SCPA name change triggers e-mail reactions

By Stefano DiPietrantonio - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - FOX19's story Monday night on the proposed name change for The School For Creative And Performing Arts generated a ton of hot reaction from students, past and present.

E-mails came in from as far away as Hawaii. All of the letters came from students, former students, parents & alumni. Each one of them pledged their allegiance to SCPA and each one wanting to somehow honor the late Maestro Erich Kunzel. However, none of those who wrote in want to re-name their school after Kunzel.

"Our organization has endorsed the recommendation of the interim board to name the first k-12 public arts school in the United States, The Erich Kunzel School For Creative And Performing Arts," said Tom Klinedinst, Jr. Chairman of the GCAEC.

That single phrase from the GCAEC Monday night triggered instant reaction, one sided feedback.

The decision falls on you who are not part of the emotion and drama that has taken place, you must make your decision based on what is best for the future of the new school and it's future students," Klinedinst, Jr. said.

The headlines screamed from the subject header in all of the emails I received, "We are the community and we say no!"

Holli Gohs wrote in and said, "We are not a new school, we are just in a new building."

"These first students, now adults have stepped forward as the new alumni association asking for preservation of a name they built as students," said Marcia Goldsmith, former President of Friends of SCPA.

Melvin Dallas wrote in, referring to Maestro Kunzel and said, "When you give his legacy a greater importance than that of the community's it is the greatest disrespect realized."

"SCPA is kind of who we are and it's what we do and it's all we do. We dedicate so much of our time and energy to our school and it's all we know and all we know how to do," said Samantha Bowling, who is part of the SCPA Student Union.

Beth Ayen wrote in and said, "Please know we do not mean to disrespect Erich and if he were alive, I am sure he would feel quite badly that we were bickering over this."

"He wouldn't have even wanted that recognition," said Ian Martin with the Student Union, "but it would be honorable and we would be honored to have that great building named after that great man."

Jennifer Pang wrote to CPS Board President Eileen Cooper Reed, "This issue so disturbs me that even in Hawaii I feel it is urgent to contact you. The school is not tied to a person, it is tied to a passion for the performing and creative arts."

Members of the SCPA Student Union have started an email chain and it appears their words are getting around the world.

No action is expected to be taken until the next CPS board meeting December 7th.

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