Pudding Gives Gift to Schools

Hasty Pudding Theatricals donated $10,000 to the Cambridge Public Schools yesterday, continuing a five-year tradition of providing funds for local students to attend performing arts shows in the Boston area.

Hasty Pudding’s donations over the past five years total $60,000 and have been used to subsidize tickets for over 4,000 Cambridge students.

The gift was given to the school district at a ceremony yesterday at the Amigos School that featured Hasty Pudding members dressed in drag and the cast of Cambridge Rindge and Latin’s production of “Guys and Dolls.”

Hasty Pudding members also taught a group of Amigos students to perform in a kick-line.

The theatrical society raises funds for the gifts by asking audience members for donations, efforts that have been widely praised by local politicians and officials.

“This is a fabulous example of a partnership where Harvard University steps up to the plate and allows public school students to have opportunities they wouldn’t normally have,” said School Committee member Patricia M. Nolan ’80, whose son and daughter attend the Amigos.

A spokeswoman for Hasty Pudding said that the group has focused on Cambridge instead of other districts because many of its activities involve the city.

“We really like to be involved in the Cambridge community because so many of our audience members come from Cambridge and our parade is a whole town thing, not just a Harvard thing,” said Talisa B. Friedman ’10, the Hasty Pudding’s spokeswoman. “Everyone in the Pudding had interaction with the performing arts at a very young age, and we just feel it’s very important that all students have an opportunity to experience theater.”

School district officials, including Superintendent of Schools Thomas D. Fowler-Finn and Director of Visual and Performing Arts Elaine Koury, could not be reached for comment.

—Staff writer Paras D. Bhayani can be reached at pbhayani@fas.harvard.edu.