White House Committee Selects New York City Schools in Expansion of Turnaround Arts Program

Turnaround provides federal support to expand on Mayor de Blasio’s commitment to enhancing arts Instruction in NYC public schools

By Jenny Clarke

New York City has been selected by The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) to participate in the next round of Turnaround Arts, a program that aims to narrow the achievement gap and increase student performance through intensive engagement with the arts.

The NYC Department of Education, Department of Cultural Affairs, and the Fund for Public Schools will serve as the local partners for Turnaround Arts’ three year duration. The four schools selected for the program are located in Brooklyn: East Flatbush Community Research School and Ebbets Field Middle School in Crown Heights, and P.S. 165 and P.S.284 in Brownsville.

Each participating school will receive training and resources to address their individual needs. Resources include a summer training program for school leadership, in-school arts-based professional development for all teachers, partnerships with community arts education and cultural organizations, art supplies, and musical instruments.

Participating schools were competitively selected by program partners according to national guidelines. Selection criteria included demonstrated need and opportunity, strong school leadership with district support, and a commitment to arts education. Turnaround Arts schools represent elementary and middle schools from across the country and encompass a diversity of student demographics in urban and rural settings.

Turnaround Arts: New York City supports the de Blasio Administration’s commitment to improving struggling schools and providing a quality arts education for all public school students – no matter their zip code. All of the schools selected for Turnaround Arts are part of the City’s Renewal School Program, which is the DOE’s turnaround plan for historically struggling schools. As Renewal Schools they are receiving additional funds and supports from the City and community partners. The Turnaround Arts program in New York supplements the City’s renewed investment in arts education.

“Bringing arts into classrooms is a critical piece of improving our struggling schools and raising student achievement,” said Schools Chancellor Carmen Fariña. “With the arts, students learn to think creatively, become more engaged in their schoolwork, and find productive passions and hobbies. I look forward to this incredible experience for our students, and I know this program is going to help them thrive in and out of the classroom.”

“Arts education is making a difference in some of America’s most challenged schools, and its impact is being recognized at the very highest levels. After meeting some of the kids, teachers, and parents, we agreed that Turnaround belongs in New York City,” said Cultural Affairs Commissioner Tom Finkelpearl.

National partners in Turnaround Arts include the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Herb Alpert Foundation, the Rosenthal Family Foundation, the Keith Haring Foundation, Crayola LLC, the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) Foundation, and Music Theatre International. New national partners to the program include AOL, Little Kids Rock and JCPenney. The program is administered in partnership with Americans for the Arts.

Click here to read the full press release.

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