Homecoming Dance: Erykah Badu Returns to Arts Magnet to Raise Money (and, the Roof)

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Dylan Hollingsworth
Erykah Badu does know how to make the dramatic entrance, performing a capella before cracking the curtain to reveal the full band behind
State Sen. Royce West was there; so too Cindy and Howard Rachofsky, former mayoral candidate and "homeless czar" Tom Dunning, Arts District exec director Veletta Lill and an Alan Peppard's column worth of bold-faced bigwigs with deep pockets. The affair, spread over the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts campus and into a white tent set up in an across-the-street parking lot, was no small thing -- a glitzy, glam $500-a-pop fundraiser for the Arts Magnet.

Some attendees, though, would contribute thousands and thousands, and their reward was a homecoming hour-long performance by Erykah Badu in the high school's auditorium, followed by a parade led by the Dirty Dozen Brass Band -- down Flora, left on Routh, straight into New Orleans. Badu, performing for the first time in the Montgomery Arts Theater, put on nothing short of a rapturous spectacle -- didn't think it was possible to stuff that much light and sound into that small a space. And she left behind something quite special: Her 1997 Best Female R&B Vocal Performance Grammy for the song "On & On," which will go on display in the school's lobby courtesy some very generous sponsors.

Flyinghorse, the event was called, the creation of the Arts Magnet Advisory Board, an attempt to spare the school some of the horrific cuts coming its way courtesy the state Legislature's budget shortfall. At present, the Dallas Independent School District is facing a best-case gutting of $86 to $150 million, and Booker T., like every other school in the district (and the state), will lose teachers -- half, at last look, 29. So they threw a party to ease the pain, figuratively and fiscally -- "a heck of a time to throw a party," said Lisa Holland, Arts Magnet's exec director.

Hmmm. Wonder if I can get Meat Loaf and Mike Nesmith to play Thomas Jefferson.

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22 comments
Russp
Russp

It's a shame we can't change the current mentality of a lot of people, especially our kids, and start admiring and looking up to the Bill Cosbys instead of the Little Waynes or the Michelle Obamas instead of the Lil' Kims. We'd have a better world.

Subrosali
Subrosali

LOL.... jealousy rears its ugly head. I bet there are more millionaire + Arts Magnet alumni than any one single high school in Texas.... and that just really aggravates the crap out of Hooker Perry's fellow "working boys"...positive proof below.

TR
TR

Erykah Badu is a woman to be looked up to. Unless you've got nothing good to say about her, Shut Yo Mouf

Dallas Diner
Dallas Diner

Did the mayor give her an unofficial key to the city.

scottindallas
scottindallas

Erykah is a great ambassador for Dallas and Booker T. She shows more class, while being provocative than all the members of the board.

Casual Observer
Casual Observer

At least she cares enough to try to help find funding for one of Dallas' greatest schools. Your buddy Rick Perry couldn't care any less. Baa! Baa! You are a bunch of Republican sheep being led to the slaugther for the enrichment of Perry and his buddies.

Fullycladatalltimes
Fullycladatalltimes

Who else who gets nekkid and runs past the grassy knoll can we get to raise money for the schools?. Any other Barebottomed Role Models the DISD can enlist? Some people call it exposure, others call it art. How about an "Everybody get nekkid for the kiddoes 5K Assassination Route Run?"

Russp
Russp

Getting naked on a public street in front of kids and families is class? Sounds more like another washed up act looking for attention.

Qpotat
Qpotat

Yawn ,Erykah who?

MattL1
MattL1

I'm pretty sure she's the only one who fits your description there, Dr. Fünke.

Dulcenojob
Dulcenojob

Let me tell you all something.. Ms. Badu is NO washed up anything!! She is a TRUE artist and trying to help a great cause. You people who are talking about her without knowing her other then getting naked wouldn't understand a true artist anyway.. you're probably into what's fed to you by the very think groups she spoke of, you all should just give thanks someone gave a crap. i'd be MORE mad about any teachers getting laid off, but NOO you're just gonna talk about her being "naken" and what not. - stay woke people.

pkath
pkath

And furthermore, I went to this school, with E....she's got more class than you'll ever be able to muster. Hater. Don't you have anything better to do?

pkath
pkath

Whatever....human bodies are beautiful and hers is exceptional...get over it already.

MattL1
MattL1

Washed up? Did you hear her last album? It was fantastic.

buckwheat
buckwheat

i want to second this emotion..

Russp
Russp

When she proves herself with the longevity of a Tony Bennett or Johnny Mathis or the hit making ability of a Stevie Wonder or Quincy Jones (none of whom had to get naked to continue their careers), tell me how great she is. If my memory is correct, her Grammy was almost 15 years ago and her last hit or charted album at least 10.

Russp
Russp

So I guess you strive to have three kids with three different daddies that weren't worth marrying just like "E"? Is that the class you speak of?

SUBROSALI
SUBROSALI

Me, too. ARTS MAGNET CLASS OF 1989 *REPRESENT*

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