November 2016 Newsletter: Direct from Our Director

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  • November 18, 2016
November 18, 2016  -   Posted To:   Newsletter

(from l-r) Turnaround Arts: National Director Kathy Fletcher, NEA Chairman Jane Chu, PCAH Co-Chair Margo Lion, Kennedy Center President Deborah Rutter, PCAH Co-Chair George Stevens, Jr., PCAH Executive Director Megan Beyer, and Kennedy Center Senior VP of Education Mario Rossero sign the documents to make the Turnaround Arts transition to the Kennedy Center official!

I speak for the entire team here at Turnaround Arts when I say that we are ending the fall season reflective and grateful. In the spirit of counting our blessings, here are some of the many reasons we have to be thankful:

  • Our schools are flourishing.
  • We have found our new home at the Kennedy Center.
  • We’ve wrapped up four incredible launch events in celebration of new local program sites and schools in North Dakota, New Orleans, Milwaukee, and Minnesota. Welcome to the family!
  • Our roster of Turnaround Artists now numbers 65, all of whom are committed to bringing their own special brand of arts education and love to our schools around the country for the next four years.
  • We have an incredible network of generous national partners who continue to provide crucial resources to our students, educators, and families.
  • Our 12 local program sites are thriving, and we eagerly look forward to several new ones to come next year.  
  • Our teachers and principals, who work harder than anyone we have ever met, every day.
  • The support of our amazing First Lady, who is love and grace personified.
  • Above all else, our 33,000 Turnaround Arts students, who are sounding their voices through the arts and revitalizing their schools as a result. For their growing contributions to their schools and communities, we are extremely thankful. 
Among the things we're thankful for: smiles like this one.

Among the things we’re thankful for: smiles like this one.

When President and Mrs. Obama charged the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities with creating a program to test the theories of its 2011 report on the status of arts education in the U.S. public school system, we never dreamed that Turnaround Arts would become what it is today. As the end of the Obama term quickly approaches, we are overwhelmed with pride to have created, with help from so many amazing people and organizations, a signature initiative of this Administration. We will always remember the active and heartfelt support of our glorious First Lady – who could forget the hugs she gave each one of our students who visited the White House for the Talent Show – and the importance that she and the President placed on arts education over their time in office. And so it is with grateful hearts that we carry on their mission to close the arts divide in American education.

Students at Noyes Elementary found their groove with Turnaround Artists Lil Buck and Damian Woetzel.

Students at Noyes Elementary found their groove with Turnaround Artists Lil Buck and Damian Woetzel.

As this year comes to an end, we continue to look toward the future, in hope, with the words of President Kennedy in our minds: “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

Thank you for helping us live by our words.

Much love,

Kathy and the Turnaround Arts Team