Letter of Support from Dana Floor
Board of Advisers, Cary-Grove Fine Arts Foundation:
Having spent the entire 33 years of my professional career as the choir director at Cary-Grove High School, I would like to announce my support of the Cary-Grove Fine Arts Foundation’s efforts to enhance the Cary-Grove High School fine arts facilities.
As someone who spent a great deal of time working with the fine arts facilities that Cary-Grove High School has to offer, I would like to echo the vision that the CGFAF has for this space of learning and self improvement. Even when my career began in 1972, there was a lack of space, technology, and instructional tools needed to keep up with the educational needs and numbers of students participating in the fine arts at Cary-Grove. For over three decades I worked hard to provide talented and eager students with the best educational experiences I could, but I was frustrated and even embarrassed at times that my students were not given the same opportunities as those at other area schools. It was difficult to justify why they had to work so much harder and make unnecessary compromises in order to reach their goals.
During my career, I was discouraged by the waste of instructional time that the space afforded me. Due to the lack of rehearsal space, backstage areas, a scene shop, and adequate practice rooms, we were unable to complete more than one task at a time. Very few set pieces were used from one show to the next because there was very little space to store them, the results being a waste of costly materials and often posed dangerous situations. I did the best that I could to conserve, but most of the time safety became an issue and I had to dispose of otherwise reusable materials. During concerts or shows there are only two toilets and two dressing rooms to accommodate over 400 students. Small backstage areas are hardly meant to hold 25 students, let alone the 80+ cast in musical, or the hundreds performing in Fall Follies, band, and choir concerts. The list goes on and on, and it has been virtually the same list for the past forty-plus years. Also, the theatre is not wired to safely support the major musical theatre productions this community has come to expect from Cary-Grove students.
Cary-Grove High School was built in 1961, and the fine arts wing and theatre were added in 1965. Despite a few cosmetic changes, for nearly 50 years the students of Cary-Grove have been working with the same space that was built to meet the needs of around 200 students. For some time now the number of students using this space on a daily basis has tripled. Improvements are essential in order to achieve educational standards for the twenty first century, and the students of Cary-Grove High School are long overdue in their wait to have equal facilities to other schools in the area.
I am in full support of CGFAF as it pursues its goal of improving the fine arts facilities in order to enhance meaningful learning experiences for Cary-Grove students.
Former Cary-Grove Music Department Chairman and Choral Director