- WHAT WE DO
Turnaround Arts transforms Priority and Focus schools through the strategic use of the arts. We envision a world in which all students engage in a well-rounded education and exude confidence, critical thinking, and creativity as a result.
Turnaround Arts was founded in 2011 under the Obama Administration of the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH), a White House advisory committee on cultural issues. Now led by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and PCAH in partnership with the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, local partners and several private foundations, Turnaround Arts brings arts education programs and supplies to a group of the lowest-performing elementary and middle schools in the country. These resources help schools improve attendance, parent engagement, student motivation, and academic achievement.
Turnaround Arts works across the country, with schools in 38 school districts and 17 states and the District of Columbia. All schools are “Priority- or Focus-designated,” meaning they are in the lowest performing 5-10% of schools in their state, as defined by the U.S. Department of Education. As part of Turnaround Arts, schools receive an array of arts education services designed to increase their chances of success, engage their community and raise the visibility of their achievements. Key to these efforts is building arts education programming that is rigorous, effective and integrated holistically into the school, as well as strategically targeted to addressing larger school challenges. The program works closely with each school throughout the year to help the school community plan and implement their programming and ensure its quality and impact.
Local program partners apply to become a Turnaround Arts site. The national program office provides these partners with arts education resources and expertise, coaching, program methodologies, baseline evaluations, training, and peer-to-peer learning structures. The national program also provides resources directly to selected schools, including arts supplies, musical instruments, licensing rights and kits for school musicals, and high-profile Turnaround Artists who work with students and teachers. In turn, local Turnaround Arts programs select clusters of eligible schools and support them with instructional resources and coaching, teacher professional development, leadership support, and more. The program structure that enables these changes relies on a high-touch, intensive intervention model based on eight pillars that guide arts-based transformation in each school.
Pillars of Effective and Integrated Arts Education in Successful School Improvements
Through this framework, ongoing coaching, and a focus on the connections between broader school goals and strategic use of the arts, Turnaround Arts schools are making enormous gains after years of struggling. Principals and teachers develop new tools and find renewed passion for their craft. Students shine in new and unique roles. School culture and climate becomes more positive and collaborative. And parents and the broader school community are revitalized. To learn more, please contact the Turnaround Arts team.
About the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
Created in 1982 under President Reagan, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues. Under the chairmanship of the First Lady of the United States, PCAH works on behalf of the Administration and with federal cultural agencies to build public-private partnerships that address important policy questions in the arts and humanities. Its core areas of focus are arts and humanities education, cultural exchange, and the creative economy. Among its decades of work, the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities published the landmark report Reinvesting in Arts Education: Winning America’s Future Through Creative Schools in 2011. It was the first federal report in more than a decade to survey the challenges and opportunities in providing arts education to the nation’s children. This report summarized over ten years of research, illustrating the benefits of arts education on academic achievement and student engagement, and highlighting the “equity gap” of unequal access to arts education programs in high-poverty schools. Turnaround Arts was developed out of the findings and recommendations of this report.
About the Kennedy Center
As the nation’s performing arts center, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is committed to increasing opportunities for all people to participate in and understand the arts. Since 1971, Kennedy Center Education has strived to fulfill that mission by offering performances and programs of the highest standard of excellence, and of a diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity that reflects the world in which we live. Onstage and online, in the classroom and the community, Kennedy Center Education serves over seven million learners each year. Further details are available at www.kennedy-center.org.
Kennedy Center Education Mission: We set the national bar for arts learning, creativity and accessibility by providing powerful, culturally relevant experiences for all.
Kennedy Center Education Vision: Eradicating barriers to arts learning. Building capacity. Returning arts and creativity to the center of our lives. Activating Citizen Artists.
KEY TURNAROUND ARTS STAFF
Senior Vice President for Education, The Kennedy Center
National Director, Turnaround Arts
Implementation Director, Turnaround Arts
National Program Manager, Turnaround Arts
Assistant Manager, Turnaround Arts
Assistant Manager, Turnaround Arts
Manager, Implementation and Early Childhood Education, Turnaround Arts
Manager, Implementation, Turnaround Arts
Program Assistant, Implementation, Turnaround Arts
Implementation Specialist, Turnaround Arts
Communications Director, Turnaround Arts