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With promised funds Mary J. Blige helps keep Harlem School open

April 21, 2010
A beloved Harlem arts school will re-open this weekend with a new board, a $1 million lifeline and a promise from R&B star Mary J. Blige to help keep the funds rolling in.

"This organization really has made a difference," Mayor Bloomberg said Wednesday as he announced a rescue plan for the troubled school that shut down three weeks ago amid a fiscal and management crisis.
"When it came for others to step up and bail this organization out of a bad situation, a situation that had gone on for much too long, there was a core of quality here that everybody understood had to be preserved," Bloomberg said
.
The city helped broker a deal that replaces the school's board with five new members and re-opens its doors with $1 million in grants from the Herb Alpert Foundation -- which offered $500,000 -- the Starr Foundation and others.

The new board will be led by Charles Hamilton, a partner in the real estate firm La Cite Development, as well as leaders in finance. A dean from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts is on the new board as is Ephraim Emmanuel, the president of the school's parents association.

"Yesterday, we wept," Emmanuel said in a speech that drew heavily from the Bible. "Today, we rejoice and tomorrow ... is a time to vigilant. We cannot let this happen again."
The school, which was founded in 1964 by nationally acclaimed soprano Dorothy Maynor, has trained Harlem children for decades on weekends and after school in music, dance, theater and the visual arts.

The new board pledged to aggressively watch the finances and raise new funds.
Madeline Nelson-Small, the director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now and the mother of a student at the school, said she'd enlisted Blige to host a fund-raiser for the school in the near future.

Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/ny_local/2010/04/21/2010-04-21_mary_j_blige_helps_save_harlem_school_of_the_arts_with_promise_to_keep_funds_rol.html#ixzz0llvWJYcF

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