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The school, established in 1964 by nationally acclaimed soprano Dorothy Maynor, has trained Harlem children for decades on weekends and after school in music, dance, theatre and the visual arts. The school had to shut down three weeks before, because of a fiscal and management crisis.
Mayor Bloomberg had announced a rescue plan on April 21st for the troubled school. “This organization really has made a difference. When it came for others to step up and bail this organization out of a bad situation, a situation that had gone on for much too long, there was a core of quality here that everybody understood had to be preserved," he said.
The city had helped the school to broker a deal which replaces the school's board with five new members. It helps to gain one million dollars in grants from the Herb Alpert Foundation. The new board will be led by Charles Hamilton, who has the partnership in the real estate firm La Cite Developments, as well as leaders in finance.
The new steps of rescue had already offered 500,000 dollars, the Starr Foundation and others. The new board pledged to aggressively watch the finances and raise new funds.
A dean from NYU's Tisch School of the Arts is also on the new board. Another member is Ephraim Emmanuel, the president of the school's parent's association.
“Yesterday, we wept. Today, we rejoice and tomorrow ... is a time to be vigilant. We cannot let this happen again," Emmanuel said in a speech that drew heavily from The Bible.
Madeline Nelson-Small, the director of the Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now, said she"d enlisted Blige to host a fund-raiser for the school in the near future.