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ARTS IN BURBANK SCHOOLS GET WARNER BROS. BOOST.

Byline: EUGENE TONG Staff Writer

BURBANK -- A foundation intended to bolster arts education in the city's public schools has begun with a $300,000 donation from a local studio.

The organizers of the Burbank Arts Education Foundation plan to create a $10 million endowment to ensure that Burbank Unified School District arts programs have a steady source of cash and equal access for all students.

``It's so all the students in Burbank can appreciate the arts, not just the ones that are affluent enough to pay for private lessons,'' said Peggy Burt, a foundation board member and arts teacher.

The foundation was established Thursday with $300,000 in seed money from Burbank-based Warner Bros. Entertainment. About 40 percent of the profits from the endowment will be funneled to Burbank Arts for All, part of a county program to preserve arts education at public schools.

The money will pay for instruments and teacher training, said Michelle Crozier, the foundation's chairwoman and vice president for corporate responsibility at Warner Bros.

``The program is a viable framework that, with the proper financial and public support, will provide quality arts programs in Burbank schools for many years to come,'' she said.

Officials are planning how to raise the rest of the $10 million, though payouts are slated to begin next year, said Joel Shapiro, a BUSD deputy superintendent.

``There has not been adequate funding for the most part for many years,'' he said. ``Whenever school districts have been on lean times, arts education has been the subject most impacted.

``It's part of the education of a well-rounded person to be educated in all four areas of the arts -- visual arts, dance, music and drama.''

eugene.tong(at)dailynews.com

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Publication:Daily News (Los Angeles, CA)
Date:Jan 27, 2007
Words:287
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