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The kids are grateful, they truly are.

But the Roseland Collegiate Prep students who relocated into a former warehouse and school after their landmark campus burned last October found the purple paint to be a bit much.

To follow this may require you to briefly divert your attention from your Grape Nuts:

The Roseland Collegiate Prep campus that fell to the Tubbs fire was home originally to the defunct Ursuline High School, located north of Santa Rosa near Cardinal Newman High, which survived the firestorm but was badly damaged.

In December, the more than 400 fire-displaced 7th-through-12th graders of Roseland Collegiate Prep moved into the former warehouse on Sebastopol Road that served as the founding campus of RCP’s sister school, Roseland University Prep.

The school color of Roseland University Prep is purple, a fact that could not be overlooked by anyone who ever visited the Sebastopol Road campus. It looked to have been dipped in grape juice.

RUP moved out of the ex-warehouse just last fall, when it occupied a brand new campus between Roseland’s West and Burbank avenues.

The burned-out Roseland Collegiate Prep students, 12 of whom lost their homes as well as their school, were happy four months ago to make a temporary home of the Sebastopol Road space. But as their school colors are blue and green, the kids and staff found the pervasive purple off-putting.

“When you move into a warehouse that’s all purple,” said principal Danielle Yount, “you don’t feel it’s your spot.”

Enter Nancy Ballard.

Ballard founded and leads the nonprofit Rooms That Rock 4 Chemo. It transforms cancer treatment spaces from drab to bright and lively and inviting.

Learning of the purple problem at the new home of Roseland Collegiate Prep, Ballard rallied a community effort to repaint the school.

The work happened last Saturday. Christopherson Builders of Santa Rosa provided the paint — “Tiny Bubbles” blue by Kelly Moore — and Cutting Edge Painting of Windsor the labor.

Nancy Ballard of Rooms That Rock 4 Cancer tells of RCP students thanking her and the other partners with tears in their eyes.

All they wanted, she said, “was to have their school not painted purple.”

A SHAMISEN, you probably know, is a versatile, three-stringed Japanese lute. It’s also something a young Santa Cruz man named Kyle Abbott can’t get enough of.

Organizers of the May 6 Matsuri festival in Santa Rosa are thrilled that Abbott is coming up to perform at the May 6 celebration of Japanese art, culture, food and music at Juilliard Park.

At 28, Abbott has hand made and played the shamisen for more than a decade. “It can be played quiet as a whisper,” he says, “or, if played forcefully, can be clearly heard outside on a crowded street.”

Abbott will perform at the Matsuri festival with fellow featured artist Yuzu, a singer/songwriter and shamisen player from Japan.

May 6 was also the date of SRJC’s Day Under the Oaks until its cancellation this month.

Fun, tasty, educational, multi-faceted — Matsuri is a like a small Day Under the Oaks with tea ceremonies.

Chris Smith is at 707-521-5211 and chris.smith@pressdemocrat.com.

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