kids, rehearsal time after school, teacher stipends, and transportation costs for their performances. Art runs his orchestra until 6:00 almost every day, thus giving his students safe after-school activities. Art’s students have played all over Chicago including Orchestra Hall, the Union League Club, and the elementary school where I teach junior high social studies. They are an amazing group.
The financial challenge the Lafayette Orchestra faces and their fundraising efforts have made the local Chicago news (Windy City Live) and national news (AP and CBS Evening News).
I am asking for you to help in three specific ways.
- Click on the links below to learn more about the Lafayette Orchestra.
- Make a donation to help keep the program running.
- Please forward this e-mail to as many people as you can to help get the word out.
I hope my e-mail motivates you to help out and I welcome your follow-up comments or e-mails. I am sending this e-mail to about everyone in my contact list. I hope we can make a difference.
With many thanks…tk