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HP Arts is a Non-Profit Organization Supporting HPISD Arts Education Since 1987
Letter from the President
Dear Friends of HP Arts,

Summer is not over!  I cherish the freedom that summer brings with warm mornings, flip flops, little to no makeup and less structured days with my family.  The Artisan arrives in your inbox to keep you informed of HP Arts news, supported projects, and as a friendly reminder to include HP Arts in your Back to School Sign Up (BSSU) contributions.  Click HERE  to donate.

Knowing that we still have a few weeks before school starts, I'd like to communicate one of HP Arts' main goals this year -- to make our local community more aware of the  Who, What, Where, When, and Why's of HP Arts!  As patrons of HP Arts, I'd like to ask that you be our ambassadors and pass on the word to your friends and neighbors.

I've included details below reviewing the 5 W's of HP Arts along with some of our recent contributions to arts education in HPISD. Thank you for your support and enjoy the rest of your summer!  It's not over yet!

With Appreciation,
Kelli Miller
2017-2018 President

HP Arts:  Who, What, Where, When & Why?
  • Funded over $98,000 in HPISD arts in 2016-2017
  • Dedicated to supporting arts education in HPISD since 1987
  • Consists of up to 25 board members and HPISD Fine Arts Coordinator, Linda Raya (see the entire board of directors at the conclusion of the newsletter)
  • Meets monthly during the school year
  • Supports arts education at all six HPISD campuses
  • Serves teachers and students by allocating contributions to fine arts and arts integration programs in at least eight different areas:  art, band, choir, dance, debate, literary arts, orchestra, and theater
  • Receives funds from two primary sources:  HPISD parents during Back to School Sign Up and a generous grant from our cornerstone benefactor La Fiesta de la Seis Banderas
  • Designates a Programs Committee (shown below)
    • The HP Arts Programs committee is the focal point for all funding requests made to HP Arts.  Teachers submit requests through their dedicated HP Arts liaison, the committee reviews all requests each month and presents funding recommendations to the Board of Directors at the monthly board meeting.  Their hard work and dedication are appreciated by teachers and the Board alike!

Programs Committee Members (left to right):   Lizzie Bailey, Bradfield Elementary; Georgianna Moreland, MIS/HPMS; Carla Moss, Programs Committee Chair; Kathleen Whalen, HPHS.  Not pictured:  Aimee Cali, Armstrong Elementary; Melissa Allan, Hyer Elementary; Kristen Pratt, UP Elementary.

HP Arts Funding 2016-2017

Under the leadership of President Dana Manley and Programs Chair Bebe Triplett, over $98,000 in arts projects and purchases were funded at all six campuses last year.
  • Art: Screen print washout booth; Wacom pen and digitizer tablets (offering natural feel of pen and paper while drawing on a Mac or PC); museum workshop for two teachers to learn strategies to teach, interpret and use works of art in the classroom
  • Band:  New PA system for marching practice and clinics; two bass clarinets; one wooden bassoon; percussion marching instructor; sectional coaches and two UIL clinicians (9 visits)
  • Choir:  Sheet music for sight-reading practice; accompanist for Honor Choir; one tuner/metronome
  • Dance:  Belle's received weather proof sound system; master teacher for Jazz, Hip Hop, and Modern; guest artists to teach cultural dances from the regions of Africa, Spain, China, Scotland and India
  • Debate:  Consultants; Art, Music and Literature quizzes
  • Literary Arts:  LitFest partial funding, writing workshops, author visits and poetry workshops
  • Orchestra:  Professional arranger for spring concert performances of "Alexander Hamilton" and 'Say What You Mean to Say" for guitar/vocalist and percussionist; sectional coaches; two tuners/metronomes; two UIL clinicians
  • Programs at Elementary Schools:  Ballet Folklorico; DSO Yes! introducing string instruments; 123 Andres a Rockstar for young language learners; Ft. Worth Opera Studio; Strike, Shake & Scrape; Shakespeare program; pianist for concert
  • Theater:  Instructors for stage combat; acting for the camera; improvisation; choreography, college audition coaching; makeup workshops; ballroom dancing; fight choreography; Kabuki theater
  • Outside of Fine Arts:  Academic Decathlon Team (purchase arts related materials and partial funding of print resource guides for the 2017-2018 competition season); Spanish/French Nepris site licenses; Zumba classes; Legends of the Lone Star State Theatre celebrating the legends, heroes and tall tales that make up Texas History; Ft. Worth Capoeira Company (Brazilian martial art combining elements of dance, acrobatics and music)
Without contributions from our patrons and La Fiesta de la Seis Banderas, many arts activities would not be possible within typical school budgets.


Your HP Arts contributions will go to the arts in our schools and are distributed and tracked with great care.  Please support our organization again th is year by contributing online during Back to School Sign Up.

HPISD Board of Trustees Liaison

HPISD Trustee Stacy Kelly

Hello!  I will be this year's HPISD Trustee liaison to HP Arts, and am thrilled to be included in such an important part of our students, schools and community's lives. The Arts have always played an important role in the lives of HPISD students, and HP Arts is an integral part of making certain the Arts continue to thrive in HPISD.  I look forward to serving as your Board liasion in the coming year and to "supporting the arts in education".

Stacy Kelly

Highlander Strings Ends the Year with a Bang!

On May 16, 2017, the Highlander Strings Orchestra presented their annual festive spring concert. Director Peggy Tucker retired at the end of the school year and went out with a bang!  Her 88 students not only played their string instruments but got up out of their seats to sing and rap two songs from Hamilton!

HP Arts funded the special music arrangements by Sterling Proctor for the guitar/vocalist Chris Holt and the percussionist John Bryant.  Special music arrangements were written for "Alexander Hamilton" and "Say What You Mean to Say" by John Mayer.  The audience was excited to have such current and well-played music!  Thank you to Mrs. Tucker for all of your years of service to HPISD.

Retired Highlander Strings Director, Peggy Tucker

Robert Luo, Karen Liang, CJ Masterson

Emma Pieroni

Ivanna Bobadilla, Jarrett Murray, Brian Zacharias, Alex Pan

Academic Decathlon Team Wins State

HP Arts congratulates the Highland Park High School Academic Decathlon team on winning state for the second year in a row!  Following their win at state, the team proceeded to take second place in Division I at the National Finals.  We are proud to support them and wish them continued success!

2017 HP AcDec Team Members:
Anna Chung, Matthew Forbes, Wyatt Hill, Rachel Korn, Jasmyne Rodriguez, Abby Warren, Michael Xie and Brooke Yung.

HP Arts Highlights from Spring 2017
Dana Maney, Gina Gardiner, Linda Raya, Jodi Perdue
Arts Advocate Award

HPISD Fine Arts Coordinator Linda Raya nominated Gina Gardiner to receive the 2017 Arts Advocate Award.  The award honors those who go above and beyond celebrating the Arts at HPISD.  

Mrs. Gardiner was the Asst. Superintendent at HPHS through December of 2016, during which time she selflessly attended as many student performances and events as she could each and every month.  Her support has not wavered in retirement - she continues to receive the monthly arts newsletter from Mrs. Raya and is often spotted enjoying student art events.

Dana Manley, Kathy Wofford, Jodi Perdue
Arts in Education Teacher Award (AIETA)

Kathy Wofford was announced as the AIETA recipient for her consistent dedication to integrating the arts into the lessons with her Social Studies students.  During her studies of Latin America this year, 6th grade students participated in Zumba lessons funded by HP Arts!

Jodi Perdue, Dana Manley, Carson Davis Dugger, Avery Eleanor Davis and HPISD Asst. Superintendent of Curriculum Lisa Wilson
Linda Raya Scholarship Winners

Congratulations to Avery Eleanor Davis and Carson Davis Dugger on receiving the Linda Raya Scholarship!  HP Arts awards this scholarship each year to graduating Highland Park High School Seniors who have demonstrated a commitment to excellent in Fine Arts by studying the same fine art for four years and who plan to continue this study in college.


Beatrice Crosby, Sydney Mills, Edie Terrell
HPHS Senior Art Awards


Nominated by their teachers, HP Arts provided monetary awards to the following talented HPHS Seniors for 2D Art, 3D Art and Photography:


* Edie Terrell, 1st Place 2D Art

* Elizabeth Armistead, 2nd Place 2D Art

* Maggie Boyer, 3rd Place 2D Art


* Sydney Mills, 1st Place 3D Art

* Tatum Brown, 2nd Place 3D Art

* Beatrice Crosby, 3rd Place 3D Art

Colin Viveros, Amirah Ullah, Caroline Keith


* Caroline Keith, 1st Place Photography
* Amirah Ullah, 2nd Place Photography
* Colin Viveros, 3rd Place Photography

Arts Integration Team

The Arts Integration Team at MIS/HPMS was formed to look at ways of improving arts integration in the classroom so that all students may benefit.  The team will be meeting soon to put together a formal action plan around site visits, training and specific ways to integrate arts activities in all general ed core classes. HP Arts is joining the PTA and La Fiesta to fund this valuable project.  Keep an eye out for updates!


Special Ways to Donate to HP Arts

"Take A Seat" at HPHS!

Your $500 donation will honor your child, family member, a favorite teacher or HPISD organization in the HPHS Palmer Auditorium!  The elegantly engraved brass plaque is prominently displayed on the arm of the auditorium chair.  Funds raised are used for ongoing improvements in the auditorium areas.  

If you would like to support HP Arts through the Take A Seat program, please contact Leslie Kibby at

Play It Again, Sam!

The HP Arts Program, "Play It Again, Sam!" is designed to recycle instruments from the community back into the school music programs.  The instruments are considered a donation to HP Arts and are eligible for a tax-deductible contribution.

If you would like to donate an instrument, please contact Steve Gruber at

Arts Fun Fact

Arts Fun Fact
Provided by HP Arts Vice President, Jill Dalton

So, we have all heard that music is "good" for the brain and that kids who participate in band, orchestra and choir get better grades, but why?  What is the science behind how music affects the brain?  Well, it turns out that music is like a super-food for the brain.  

Studies show that music utilizes the entire brain and literally physically alters brain structure.  Brain scans of musicians have shown that their brains have a larger corpus callous, which, is the band of nerve fibers that allows the two hemispheres of the brain to communicate with each other.  In simple, non-scientific terms, this means that music grows the brain in a way that improves reasoning skills, fine motor skills and spatial intelligence.  

Spatial intelligence or coordination helps the brain understand how things work together which is a critical skill for careers like architecture, engineering, math and computer science.  And if all of that isn't amazing enough, just listening to music is also shown to increase productivity and boost brain chemicals like dopamine and oxytocin.  

It has also been shown to reduce the stress hormone, cortisol, and acts as a natural stress-reliever!  So, turn on some tunes while you're cooking dinner, while the kids are doing homework or anytime you need a mood boost.  And if you really concentrate, you might actually feel your corpus callous growing!

Board of Directors

HP Arts Board of Directors

Executive Committee
President                                     Kelli Miller
Vice President                             Jill Dalton*
Secretary                               Tammy Testa*
Treasurer                            Jennifer Murray
Programs Chair                         Carla Moss
Publicity Chair                          Niki Hudson

Programs Committee
Programs Chair                        Carla Moss
Armstrong Elementary               Aimee Cali
Bradfield Elementary              Lizzie Bailey
Hyer Elementary                  Melissa Allan*
UP Elementary                       Kristen Pratt*
MIS/HPMS              Georgianna Moreland*
HPHS                               Kathleen Whalen

Publicity Committee
Publicity Chair                         Niki Hudson
Publicity Assistant              Mikee Smythe*
Artisan                                    Anne Palles*
Social Media           Georgianna Moreland*
Website                                 Dorota Baird*

Arrangements                   Stacey Cochran
Membership                                 Ting Cai*
Play It Again, Sam!               Steve Gruber
Special Events          Carrie Ellen Adamian
                                                Jodi Perdue
Sponsorships                          Molly Pieroni
Student Art Coord.                Janese Deitch
                                          Robyn Galerston
Take A Seat                             Leslie Kibby

*New Board Member
HP Arts | |

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