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Wed May 9, 2012, 01:37 PM

Pittsburgh Opera Facebook Site Overwhelmed with Criticism About Arts Award to Gov. Corbett


Tons of comments are being posted on the Pittsburgh Opera's facebook site criticizing them for giving Tom Corbett a lifetime award for dedication to the arts and arts education. So far, they are not being deleted.

Public comments are on the right hand side of the website. Click one, and many will appear on your screen.

There is a counter demonstration planned during the awards ceremony, which I think is Sat. evening.

This comment is typical:

“It’s outrageous that the Pittsburgh Opera is honoring Gov. Corbett for his contributions to arts education, when he has cut $1 BILLION from Pennsylvania’s public schools. Districts across the state have slashed arts education under his watch. Right here in Pittsburgh, our students are losing art, music, library, and foreign language instruction. How are they going to be future artists and opera lovers? We need equitable and sustainable state funding for public education, not phony awards for Governors who devastate our children’s future.”

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Reply Pittsburgh Opera Facebook Site Overwhelmed with Criticism About Arts Award to Gov. Corbett (Original post)
JPZenger May 2012 OP
MadrasT May 2012 #1
PA Democrat May 2012 #2

Response to JPZenger (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 01:49 PM

1. Petition to ask the Pittsburgh Opera to rescind the award

I generally think internet petitions are a waste of time, but I guess it can't hurt.

Petition to Pittsburgh Opera Director of Development

Tom Corbett has slashed the budget for education and the arts since taking office while simultaneously making corporate tax cuts of $800 million .

Pittsburgh Opera's press release on the award, however, states "Governor Corbett will be honored for his early work as a teacher as well as his long-standing protection of the public interest as Pennsylvania Attorney General. Additionally, as Governor, he has recognized the economic, educational, and social value of the arts. Mrs. Corbett has been an accomplished producer and presenter of arts programs through the years, and, as First Lady, has championed greater participation in the arts in her role as Chair of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts."

Pittsburgh Opera officials may not be aware that Corbett's first two budgets were extremely damaging to the arts and education in Pennsylvania, cutting funding to the arts 10%, 10% to basic education funding, and funding to higher education 45% since taking office.

It is a slap in the face to all who appreciate the vital role the arts and education play in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and in the Pittsburgh region. Pittsburgh Opera's recognition of the Governor's destructive actions is embarrassing to the Pittsburgh community.

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Response to JPZenger (Original post)

Wed May 9, 2012, 02:18 PM

2. There will be protests outside the event.

Party-goers can expect some extras outside the event. Ms. Ramey -- who said her blog "Yinzercation" has received more than 7,000 hits since the opera notice was posted Monday -- and others are organizing a demonstration.

Some may wear opera gear. Ms. Ramey is considering a Viking helmet.

"This is not something that is anti-opera. This is about what's happening to funding in our public schools," she said.

The Corbett award, she said, "really hit a nerve. People are really reacting, and they're passionate about arts education."


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