Erykah Badu To Perform At Friday Night Booker T. Washington High School Benefit

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Texas budget cuts have been looming over the heads of teachers and school boards alike in recent weeks, and Booker T. Washington High School, the DISD magnet for performing and visual arts, is no exception. But, with less money rolling in, the prestigious school has taken a proactive approach to keeping up revenue, creating the Flyinghorse 2011 Performing Arts Festival, a night that includes a campus tour, student performances and a dance revue.

The biggest draw on the March 25 night bill, though, is Booker T. Washington alumnus and Grammy winner Erykah Badu, who will be performing in the school's Montgomery Arts Theater for the very first time as part of the event.

In the press release for the show, Badu speaks fondly of her time at Booker T. Washington:

"There's no other place like Booker T. Washington High School when it comes to nurturing gifts" she says " Not only did some of my fondest musical memories take place there, but the school provided me with the best opportunity a young student in the arts world could ask for."

The festival starts at 6 p.m. on Friday, and tickets can be purchased for $500 each -- a hefty chunk of change, to be sure, but it's all for a good cause, as all of the proceeds will go towards benefitting the school.

Check out the press release in full after the jump.


Featuring Erykah Badu and Student Performances Followed
By The NOLA Hot Damn! Second-Line, Stage Revue and Dance at One Arts Plaza

DALLAS - March TDB, 2011 - FLYINGHORSE 2011 Performing Arts Festival, presented by the Booker T. Washington High School Advisory Board, will rock the Dallas Arts District on Friday, March 25. Guests will explore the school and discover its creative revolutionaries, while enjoying a musical celebration that will rival any artistic event this season.

"FLYINGHORSE Performing Arts Festival will offer our city a fantastic opportunity to learn more about the importance of arts education in this state," said Lisa Holland, executive director of the Booker T. Washington Advisory Board.  "Booker T. Washington gives back to our Dallas Arts District on an ongoing basis, and we want to do the same by giving the school the support it needs to run its programs, especially during this crucial time with Texas education budget cuts on the horizon.  We hope the community will join us in our effort to raise money for arts education and help us celebrate our students' immeasurable talent."     

The special night will begin at 6 p.m. with BookLook, an entertaining tour of the school's campus, along with student performances throughout, which will give patrons an inside look into the students' work.  GRAMMY-award winning alumna Erykah Badu will join forces with some of Booker T.'s talented and gifted students in the Montgomery Arts Theatre at 7 p.m. for an unparalleled, first-ever performance in the theater.  Guests will then venture Second-Line-style across the street from Booker T. Washington to One Arts Plaza for an exciting evening of entertainment and dancing with performances by The NOLA Hot Damn! Second-Line, Stage Revue and Dance starring the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Charmaine Neville, Kermit Ruffins and The Barbeque Swingers, and Walter "Wolfman" Washington and The Roadmasters.

"There's no other place like Booker T. Washington High School when it comes to nurturing gifts. Not only did some of my fondest musical memories take place there, but the school provided me with the best opportunity a young student in the arts world could ask for," said Booker T. Washington alumna Erykah Badu.  "At the time, I did not realize the magnitude of the experience and education I was receiving, so it is my honor to give my support back to the place that created the avenue for me to reach my goals."

Advanced ticket purchase is required for the event, as attendance is limited.  All proceeds from ticket sales will directly benefit Booker T. Washington High School.  Sponsorships are available and range from $2,500 to $50,000. For more information, please contact Jenny Prince at jprince@artsmagnet.org or call 214.468.8642.

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