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A Kinder, Gentler Rosie

Jan. 28 2009, Published 12:37 p.m. ET

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Rosie O'Donnell may have canned her blog, which she said wasn't fun any more, but she's not fading away.

Last night, the former TV host inaugurated the Maravel Arts Center near New York's theater district. She created it as a place where poor kids could hang and take music and dance lessons.

"In NYC public schools, it's not like when I was a kid, in the fifth grade, when we did The King and I," O'Donnell said. "The arts programs have been gutted. Music, theatre, musicals, dance, that's what saved me emotionally. I fell in love with Broadway, as my mother did before me."

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The facility is named after one of Rosie's inspirational teachers, Pat Maravel.

Broadway legends Chita Rivera and Sandy Duncan were among those who came by to celebrate the new center, along with actress Linda Dano.

Rosie also has a Lifetime movie airing on February 28th, America, which stars and was co-written by the onetime daytime diva.

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