Newark School of the Arts Makes Impact on City with Arts
Larry Tamburri, Executive Director of the Newark School of the Arts, discusses his career in the music business, the programs the school offers and the importance of the arts in Newark.
"I'm Steve Adubato. This is the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. This is One on One, and we are pleased to welcome Mr. Larry Tamburri, who is executive director of the Newark School of the Arts, which in 2017 is celebrating its...? 50th anniversary. Wow. For those who do not know what the Newark School of the Arts is, describe it. It's an afterschool program of sequential art training in four disciplines. Music, dance, visual arts, and drama. Why does it matter so much? Particularly in a city like Newark? Well, it matters everywhere. But it matters particularly in a city like Newark, because there isn't enough art training in the school system. Let's break this down a little bit. People who say, "Yeah the arts are nice, but it doesn't matter that much, because you've got these basic skills that kids need." You say? I say that actually the arts make a big difference in people's lives, they change people's lives, and it's been documented in many different ways how it improves academic performance, if that's of interest. The arts? Yes. If that's of interest to people. Help us. Give us an example. Well, if you look to see which students, if you're in a school system, where there's a strong music program, you'll see that the kids that are achieving the most academically will usually be the kids in the band and orchestra. That really is true, is it? That's really true. If you want to hear a really good orchestra, go to MIT. They don't even have a music program but they have a really great orchestra. Carnegie Mellon, same thing. A little correlation there? A little correlation there. Yes. Talk about your background. You've directed a few symphonies, have you not, over thirty years? Yeah, well I was the CEO, not the music director. Okay. Well... Yeah. You've been the boss? I've... yes. The leader? Yes. So that's why a thirty year career in symphony management. Describe that. Well, it was, you know, you kinda have to do everything when you're in symphony management. You know, you have a board of directors, so you have to develop that and work with that group. You have to raise money, sell tickets, work with artists... I'm sorry, you're talking about public television right now? Yeah, exactly. [laughter] Yeah. It's like... [laughter] Work with artists. Yes. You know, you have a hundred musicians that you have to try to keep happy, plus a music director, so it's an interesting and complex field. It was a really good career. I enjoyed it quite a bit. So you're from Pittsburgh? Mm hmm. You were involved in that symphony? Yeah that was at the end of my career, that was my last orchestra..."