Kicking off the school year with 10 new partner schools, Turnaround Arts: California now spans 27 schools across 20 school districts — reaching over 17,000 students to date! Add in the expertise of our coaches and the collective knowledge of our statewide network is fueling, deepening, and sustaining school change through the arts.
We are especially proud of our “active alumni” schools, who’ve continued their Turnaround Arts journeys beyond an initial 3-year commitment and now serve as mentors and models of the power of the arts to increase educational equity:
- Avenal Elementary School, Reef-Sunset Unified School District
- Barton Elementary School, San Bernardino City Unified School District
- Martin Luther King Elementary School, Compton Unified School District
- Fremont/Lopez Elementary School, Stockton Unified School District
- Hoopa Valley Elementary School, Klamath-Trinity Joint Unified School District
- Mary Chapa Academy, Greenfield Union School District
- Burbank Elementary School, Hayward Unified School District
Since partnering with Turnaround Arts: California in 2014, Barton Elementary School in San Bernardino, CA, has seen double-digit growth in English language arts (+14%) and disciplinary referrals have sharply declined (-60%). Similarly, Mary Chapa Academy in Greenfield, CA, has seen the highest growth district-wide in Math (+15%) and English language arts (+9%), and English language learner reclassification is up 97%, from 2 to 75 students annually! While these stats are impressive, it’s the palpable joy and creativity that exudes from these schools that is most inspiring:
These are just two examples of the many Turnaround Arts: California partner schools that are thriving with the arts at the center of teaching, learning, and community building.
Shoutout to our school teams that have recently been invited to share their stories of school success through the arts far and wide. At the 9th Annual Native American Education Conference, the Hoopa Valley Elementary School participated in a keynote panel on “turning around climate & culture at a Native American school through arts integration” and offered a workshop on effective, teacher-led training in arts-based strategies. Science teachers from Sierra Preparatory Academy put the “A” in STEAM with a hands-on stop-motion animation workshop at YoMo Los Angeles: the interactive STEAM festival. In October, Principal Sam Humphrey from MLK School of the Arts will travel to Honolulu, Hawai’i, to discuss “School Transformation & Bridging the Opportunity Gap through the Arts” at the 8th International Conference on Education and Social Justice hosted by Turnaround Arts: California board member Kevin Kumashiro.
Each day, we are guided by the words of our Turnaround Arts: California co-founders:
“The arts should belong to everybody, and every kid should have the chance for a good education. Access to the arts and a high-quality education aren’t two different ideas — they’re one reality.”
— Frank Gehry
“We continue to believe that no achievement gaps exist where opportunity lives.”
— Malissa Shriver
Working in partnership with the Kennedy Center, Turnaround Arts teams nationwide, and our school communities across the state to address educational inequity through the arts is truly a privilege.
Initiated with financial support from Berta and Frank Gehry and the California Arts Council, Turnaround Arts: California is supported by the California Legislature General Fund/Speaker Anthony Rendon, Herb Alpert Foundation, the Eisner Foundation, Facebook, Jane Fonda, Gagosian Gallery, the Goldhirsh Foundation, David Hockney, MasterClass, the Rosenthal Family Foundation, Elizabeth Segerstrom, the Segerstrom Family Foundation, Evan Spiegel, and Susan Steinhauser and Daniel Greenberg.