The Arts

How Does Orange County Compare to Philadelphia’s School District Budget?

Every county is experiencing the downfalls of budget cuts from the US Department of Education’s deductions. Although the budget cuts in Orange County, FL are expected to increase in 2014 a reported $70 million dollars, there may be other locations that are under worse circumstances.

For instance, the urban school district of Philadelphia, PA has been having major trouble with grabbing hold of the funds needed to fill the gap of a $304 million dollar budget deficit.

This year, the Obama administration gave 45 million dollars meant for the debt forgiveness of Philadelphia. Governor Tom Corbett of Pennsylvania had been holding the release of the 45 million until Philadelphia Federation of Teachers union agreed to take a 10-20 percent pay cut.

The debt of the Philadelphia district has resulted in nearly 4,000 layoffs in teachers, administrators and staff. It is encouraged for the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers to agree the requirements of Gov. Corbett so that 1,000 employees of the district can be rehired.

This info-graphics below shows the comparison between Philadelphia County and Orange County:

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In comparison, the Orange County school district is a suburban location that is much more fortunate than Philadelphia. According to Fine Arts Coordinator of Orange County, Scott T. Evans, Orange County has at least one teacher in each school across the county. Philadelphia statistics say that one in four schools do not have a full time music teacher.

Unlike Philadelphia, Orange County was able to enact a one percent property tax increase to support budget cuts from the US Department of Education. Philadelphia, on the other hand, tried to enable a proposed $2 per-pack-tax on cigarettes, which was the plan of the city’s Mayor Nutter.

Expose Your Children to The Arts: 2013 Winter Park Autumn Art Festival


WInter Park Autumn Art Festival Poster, 2013. Created by Stephen Bach. Provided by event website.


The Winter Park Chamber of Commerce presents the 40th Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival on October 12th through October 13th, located in Central Park of the downtown Winter Park, FL area. The Art Festival is a great opportunity to engage with your local community and support the work of Florida artists by coming out and having a great time.

The Winter Park Autumn Art Festival is the only competitive festival to showcase solely Floridian artists.  Categories of art included will be ceramics, drawing and graphics, fiber, fine crafts, jewelry, and paintings of all media. The festival will also feature live music and entertainment provided by various bands and orchestral groups.

For families with small children, this event is perfect for exposing kids to the arts. Not only can children be inspired by the work of other artists, but The Crealdé School of Art will feature free arts workshops for children ages 5 and up to explore their own creativity. From 10:00am to 4:00pm on Saturday and 11:00am to 4:00pm on Sunday, children can work with clay building, oil pastels, colored markers and pencils. The best part about the festival is the entire event is free for everyone to enjoy.

“Introducing children to art as young as possible is vitally important because the younger the child, the more uninhibited their imagination and creativity. If you can instill in them a love of art while their creativity and imagination knows no bounds, then you’ve hooked them for life,” stated Jan Hurt, Registrar and Office Manager for the Crealdé School of Art.

Official posters, tote bags, t-shirts and other merchandise of the Autumn Art Festival will be available to purchase during the two-day festival. A portion of the proceeds from official merchandise will be donated to Central Florida Veteran’s Memorial Park Foundation.

Come out and enjoy this wonderful FREE event. Bring your children out to this event; expose them to creative workshops and the masterpieces of other artists.


Additional Details:

Event: The 40th Annual Winter Park Autumn Art Festival

Date: Saturday, October 12 and Sunday, October 13, 2013

Time: 9:00am – 5:00pm

Location: 251 S. Park Avenue, Winter Park, FL 32789

Note: Park Avenue will be closed to vehicles, but side street parking is also available.

Healing through the Arts

(HEART program promotional video. Provided by Save The Children.)

Save the Children is an independent organization that serves to educate and enlighten children across the world through education. These children may suffer from disease or be in poverty and in desperate need of help.

A new education program from Save the Children, entitled HEART, Healing and Education through The Arts, targets “children trapped in the cycle of extreme poverty or facing an emergency need our help…”

The HEART program uses a new approach of educating children through the power of artistic expression, using music, drama, dance, drawing and painting. Some children in the HEART program may have never had the chance to be involved in any type of art form or art expression. The HEART program helps many underprivileged children to overcome distressing situations.

Donate to Save the Children today. You can make a difference. There are various ways to give and help the children of the world who are in need.

School children in El Salvador learn how to take precautions against trafficking, using materials from Save the Children. Photo Credit:  Save the Children.

School children in El Salvador learn how to take precautions against trafficking, using materials from Save the Children.
Photo Credit: Save the Children.



Audience Feedback: How the Arts Impacts Lives

This article is a summary of responses that I received from you, my viewers. I appreciate all of the responses I received from everyone; there was a lot of great feedback.

From the Facebook poll: Passion for The Arts, I received 32 responses in total. The question was, “When you had the arts in school as a child, do you think it had a positive effect on you while growing up? (The Arts: music, visual art, dance, or drama).”

There were 28 people that chose the response, “Yes, the arts had a positive effect on me.” Three people chose the response, “No, the arts had a negative effect on me.” One person chose the response, “I’m not sure.”

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A total of 88 percent said, “Yes,” nine percent said, “No,” and three percent said, “I’m not sure.”

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 For gender comparison of the Facebook poll, 88 percent of my audience was female and 13 percent were male.

Honestly, for my blog survey: How the Arts Impacts Lives, I did not receive as many responses as I would have liked. However, the responses I did receive were still great; I am grateful for the participation.

In summary, the majority of my viewers:

  • Felt that the arts had impacted them positively as a child
  • Experienced direct skills from the arts such as heighted creativity and/or confidence
  • Had dance, music, or visual arts as a child growing up in school.
  • Felt that their children were positively effected by the arts in school
  • Felt that school Funding budget cuts are unfair and should be corrected

Lastly, I interviewed Scott Evans, the Fine Arts Coordinator for the Orange County school district. I enjoyed speaking with him; he had a lot of great information to share. For feedback, I received a few likes on Facebook, which was great.

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One comment I received from MiddleChild28 was a great response to share:

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