Save the Arts in Schools Fundraising Campaign

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The Foundation for the Palm Springs Unified School District, the nonprofit fundraising arm of the district, has launched a special COVID-19 PROTECT THE ARTS Fundraising Campaign to raise urgently needed resources for the nearly 23,000 students in the district’s elementary, middle, and high schools. Funds raised will address urgent student needs during school shutdown and beyond.
Since in-theatre performances have been cancelled this fall, David Green’s idea for a TV show is allowing the students to continue to practice their skills and in a new medium (television). David Green is the Founder and Executive/Artistic Director of The Musical Theatre University (MTU). This is all being done Covid-compliant and with the magic of TV editing. This is the first weekly variety show to be produced in the valley…and we believe it’s one-of-a-kind right now in the entire country.
Front Row Center is produced in partnership with the Palm Unified School District, Gulf Broadcasting (KESQ – News Channel 3) and Musical Theater University (MTU) and is the anchor for PSUSD “Protect the Arts” Fundraising Campaign. This gives The Foundation greater visibility as the sponsors of MTU and this TV show.
Ellen Goodman, PSUSD Foundation Director, explains, “During this pandemic, PSUSD has exhausted its rainy-day and general-fund accounts. We need to raise money to purchase supplemental art educational materials to keep our students’ education intact and moving forward,” said PSUSD Foundation Director Ellen Goodman.
A brainchild of David Green and Ellen Goodman this weekly, half-hour televised variety series features students from our four high schools, David Green’s Musical Theatre University, and is sponsored by the Palm Springs Unified School District – this is our fall/winter fundraiser – to raise the critical funds needed to save the arts.
Each week, these talented and charismatic young people perform musical numbers from Broadway and beyond. Joining them each week are guests from the world of theatre, who perform solos and are interviewed by KESQ personality Patrick Evans. Filming is done under strict safety protocols in the COVID-19 environment. Whether it’s the performing arts, digital arts, fine arts, photography, music or another area of creativity, our students need and deserve the life-enriching stimulation that comes with arts education. Let’s make sure they have it, and the arts education doesn’t end up on the COVID chopping block! “Front Row Center” exemplifies our district’s commitment to the arts.
There are four, over-arching outcomes of the FRONT ROW CENTER Television Series:
• To raise community awareness of the vital need for arts education as part of a complete and well-rounded curriculum for students, K-12, in PSUSD and to raise the monies necessary to protect arts education district-wide.
• To showcase burgeoning young performing and visual artists from the four PSUSD high schools to celebrate the performing arts district-wide, to provide a high-level experience to non-MTU performers, and to keep a spotlight on all of the wonderful, educational opportunities happening every day in district arts classrooms.
• To provide the local community with an engaging, inspiring, entertaining and home-grown, weekly television event during this COVID-19 emergency while there are no other live theatrical opportunities offered anywhere else in the Coachella Valley or, in fact, Southern California. FRONT ROW CENTER will be professionally-produced and will be eligible for local EMMY AWARD consideration.
• To provide the students of David Green’s Musical Theatre University a professional-level platform for performance, especially during this COVID-19 crisis when there will be no live theatrical performance in The Coachella Valley. Participation in professional-level performances, alongside Broadway veteran mentors, is one-half of every MTU students’ education, supplementing their classroom instruction and putting into practice the technical craft (singing, acting, dancing) they are learning in the classroom.
FRONT ROW CENTER is sponsored through generous contributions from the following sponsors. KESQ News Channel 3, Media Sponsor of all shows. City of Rancho Mirage, The McKinley/Manning Foundation, Rosemarie Vacano, Ray Wurster & Michael Sotak, Palm Springs Opera Guild, LA Philharmonic Affiliates in the Desert, Ann Sheffer, John P. Monahan, Western Wind Foundation, Steve Tobin & Grace Helen Spearman Foundation, Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians, Fogelson Family Foundation and Jay Bartush.
The first season of FRONT ROW CENTER will be fifteen weeks, culminating in an hour-long, holiday themed “Season Finale” on Sunday, December 20. FRONT ROW CENTER will be simultaneously livestreamed on multiple social media platforms to provide national, and even international, visibility to PSUSD, and Gulf Broadcasting will re-broadcast the show, after its initial airing, at their discretion on local CBS, FOX and The CW.
The Foundation for Palm Springs Unified School District is charged as a 501(c)3 with providing a sustainable stream of private-sector funds to schools within the six cities served by Palm Springs Unified, the Foundation is tasked with helping to close gaps in public and state funding in increasingly tough economic times for public schools.
“Front Row Center” airs Sundays at 6:30 p.m. on KESQ News Channel 3. For more information, visit

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