The Roots help launch new CAPA Foundation

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Some famous Philadelphians have returned to their roots to benefit a high school for the performing arts.

Some famous Philadelphians have returned to their roots to benefit a high school for the performing arts.

The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts - or CAPA- is known to be a school where academics and arts passions such as dance, music and theater combine.

But like other schools in the District of Philadelphia, they've seen their budget slashed in recent years.

"Last year was really hard, we had a lot of trouble putting on our annual musical . My sophomore year we didn't even have a musical and that was really sad because it was a CAPA tradition," said CAPA senior Torinn Fennelly.

Today the CAPA Foundation launched. It's an independent non-profit with the goal to provide long-term support to the high school .

And they have the weight of two of their success stories behind them.

Ahmir Thompson and Tariq Trotter, now better known as Questlove and Black Thought from Grammy award winning The Roots, began their collaboration as CAPA students and first performed together at a school talent show.

"One of the things that helped us make our way was the training that we received here at CAPA and all the encouragement," said Trotter.

"Not only did we want to help contribute so that we can ensure they have better production and school services, but we also want to put them in a place in which they can sustain themselves," Thompson said.

The Foundation aims to raise $500,000 annually over the next five years and one million dollars in future years.

The Roots provided $40,000 in seed money to help get the foundation off the ground.

"The CAPA Foundation that we are launching today is born out of the budget cuts but it intends to heal and strengthen the school to take it to even greater heights in the future," said Terrilyn McCormick, founder of the CAPA Foundation.

The first priority for this foundation is to heal the cuts by restoring positions and supplies.

Next they'll focus on capital campaigns to bring the school into 21st century.
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