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Chewin the Fat : Save the Upper Darby Arts

Chewin the Fat 

by Bay Ragni

Save the Upper Darby Arts

C’mon, sing along with me “Grease is the word, is the word, it’s got Groove, it’s Got Feeling” How any times in your life have you driven by your local school, at some point during the year and you see the large wooden painted signs promoting the schools version of the popular musical & movie Grease.


How many times have you actually gone to one of these plays whether you went to support a friend or family member, or just a night out to support your local school district.


Could you picture no more signs, no more musicals, no more display of school talent.


Doesn’t seem right does it, especially when it is something that has been so encouraged through school.


Well right now, my old school district is currently contemplating in ending their arts program.


The Upper Darby School District, the suburb right outside of Philadelphia. Home of the Tower Theatre. Upper Darby the largest township in the country. Upper Darby, the town that gave this nation such stars as Jim Croce, Todd Rundgren, Jeff LaBar, Jamie Kennedy, and Tina Fey.


The past few years when Upper Darby is in the news, it usually is not a positive news story with some type of crime as the topic.


Well now the news story is again not positive as the school district is looking to make budget cuts, as many companies, & businesses have looked to do as well the past few years with the economy struggling as it has.


They are proposing to eliminate the arts, music, library science, and physical education classes and their associated instructors from all District elementary schools and technology and foreign language classes and their associated instructors from District middle schools


Now as a former Upper Darby High School student I understand that yes budgets and finances are in complete disarray everywhere. The part that bothers me is, always it was always drilled into our heads this was a state requirement.


Back in high school I was known as a “Hammer”, was part of the Heavy Metal rocker crowd, who were similar to Judd Nelson’s role in the movie “The Breakfast Club” So in high school, I was always trying to find ways to NOT get dressed for gym, or take other classes. My teachers, counselors, etc.  all had the same answer for me. You must get dressed and participate in gym, it is a state requirement.


Isn’t it a little ironic how now the state is very quick to change their requirements that were so important for so many years.


Back when I was younger, I didn’t realize how important gym was, or how important music, drama, or other specials classes were until I have seen my daughter in her school taking part in these groups, and not only helping her showcase or learn how to use her talents. But I see her also growing as an individual with the closeness of her friends in her choir.


So the campaign to Save the UD arts is underway. There is an online petition, so please sign it, they are trying to get 30,000 signatures, and currently only have 15,000. This needs signed ASAP, as the final decision will be this week.



Also here is a video to watch to understand what is really happening


This campaign to save the arts has gained national attention thanks to UDHS alumni TV & movie star Tina Fey.


Tina has been rallying all of the big name actors to sign, tweet, retweet, post, share with friends, whatever is needed to help save the UD Arts.


This has been huge, and helpful, but still not enough.


A few months back there was a threat of the local catholic high schools  Bonner & Prendie being closed. Alumni and current students and families rallied together and saved this horrible thing from happening.


There is no reason why Upper Darby’s current students and families as well as the alumni’s all banding together to help Save the Upper Darby Arts.


So please watch the video above and understand what is happening. This could be happening to your children as well.


Click on the Petition and sign it, only takes a few seconds to do.


Join the fight against the State of Pennsylvania and Save the Arts !!




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