by Dr. Bill Hudson, Head of School

This weekend, I had the pleasure of attending our school’s production of Pippin. I am impressed on so many levels with the accomplishments of our students. The singing was phenomenal, the music was beautiful, and the acting and staging was excellent. I was also struck by the diversity of the cast and crew. Students from across all three grade levels, peer groups, and interests were represented. It was an “MPA Moment” that captured the mission of our school.

In a little more than a week, our community is gathering together to celebrate MPA, its students, faculty, parents, and alumni. Our Spring Auction is being held at the Union Depot in Saint Paul on Saturday, May 13. This event will feature exquisite cuisine, along with a host bar, live music, games, and a live and silent auction. It is our only fundraising event of the year and proceeds support MPA’s educational programs, new curricular initiatives, athletics programs, the arts, and more. If you haven’t yet bought tickets, click here. Only a few tickets remain and I hope to see you there.

I Need Your Help

An important part of the auction is the Fund a Need portion of the evening. Each year at the end of the auction, I present an important need and ask those assembled to partner with me to make it a reality. In years past, we have raised the required funds to establish a Digital Fabrication Studio, create a virtual classroom, and renovate our bathrooms. In each case, our community came together to fund the project.

I need your help again this year. After careful consideration of a number of needs, we have selected the renovation of the Black Box Theater. It was chosen because all of our students, across all grades and divisions, use the facility for classes, projects, gatherings, productions, and dances. It truly is a classroom for the entire school and the lighting, sound, staging, and seating all desperately need attention.

The Black Box is an important part of our overall master plan for facilities that we have identified as vital for our students and their education. Our goal is to raise $100,000. To accomplish that, I ask you to consider making a gift to the project. For those who cannot attend the auction, you can still contribute by clicking here.

The Value of a Balanced Curriculum

Our commitment to educating the whole child is one of the most unique aspects of an MPA education. An education at MPA challenges students academically through a rigorous curriculum, but not at the expense of the arts or athletics. We believe that a balance of the arts, academics, and athletics is the key to a successful and meaningful life.

Many schools cut theater programs first. Yet at MPA, it not only is a priority, it is essential to prepare students for success in life. Emerging research is clear that students learn and master the skills necessary for success in the 21st century, such as creativity, critical thinking, and communication, through the arts. In addition, students learn to think on their feet and gain confidence as they present themselves and their ideas in front of their peers and adults.

At a time when so many young people are tied to their screens and passively engage in the world, the Black Box is an incubator of active learning, creativity, and self-expression. It is a place where students leave behind the façade of virtual relationships to build real and lasting friendships and form a community. I thank you in advance for your support. We can’t wait to see you next Saturday!

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