Art programs such as music, theater, and visual arts are extremely important for many students’ educations. Unfortunately, at MGRHS arts programs are sometimes overlooked and do not receive as much funding as sports, for example. The Mount Greylock Friends of the Arts is the solution to this problem. Mostly comprised of parents, the organization works closely with faculty and administration at MGRHS. “In short, we assist however we can to enhance students’ exposure to the arts,” explains Cecilia Hirsch, a member of FOA (Friends of the Arts). The organization not only helps to coordinate and advocate for arts education and programs concerning the arts, but it also helps with funding and small grant-making.
For example, FOA was responsible for coordinating rides and meals for three theatrical productions in the past 2017-2018 school year. On top of this, FOA helped with tech support, managing concessions, and building sets. Additionally, FOA helped to create and print a playbill or a poster announcing a theatrical production to honor arts students, and has funded visits to Mass Moca so students could be exposed to visual arts without having to pay a large fee.
However, FOA is perhaps best known for its improvisational theater workshop. The annual workshop ran from May 30th to June 19th in 2018 and was exclusively for middle school students. It helped students to express themselves theatrically and provided them with a fun and educational opportunity regarding the performing arts. Free to students, the workshop provided a comedic and imaginative environment for middle schoolers of all theatrical and backgrounds and skill levels.
FOA has played a central role in helping to fund, advocate for, and coordinate arts programs and opportunities for students. As Hirsch puts it, “as Mount Greylock’s only booster club for the arts, FOA supports the important role of the arts in students’ education.” The arts are a vital part of Mount Greylock, and FOA works hard to enforce, fund, and expose students to them.