NEWS from Detroit Public Schools
Office of Public Relations

Media Contact: Steve Wasko

Prog. Contact: Dr. Collins/494-8100

When budgets weren’t so tight, the Paul Robeson Academy had a thriving Arts Program that included 3 bands, 2 choirs, drama and dance and like many public schools nationwide, they lost it to funding cuts. But that did not deter the school’s administration, teachers, staff and parents from making sure that Arts education remained a priority and that students would be exposed to the enriching and beneficial qualities of the Arts.

To help reach this goal, for the past three years Robeson students have participated in the University of Michigan’s, University Musical Society (UMS) Youth Education Program which is all about the Arts for children. This year, all of the 500 students paid the $3-$6 cost per event, and the school paid for transportation so that about 75 to 100 different students attended all but one of the 8 UMS Arts presentations in Ann Arbor.

The productions featured songs/music, dances, costumes, skits and interactive activities that highlighted the language, arts and culture of China, Cambodia, the Arab world, France, and parts of America. They also included performances by some well-known artists such as Wynton Marsalis and the SFJAZZ Collective.

“If we didn’t have this program, I would be hard pressed to find another source of Arts and culture education. My children would be very unhappy and would miss the experiences. They learn and have fun at the performances and they look forward to traveling to U. of M. and the adventure of being on the campus. It is a very positive project that has had a tremendous impact on our students,” said Dr. Jeanette Collins, the Principal of Robeson.

Because of their efforts and commitment to the Arts, Robeson will be honored by the UMS with their “School of the Year” award which will be presented during two ceremonies. The first will take place on Wednesday, January 7, at 10:30 a.m. at Robeson, 2701 Fenkell and includes a special performance as a gift to the school. The second will be held at the Rackham Auditorium on Saturday, January 24 at 6:00 p.m. at the UMS fundraiser on the U of M main campus.

The UMS program features a variety of Arts events designed for K-12 students in public, independent and home schools that are held throughout the year. The multiculturalism and diversity focus helps children learn to respect and appreciate the Arts in other cultures and to recognize and respect their own unique qualities and gifts.

For information about DPS enrollment, call 313-873-7098 or visit our website at

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