More than 11,000 Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools fifth-grade students will get a taste of opera and ballet at the Blumenthal Performing Arts Center uptown this week – field trips that almost didn’t happen.
Last summer, the Arts & Science Council said it would have to stop funding cultural and historical field trips for 22,000 students after a dip in donations. The nonprofit started paying for the trips in 2009 as budget cuts forced CMS to stop funding them itself.
Howard Levine, CEO of Family Dollar, ponied up $100,000 to keep the field trips on schedule. Besides the Blumenthal trips, third-graders visit Historic Latta Plantation, Historic Rosedale, Rural Hill, Charlotte Museum of History and the James K. Polk State Historic Site.
This week, the fifth-graders will get a special 45-minute performance that blends the art of Opera Carolina, Charlotte Ballet and the Charlotte Symphony.