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Barnes & Thornburg Sets the Stage for Arts Grants, Announces Partnership With Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts

September 5, 2019 Dallas

DALLAS – Barnes & Thornburg has launched a new civic initiative, the Barnes & Thornburg Student Enrichment Fund, to shine a spotlight on arts education and benefit students of Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts.

The fund will finance grants that are allocated and dispersed to provide students with financial assistance aimed at enriching their learning experience and to support and advance their artistic and academic development. The grants help students with items such as travel expenses to competitions, conferences, performances, auditions and/or college visits; necessary academic and artistic supplies and accessories; college application expenses; and extracurricular intensive training programs.

“Barnes & Thornburg is excited to embark on this new partnership with Booker T.– a nationally acclaimed institution known for its academic achievements and contributions to the arts community,” said Mark Bayer, Dallas managing partner. “By establishing this fund, we hope to provide students with a springboard to pursue successful careers and become artistic pioneers, visionaries and leaders. This effort stems from a desire to support our community, area youth and the arts and we are incredibly appreciative for the support we received from the Dallas Independent School District, Superintendent Michael Hinojosa and Booker T. to bring this fund to fruition.”

“It is our primary goal to supply students with intensive training and courses so they can continue their artist careers in college, conservatories or in the professional world,” said Dr. Scott Rudes, principal of Booker T. Washington High School for the Visual & Performing Arts. “None of that would be possible without the generosity of community organizations such as Barnes & Thornburg. We are thankful for the support they have provided, and are excited to offer our students additional aid for advancing their careers.”

Recipients to date include Chloe Leal, whose grant is helping fund private oboe lessons; Hannah Howell, who will take a fully funded trip to visit the Berklee College of Music Campus; Amanda Peet, who will participate in BODYTRAFFIC’s summer intensive program; Karen Hernandez, who will pursue additional violin lessons; Zoe Bator, who will participate in Harvard’s summer intensive program; Maya Lewins, who will further pursue script analysis; and Daija Dominguez, who will participate in a competition put on by Omega Psi Phi.

Howell noted, “A strong musical education is very important to me and I already have a good foundation from having attended Booker T. and I would like to continue this intense training through college.”

A signature event recognizing the launch of the Barnes & Thornburg Student Enrichment Fund will be held on Saturday, September 14. At the event, students will perform a medley of acts, including tap and contemporary dance, vocal jazz, and street mime and visual art performances.

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About Barnes & Thornburg

With more than 600 attorneys and other legal professionals, Barnes & Thornburg is one of the largest law firms in the country. The firm serves clients worldwide from 15 offices in Atlanta, California, Chicago, Delaware, Indiana, Michigan, Minneapolis, Ohio, Texas and Washington, D.C. For more information, visit us online at www.btlaw.com or on Twitter @BTLawNews.

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts

Prior to becoming a premier arts high school in the nation, Booker T. Washington High School produced outstanding alumni, such as Baseball Hall of Famer, Ernie Banks, the famed All-Century shortstop for the Chicago Cubs. A statue celebrating Mr. Banks, a Presidential Medal of Freedom Awardee, now holds an honored place on the grounds of his former Alma Mater.

Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is part of the Dallas Independent School District. This Texas Medal of the Arts honoree is the first secondary school in the district to be awarded the prestigious National Blue Ribbon Award for Exemplary Education from the Department of Education. Since 1976, the school has earned the distinction for Exemplary Arts Education from the Rockefeller Foundation, one of the Top 8 Magnet Schools in the country by the Department of Education, and one of the top 5 arts schools in the nation by the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, among others. Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing & Visual Arts is located in downtown Dallas, in the heart of the Dallas Arts District.

The school has consistently earned national recognition in the arts: over 600 awards in dance, music, theater, visual arts, and creative writing through the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts, 29 Presidential Scholars in the Arts, over 260 music DeeBee awards from Downbeat Magazine (the largest number of any school, including colleges and universities in North America), playwriting awards, and many others. The school’s dual emphasis on the arts and academics continuously produces stellar graduates such as Edie Brickell, Grammy Awards winners Norah Jones, Erykah Badu, and the late Roy Hargrove, television actress Elizabeth Mitchell, visual artist, Christian Schumann, muralist, Chris Arnold, Broadway actress/dancer, Dylis Croman, American Ballet Theater dancer, Daniel Keene, and Theater Residency Artist, Gesel Mason.


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