Hello everyone! It’s Diego, the intern, writing this one. Vivian has consistently held that community input and collaboration are integral to her campaign. Accordingly, Vivian has graciously asked me (a Roosevelt Highschool Alumni) to talk about the campaign’s position on the “Back to the Stage!” letter sent to SPS. 

Context for those unaware: Roosevelt Highschool’s performing arts programs have not been allowed to conduct in-person performances due to the pandemic and have sent a letter to SPS asking for this to be changed. SPS is reviewing the ban on in-person performances, which is set to end on October 31st. You can find a link to the letter itself at the bottom of this post.

Roosevelt has an incredible performing arts program, and to see it unfairly stifled is genuinely upsetting. Roosevelt’s theatre department provided me with a great community that formed me more as a person than almost any other class. Theatre wasn’t just a fanciful extra-curricular; it taught me about working hard, it taught me about teamwork, it taught me about dedication, responsibility, and accountability. The memories of the long hours we put in preparing for brilliant performances after school are some of my best. While I did not pursue theatre in college, I have friends who attended prestigious universities and conservatory programs (USC and Carnegie Mellon, to name a couple). Roosevelt’s art programs are stellar and worth investing in.

While I can’t speak for the Orchestra, Choir, Jazz, or Band from personal experience, I know from friends that their experiences are similar. While we must be safe (masks, proof of vaccination, social distancing, we all know the drill by now), I do not see a reason to continue a unilateral ban on in-person performances. Theatres, bands, choirs, and all manner of other performance-based entertainment venues are being allowed to open up around the city, county, and state. Why shouldn’t Roosevelt?

The campaign supports ending the ban on in-person performances, consistent with Vivian’s position that safe in-person education is best for our students. We hope SPS understands our position, and we hope to see our talented students take to the stage again soon.

Link to the letter

Link to Roosevelt Orchestra’s Facebook post about the situation