Some Texas City students took to the stage at Blocker Middle School, 1800 9th Ave. N., last week and took advantage of a really cool opportunity — to learn from and perform alongside a handful of highly regarded professional musicians from around the country.

Texas City ISD Fine Arts Director Mark Lyon has been conducting student/musician workshops that introduce young artists to professional musicians at school districts around the country for 15 years.

Margaret Battistelli Gardner: 409.683.5227;

Deputy Managing Editor

Margaret joined The Daily New in December 2019, bringing more than 20 years of editorial experience to the team. A Philadelphia native, she lives in Galveston County with her husband, Steve, and their dog Nanook.

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(12) comments

Bailey Jones

Unfortunately, our president's newly proposed budget calls for the elimination of both the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. These agencies support the arts in our schools and communities, and have budgets of the same order as what we spend on Trump's golfing trips and other vacations.

Fortunately, the president doesn't make the budget, Congress does. And the Senate is apparently too embarrassed by this budget to even hold hearings on it. But it does show where our president's priorities lay.

Paula Flinn

This President politicizes everything. The Arts should not be politicized. Instruction in the Arts and artistic talent should be perpetuated and encouraged.

Carlos Ponce

National Endowment for the Arts funds pornography, questionable art displays (a crucifix in a jar of urine "Piss Christ" by Serrano), etc.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition said "The government must no longer subsidize agencies and programs that promote values contrary to those we teach in our homes. Taxpayer funding for the National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and Corporation for Public Broadcasting should be terminated."

The people who run NEA should spend tax dollars wisely.

Jim Forsythe

The Faith and Freedom Coalition is the group you believe is the one that is above it all. Ralph E. Reed. will sell out for a buck.

Before Ralph E. Reed created the Faith and Freedom Coalition, he was a big part of the Christian Coalition, which was under investigation by the FEC.

The Faith and Freedom Coalition is a right-wing Christian political group created by Ralph E. Reed.

As a 501(c)4 nonprofit organization, the Faith and Freedom Coalition is ostensibly a "social welfare" organization and does not have to disclose its donors. It can accept unlimited amounts of money, and can spend a limited amount of money to influence elections. It is even possible for the Faith and Freedom Coalition to move anonymous money to SuperPACs and other political groups, effectively concealing the source of the money.

Reed left the Christian Coalition during its decline. In 1997, the coalition was under investigation by the FEC for carrying out direct electioneering activities. The Christian Coalition's chief financial officer, Judy Liebert was also suspicious of Reed due to potential overbilling by Ben Hart, a direct-mail vendor with close ties to Reed. While the investigation against Reed was underway, he left the coalition to become a lobbyist, working primarily to further the gambling interests of Native American-run Casinos. Reed's lobbying work made him a player in the Jack Abramoff Indian Lobbying scandal in 2004, he was implicated, but never charged with a crime.

Carlos Ponce

Under investigation - but have they found anything? No.

Carlos Ponce

"After an intensive investigation, extensive discovery, and lengthy briefing, on August 2nd, Judge Joyce Hens Green of the D.C. federal district court, handed down her long-awaited decision on cross-motions for summary judgment, exonerating the Christian Coalition ("Coalition") on charges made by the Federal Election Commission ("FEC") that the Coalition violated provisions of the Federal Election Campaign Act ("FECA").

Who headed that witch hunt? Your anti - Conservative friend LOIS LERNER!!!!!

Bailey Jones

"The Faith and Freedom Coalition" - enough said. What's this I keep hearing? Liberals are too sensitive? Always trying to censor that which they find offensive? Heaven forbid the old ladies and stuffed shirts at the Faith and Freedom Coalition be offended. By all means, let's shut down two government agencies so that won't happen again.

What's that scary old NEH up to anyway?

Ladies of the Canyons is a lecture/slide show about remarkable women who left the security and comforts of genteel Victorian society and journeyed to the American Southwest in search of a wider view of themselves and their world.

The American Revolutionary Generation - This discussion series focuses on the men and women who lived during the American Revolution, the actors in the Revolution and others whose lives were changed by it. The readings provide multiple perspectives on the people of this generation and their times.

Florida Cattle Ranching: Five Centuries of Tradition - Exploring and celebrating the history and culture of the nation’s oldest cattle ranching state, folklorist Bob Stone, shares all aspects of cattle ranching traditions — cracker cow whips, unique ranch gate designs, swamp cabbage, cowboy church, and cowboy funerals.

Ann Bradford Stokes: African American Civil War Nurse - Ann Bradford Strokes (1833-1903) worked aboard the Navy’s first Hospital Ship Red Rover of Mound City, Illinois. She worked with sick and wounded soldiers aboard the United States Naval Hospital Ship (U.S.N.) throughout the Western Theater of the Civil War on both the Ohio and Mississippi rivers and their tributaries.

READY! for Kindergarten is a national early childhood literacy program for parents, grandparents and other primary caregivers of children from birth to age five. The program was developed in Kennewick, Washington in the early 2000’s by teachers, parents and early childhood education experts to address the issue of children entering school with low literacy skills.

But that jar of pee, though - I'll bet the NEA is up to no good -

Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network is an initiative of the National Endowment for the Arts in partnership with the U.S. Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs and the state and local arts agencies that serves the special needs of military patients and veterans with traumatic brain injury and psychological health conditions, as well as their families and caregivers.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company. Since its founding in 1974 by Terry Kinney, Jeff Perry, and Gary Sinise, the company has received national and international recognition—including a series of Tony Awards and the National Medal of Arts—with continual support from the NEA.

The Sundance Institute, created in 1981 by the actor/director Robert Redford. The NEA supported its initial four-week workshop and seminar, and has been supporting it ever since, including its development programs in documentary and feature film and training sessions for emerging screenwriters and directors, as well as new initiatives such as Film Forward.

The Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Receiving support from the NEA since 1968, the Walker is recognized internationally for its commitment to artistic innovation and community engagement.

Appalshop in Whitesburg, Kentucky. Appalshop—through media productions, public presentations, and educational projects, including film, video, radio, new media, music, theater, and community exchanges—documents the voices and celebrates the culture of people living in Appalachia and rural America. NEA has provided continual support for Appalshop since its founding.

The NEA Literature Fellowship program, which has supported American creative writers since 1965 and translators since 1981.

The National Council for the Traditional Arts and their annual production of the National Folk Festival, which has been funded by the National Endowment for the Arts every year since 1970.

Carlos Ponce

Bailey asks "What's that scary old NEH up to anyway?"

"Tax dollars wasted on humanities projects, critics charge"

Bailey Jones

"Pets and the Animal Protection Movement during the Victorian Age, the history of black Americans in golf, the culture of tea consumption in India and the creation of ethnic identity in 18th century Ecuador"

It doesn't surprise me at all that you don't see the value in historical studies like these.

Scientia gratia scientiae!

Carlos Ponce

They only benefit the person milking the government. The money can be better spent.

David Schuler

Every government-funded program should be reviewed for relevance and usefulness. Given the billions of dollars directed at arts and humanities programs by private foundations, it's proper to ask what the role of public dollars should be today.

But i also note the use of statistics above to imply cause and effect where none may actually exist. For example, i could say that "A student who is recognized academically is four times more likely to involved in art programs". Is one the cause of the other, or is it a simple correlation that is actually a result of environmental and parental factors. I'm not sure anyone has done the real experiment (with a proper control group) to prove cause and effect.

Jose' Boix

Let's accentuate the positive! Let's congratulate and support Texas City ISD for taking the step to promote the Fine Arts. Based on that data included, TCISD is doing the "right thing." We are also blessed and fortunate to have financial support along with the work of the TCISD Foundation for the Future. Many folks have worked hard to make such events possible and successful. Let's bask on the positives! Just my thoughts!

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