SCPA name change proposal defeated

By Stefano DiPietrantonio - email

CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - Thousands of students, parents and alumni of The School for Creative and Performing Arts are happy that their beloved school will remain SCPA.

"The Cincinnati Board of Education, on a 4-3 vote, Monday night, rejected a resolution to rename the School for Creative and Performing Arts and Schiel School (primary school for arts enrichment) as the Erich Kunzel School for Creative and Performing Arts when SCPA and Schiel are combined next year in the new K-12 arts school being constructed on Central Parkway in Over-the-Rhine," said CPA Spokesperson Janet Walsh.

There was plenty of ear-splitting cheering when the decision was announced.

"The motion stood, the resolution does not carry," said Board President Eileen Cooper Reed.

And with that statement from Reed, screams erupted from the crowd, that the resolution did not carry by a vote of 4 'no's' and 3 'yeses'. The School for Creative and Performing Arts would remain SCPA.

"It was so nerve-wracking oh my goodness," said Samantha Bowling with the SCPA Student Union.

Her friend, Tori Nagel, echoed her sentiments and said, "At the very end it seemed like we really didn't know which way it was gonna go, it could have been either way."

"The SCPA community has made their voice heard from wherever they are," said Bowling.

 Supporters for keeping SCPA wore T-shirts reading "WE FOUND OUR VOICE, WE ARE SCPA."

And for the first time since the prior Monday's school board meeting, many supporters for putting Erich Kunzel's name on the school are also members of Greater Cincinnati Arts and Education Center or GCAEC.

"GCAEC will continue to partnership with the board of education to develop permanent funding the purpose of course is to provide for the excellence of the art experience of ever student in the school funding which simply isn't available from public money," said Attorney and GCAEC member, Ed Marks.

THE GCAEC raised roughly half the 62 million for the new school.

"The Kunzel name will add stature nationally and internationally for the city of Cincinnati as well as the school," said a representative from the German-American Citizens League.

 "Well," said Robbie Todd, who let out a huge exhale, "I was scared, I was, really we didn't know which way it was gonna go so luckily it went in out favor but we still aren't finished yet because we have to honor Erich Kunzel first and foremost." Todd is a 1982 graduate of SCPA but is also a member of the GCAEC.

The students told FOX19 it was time to get back to rehearsals.

A resolution to name the new building in honor of Maestro Kunzel was given a first reading and will be referred to the board's policy committee for further discussion, according to CPS Spokesperson Janet Walsh.

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