Thursday, February 7, 2008


Dear internet colleagues and esteemed members of the more traditional press;

For the past couple of months I have been working at an after school program at Carnell Elementary School in the far northeast of Philadelphia. I have been paid very little and commute via septa an hour in each direction to make it to work. I have done this because I believe that working at Carnell Elementary provides me with the rare opportunity to make Philadelphia a better place and give the students I have had the honor to teach some much needed cultural education.

I really believe that education will make all the difference in this city.

Mayor Nutter has made similar lip service to this notion, but last night I found out that in about a week, on February 15th, the budget for the program I have been working for will have been cut completely and I will be out of a job. The forty-five students who attend my program and their parents will have to find somewhere else to go in a week's time. I am left feeling confused. I voted for Mayor Nutter. I have been trying to do the right thing by the city I live in, and I don't think this change is for the better.

The Philadelphia Daily News has been covering the story of how Nutter's recent cuts will affect the city:

Daily News

Daily News

Myself and my compatriots at the program I work for are trying to get our voices heard. We feel it is our duty to hold the Mayor to his campaign promises, we have been optimistic about this new era for Philadelphia and we want very much for the change we voted in to take place. I invite you to follow this story on my blog as it unravels; currently one of my coworkers is trying to get a meeting with the mayor and this afternoon we will be approaching the parents of the students in our program, reaching out to them in support of our cause. With any luck I will also be sharing with you the student's art projects and a special quilt we are making to send to Major Nutter.

Thank you. It is my hope that together we can make Philadelphia a better place.

-Annette Monnier


Anonymous said...

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Benjamin Volta said...

Hi Annette,

If you plan on staying in Philly and working with youth check out PAEP and apply to be on the PCA Arts in Education roster.I do not think you would have any problem being accepted.,, the only downside is that the application cycle is in the fall. - One of my first residencies with PAEP was at Carnell.

I am sorry to hear that you lost your funding for the after school program. I think that it is great that you are responding by finding ways to make noise and keep the city accountable!

Anonymous said...

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MYX said...


I work for a non-profit that does Artist-in-Residence workshops.

I can definitely empathize with the lack of attention the city gives to funding such programs - as we are constantly seeking ways to do what we do in schools that have NO BUDGET FOR ART (I still can't believe it - no art in elementary school).

We're always looking for artists who are good community teachers, and care about giving back to Philly.

check out