It ain’t over. Yes, it’s day four of the Pittsburgh Opera tragedy, now turned national political drama, and the fat lady doesn’t sing until the state budget gets decided. Our grassroots movement has been working hard for this cameo appearance on the national stage: this is our golden moment to help people see the real connection between state budget cuts and the devastation of our public schools.
Now that our original blog piece about the Opera’s outrageous decision to honor Gov. Corbett for his “contributions” to arts education has gone viral, here’s a quick glimpse through the curtains at our audience:
- “Arts Education an Operatic Tragedy” has received over 12,700 hits.
- Several hundred people posted comments to the Opera’s Facebook page
- Yesterday’s front-page article in the Post-Gazette was syndicated by the AP wire service and picked up by over 950 news outlets and blogs around the country, including the San Francisco Chronicle and many others (see list at the bottom of this message).
- The Huffington Post ran its own story yesterday and today has re-posted our original piece.
- The Philadelphia Inquirer has an article in today’s paper.
- The Pennsylvania Democratic committee featured our story on PADems.com
- We were on the Ed Show on MSNBC last night, and they will be featuring Pennsylvania education again tonight.
- Essential Public Radio interviewed activist Kathy Newman.
- KDKA TV and WPXI locally have run spots on us.
- A change.org petition has gathered over 1,100 signatures asking the Opera to rescind its award.
Whether the Opera presents this foolish award on Saturday is not my particular concern. We’ve stolen the limelight and now is the time to belt our message to the legislators in the back row of the audience. We need them to hear us loud and clear: we must have adequate, equitable, and sustainable state funding for public education.
Here’s what we need you to do: please go to these three key articles and leave comments. Simply copy and paste any previous comments you have made elsewhere, and ask your friends to do the same.
And if you’ve got a few extra minutes, perhaps you would be willing to message some of the folks who posted to the Opera Facebook page and ask them to do the same? Seriously. There are literally hundreds of people on there expressing their passion for public arts education – we need to reach them and keep the momentum going so we can turn this into legislative action on the budget.
One final note: the Operatic Rally for Saturday evening is shaping up to be great family fun. There will be a free reception starting at 5PM at the corner of 22nd and Liberty in the Strip District with hot dogs, veggie dogs, and cotton candy. Feel free to wear your opera costumes and bring an instrument (even a pot and spoon) for a grand performance of the people’s band. Maybe the fat lady will even sing.
A sampling of news sources that have picked up our story:
Allentown Morning Call
Appleton Post Crescent (Wisconsin)
Asbury Park Press (New Jersey)
Beaver County Times
Centre Daily Times (State College, PA)
Cineplex.com (Entertainment news)
Citizensvoice.com (Wilkes-Barre, PA)
Coshocton Tribune (Ohio)
Courier Post Online (New Jersey)
Delaware Valley PA/NJ msnbc.com
Democratic Underground (popular blog)
Essential Public Radio (90.5)
Herald Times Reporter (Wisconsin)
I4Unews.com (News aggregator)
Lebanon Daily News (Pennsylvania)
Mansfield News Journal (Ohio)
New Jersey Herald
Pigroot (Interesting News)
Pittsburgh Post Gazette
Princeton Council on World Affairs
The San Francisco Chronicle
The Ed Show
The Oshkosh Northwestern (Wisconsin)
The Republic (Columbus, Indiana)
The Sheboygan Press (Wisconsin)
The Tribune Democrat (Johnstown, PA)
Thirdandstate.org (Pennsylvania political blog)
Times of News (London)
U-T San Diego
Wausau Daily Herald (Ohio)
Yahoo! Philippines News
York Daily Record (Pennsylvania)
Youngstown Vindicator (Ohio)