1,000 Expected to Rally at Art & Design High School on Monday, November 8th - Celebs and Officials to Hold 3:00 PM "More Art at Art & Design" Press Conference

The High School of Art & Design, founded as the School of Industrial Art in 1936, celebrates 68 years of contributions by its graduates to the economy of New York City. But budget cuts during the past 13 years have greatly impacted its art program. Alumni, students, parents and past and present faculty - joined by officials and industry supporters - rally to praise the school and call for "More Art at Art & Design".

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New York, NY (PRWEB) November 6, 2004

Over 1,000 participants - including students, parents, alumni, past and present faculty, and members of the community - are expected to rally for "More Art at Art & Design" on Monday, November 8th, the school's 68th birthday. The High School of Art & Design was founded as the School of Industrial Art in 1936, and is located at 1075 Second Avenue, New York, 10022.

The celebratory demonstration will begin forming at 2:15pm, as the first group of students leaves the building at the end of their school day. At 3:00pm a press conference will be held, extolling the school's accomplishments while presenting a list of demands to the Department of Education. Attending the rally and scheduled to speak are: State Assemblyman Jonathan Bing; UFT Vice President for Vocational Schools, Frank Carucci; UFT Manhattan High Schools District Representative, Tom Dromgoole; former TV anchor and 1956 alumnus, John Johnson; and representatives from the City's art industries. (Addi-tional guests will be announced as they are made known.)

For the past 68 years, The High School of Art & Design has contributed to the economy of New York City via the achievements of its graduates, who have been employed as architects, industrial designers, art directors, creative directors, copywriters, advertising agency owners, graphic designers, typographic de-signers, print and production artists, engravers, illustrators, fashion designers, animators, cartoonists, cinematographers, filmmakers, photographers, theatre arts and window display designers, fine artists, and art teachers.

Among its illustrious alumni are ventriloquist and inventor Dr. Paul Winchell; singer and painter Tony Bennett; fashion designers Calvin Klein and Marc Jacobs; furniture designer Vladimir Kagan; the late fine artist Eva Hesse; the late advertising greats Helmut Krone and Roy Grace; designer-photographer Henry Wolf; former TV news correspondent and anchor John Johnson; animator Ralph Bakshi; fine arts photog-rapher Sheila Metzner; the late fashion illustrator Antonio Lopez; Pulitzer Prize winning author-cartoonist Art Spiegelman; actor-playwright and gay activist Harvey Fierstein; actor Lawrence Hilton Jacobs; super model Pat Cleveland; fashion photographer Steven Meisel; and theatre costume designer Emilio Sosa.

The School of Industrial Art (SIA) first opened its doors on November 8, 1936, to 128 students, at 257 West 40th Street - a building shared with an adult WPA theatre project. There were ripped-out walls and no school furniture. Orange crates were used to make desks and cupboards, and school officials can-vassed various art industries, begging for working materials. Over the years the student population grew, as did the school's popularity, and SIA was required to move to larger quarters at East 79th Street, even-tually adding an annex at East 51st Street. But hopeful applicants still had to be turned away, due to lack of space.

On September 12, 1960 - after years of battling real estate interests in the neighborhood - the school reopened at 1075 Second Avenue with a new name: The High School of Art and Design. Built at a cost of $8,000,000, equipped with special classrooms and studios, A&D stood as a landmark in the history of educational buildings: the first to be planned and built especially to give young people a high school edu-cation while preparing them for careers as professional artists and designers.

While this professional art school still offers classes in 10 majors, continued budget cuts during the past 13 years have greatly impacted its art program. The school's alumni association feels the City of New York and the Department of Education need to reaffirm their commitment to providing a strong arts cur-riculum to the students of The High School of Art & Design.

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