It’s no secret that arts education in America is under attack, it is often the first to go when funding is slashed. Over at JL Long Middle School, parents decided to do something about it. In 2014 they created Long City Limits, a fundraising concert that brings popular local acts to perform at the Granada Theater, all while raising money for music education.
Last weekend, Rise Against the Machine, Hard Day’s Night and Ronnie Fauss all shared their talents with a packed show, which also included student performers. In total, more than $9,000 was raised for the school’s music program, more than double what was raised at last year’s event.
“We have created a music festival that not only raises necessary funds for our program, but also provides our students access to local live music, which helps them gain an appreciation for and a love of the arts. That’s the goal of our band program and that of the fundraiser itself – to keep the kids interested and constantly intrigued about new music and new ways to channel their creative outlets,” says band director Caitlin Schmidt, adding that all funds raised will get kids more hands on with music in the form of equipment, lessons and more. “The band was invited as the only middle school band in all of Texas to play at the Veteran’s Day parade in Washington DC, but due to lack of funds, the band sadly couldn’t attend.”