Battle To Change Name Of SCPA

By Stefano DiPietrantonio

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - It's a battle that had been quietly simmering while Cincinnati Pops Maestro Erich Kunzel was still alive. Now, in his passing, it has escalated into a heated debate.

Should the new creative and performing arts school in Cincinnati be named after Kunzel or remain SCPA?

FOX 19 has been following this developing story all week. Friday, we sat down with Cincinnati Public Schools Board President Eileen Cooper Red.

Perhaps Erich Kunzel himself had no idea what a controversy would be left in the wake of his death, over a school he was instrumental in launching.

"Is this already a done deal?," reporter Stefano DiPietrantonio asked Reed. "No, it is not a done deal, what happened last Monday night was, I expressed my opinion, but if you notice no other board members did."

Reed told FOX 19 she would love to see the school named in the late Maestro's honor. "I just thought that we had been talking about it long enough that I wanted to at least let the community know where I am leaning... Leaning!," she said.

We showed Reed one of the dozens of email that's flooded our inboxes, since Monday night's meeting, arguing against changing the school's name.

"I have been getting emails for almost a year now," said Reed. "Even before Maestro Kunzel passed, asking us to name the school after him."

Reed said, what some opponents may not realize is, there are two schools merging into one. "This is actually a new school, the combination of two schools, Shield School For Performing Arts and the School For Creative And Performing Arts."

"We've re-named other schools for various and sundry reasons when the school community asks us to," said Reed.

It will take a majority vote, 4 out of the 7 board members, to make the name change stick. FOX 19 had calls out to all of the board members to try and get their opinions, and we know how at least one member stands.

"I'm still leaning toward naming it the Erich Kunzel School For Creative And Performing Arts," Reed said. "It's not his contribution, his contribution didn't have so much to do with money as that he was the visionary behind this particular school, we would have a school for creative and performing arts with or without Maestro Kunzel. we have this particular one at this particular time of this particular class I think because of his efforts."

The school board will take a vote Monday, November 23rd at 5:30pm. Stay tuned to FOX 19 for the very latest.

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