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Bootsy Collins puts the ‘fun’ in ‘funk’ at CSU’s Campus International School

Legendary funk musician Bootsy Collins was the guest of honor at Cleveland State University’s Campus International School on Wednesday, May 15.

“The students were very excited,” said Principal Julie Beers. “For some of them, it was like meeting the president.”

Singer-bassist Collins, a Rock and Roll Hall of Famer who got his start backing James Brown before joining George Clinton’s Parliament-Funkadelic, told his young fans that funk involves making something out of nothing. His Bootsy Collins Foundation donated several instruments to the school’s music program, including violins, cellos and trumpets.

To show their appreciation, a choir of students serenaded Collins with a selection of his funky hits, including the No. 1 smash “Bootzilla.”

The choir also joined Collins for a May 17 concert at CSU’s Waetjen Auditorium with the Contemporary Youth Orchestra, an award-winning ensemble under the direction of CSU alumna Liza Grossman.

For more pictures, check out this Plain Dealer/cleveland.com photo gallery.

Collins’ visit put an exclamation point on another great academic year at Campus International School, a partnership between CSU and the Cleveland Metropolitan School District. With an enrollment of 310 students, the school currently offers a rigorous International Baccalaureate curriculum for kindergarten through fourth grades, with an additional grade to be added each year. It’s the only CMSD school with a waiting list, and students regularly take field trips to CSU, PlayhouseSquare, Tower City Center and other downtown locations.

“The city is CSU’s campus, and we’ve made the city our campus, too,” Beers said. “Our downtown location affords a lot of unique opportunities for our students that other schools can’t match.”

Photo courtesy of Gus Chan / The Plain Dealer