Thanks to a generous fundraising effort and a $766,000 grant, Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts is getting a professional-level recording studio to help students take a major step forward in accomplishing their education and future career goals.
The BTWHSPVA Advisory Board led the fundraising effort to make the recording studio a reality. The project, which also will include the ability to retrofit four classrooms/spaces as satellite recording studios, is scheduled to celebrate its grand opening in Fall 2019.
“The goal for us is to level the playing field and to ensure every student at Booker T. Washington has what they need to reach and achieve their best potential,” said BTWHSPVA Advisory Board Executive Director Lisa Walker.
Walker said when high school seniors apply to college music programs or national competitions, they typically must submit digital recordings of a performance. The BTWHSPVA studio will let students record a high-quality performance, at no cost to them, right on the campus.
“What we’ve found is that many students are not being considered for competitions or acceptance to certain college programs—not because of their ability—but because their recorded materials aren’t of a high enough quality,” BTWHSPVA Principal Dr. Scott Rudes said. “This recording studio will have a huge impact and, like Lisa said, level the playing field.”
Meanwhile, BTWHSPVA will start offering a production track for juniors and seniors to learn how to work behind the boards in the recording studio. Walker and Rudes said the plan is to open the recording studio for all Dallas ISD students who need high-quality recorded materials to submit.
To make the recording studio a reality, the BTWHSPVA Advisory Board committed over $500,000, and two private donors pledged $340,000. To fund the equipment and satellite spaces, the BTWHSPVA Advisory Board applied for and received a $766,000 grant from The Crystal Charity Ball.
“We are extremely thankful to the Booker T. Washington Advisory Board for having the vision to support our kids in this way and for raising the funds to make this possible,” Rudes said.