TULSA, Okla. – A special fundraising campaign, launched by the Tulsa Opera Board of Directors in late February, is set to bring the Student Matinee Program back for 2,300 Tulsa Public School students.
Due to a difficult economic climate, Tulsa Opera was forced to cut the popular education program – which adds an additional main stage performance and costs approximately $30,000 – for the 2009/10 Season. Board member Scott Filstrup responded to the education program cut, pledging $15,000 from The Filstrup Foundation and soliciting donations from area individuals and organizations to fund the program. Over $35,000 was received.
The matinee, in its seventh year, will add a special student performance of Don Quichotte on Tuesday, April 20, 2010, at 10 a.m. at the Tulsa Performing Arts Center. Tulsa Public School students will arrive on more than forty buses, funded entirely by donations, and see the full length opera.
“We are thrilled that Scott and Margee Filstrup have led the way to the restoration of one of Tulsa Opera’s most important and best-loved educational programs,” said John Peter Jeffries, executive director of Tulsa Opera. “The positive response from the Tulsa Public Schools has been overwhelming. We are grateful to be able to invite 2,300 students to experience the power and drama of opera.”
“All of our fine arts programs have grown over the past decade and there is a shared consensus among school board members and our senior administration that the arts provide key learning and career opportunities for our students,” said Dr. Ann Tomlins, fine arts coordinator for Tulsa Public Schools.
Other major donors who contributed to the Student Matinee fundraising campaign include: The Avery Family Trust, Mr. and Mrs. Donald A. Hamilton, Marilyn S. Strange and Mr. and Mrs. John Stava.