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Interim schools superintendent discusses the arts & students

Interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent Amber Dixon
WBFO News file photo
Interim Buffalo Schools Superintendent Amber Dixon

Interim Buffalo Schools superintendent Amber Dixon was the recent guest speaker at the Coalition of Arts Providers for Children.   It is a group area arts in education professionals. 

The conversation with Dixon was designed to hear about the superintendent's commitment to arts in a child's life.  Dixon spoke candidly in a nearly hour conversation. She was asked how the arts played a role when she was a student.

"You know my brain is far more analytical," said Dixon.  "So almost through literature is where the arts hit me the most. Arts education was just a part of my education."

Dixon said her favorite piece of literature is a "Wrinkle in Time." 

Dixon shows her support by attending many arts and performance programs by Buffalo public school students.  She says it is very emotional for her.

"I haven't seen one performance of our children that I didn't cry at," said Dixon.  I'm always moved to tears whenever I go to any of those performances," said Dixon.

Unfortunately Dixon's obstacle as the school district leader is not having enough resources to provide more arts and cultural programs.  But she stresses the need more collaborations with the arts community.  

"I will go and beg for money to make sure our kids have always access to the arts," said Dixon.  "We found a way for our kids to get to the Zoo,  We found a way to get them to the Philharmonic.  We have found ways to get the Philharmonic to play side by side with our students from performing arts."

The city school district remains in a battle  for federal improvement grants for Buffalo's lowest performing schools.

Dixon clearly indicated the government will come up with more challenges in the future for the district.

"We are fighting for our survival. We are fighting for funds to have a school districting, fighting to keep schools open," said Dixon.  "We are in tough straights now.  They are not done with us.  You know I think the next round of schools that they are going to call them -- get ready -- priority schools next. They are going to call them priority schools."