CAPA Men Give Back
Written by Kendall Alexander on November 5, 2014
Ahmir “Questlove” Thompson and Tariq “Black Thought” Trotter of mega rap band The Roots recently made a special appearance at their South Philadelphia alma mater, The Philadelphia High School for Creative and Performing Arts (CAPA). They were there to encourage students to reach for their dreams and to launch The CAPA Foundation — a nonprofit they started that will raise money for the improvement of the school as well as for technology advances which will benefit the education of the students.
Thompson and Trotter heard via Twitter of CAPA’s financial struggles; the magnet school has recently lost close to $1 million in funding and has had to cut 19 teachers since 2011. The duo knew they had to do something, as their own stardom was birthed in the hallways of this creative institution.
At the launch party for the organization, both men spoke of what their alma mater meant to them and why they felt beckoned to contribute, hoping that others who have the financial means will also help save failing Philadelphia schools. According to Thompson, the nonprofit hopes to raise $500,000 annually for the first five years and then $1 million annually after that.
Aside from financial support, the band vows to do much more, including coming into classrooms to talk to students about the business that is show business, and holding workshops to foster their growth. This is a shift in the detrimental news that has been circulating about the School District of Philadelphia with budget cuts, layoffs, and the School Reform Commission.
Joanne Beaver, CAPA Principal, was overwhelmed with emotion and gratitude as The Roots came together to prove that things don’t have to fall apart.