Kerry Washington

Kerry Washington is an award-winning actress who has numerous films and television credits. She is on the Artist Committee for Americans for the Arts, an organization that works to promote the arts in America. She is also on the board of V-Day, an organization dedicated to ending violence against women and girls. In 2005, Americans for the Arts presented her with the Young Artist Award for artistic accomplishments and exemplary leadership; in 2008, she was awarded the Phoenix Award for Commitment to social advocacy from the Congressional Black Caucus; and in 2009, she received the Artist-Citizen Award for public leadership in the arts from the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

In 2015, Ms. Washington received the Vanguard Award at the 26th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. She dedicates much of her time to public service and is active on political and social issues.

Ms. Washington was appointed to the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, and has been a Turnaround Artist since the program’s pilot phase.

“It’s an honor to be part of this program. Through my work in Turnaround Arts schools, I have witnessed the power of integrated arts education to move the needle on some of our toughest educational challenges and to give all students the chance to excel and to shine.”

Chad Smith

As a member of pioneering, award-winning superstars Red Hot Chili Peppers—which he joined in 1988—Chad Smith is widely regarded as one of music’s most accomplished drummers and articulate musicians. With the Chili Peppers, Mr. Smith was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012. He received six Grammy Awards, while two of the band’s albums are among Rolling Stone’s 10 Greatest Albums of All Time. Additionally, Spin Magazine ranked him at #10 on their list of the 100 Greatest Drummers of Alternative Music.

Musically prolific—he has recorded seven studio albums with the Chili Peppers and appears on a total of 22 releases with the band, including 23 top-ten singles—Mr. Smith has drummed for such diverse artists as Johnny Cash, the Dixie Chicks, George Clinton, and many more. He has performed on dozens of international tours and is a founding member of the supergroup Chickenfoot with former Van Halen singer Sammy Hagar.

Mr. Smith, who began playing drums at the age of 7, credits his public school education for the opportunity to excel at his chosen instrument. He’s an active supporter of a number of non-profit organizations, including MusiCares, Little Kids Rock, and Bystander Revolution, a group that speaks out against bullying in schools. In 2013, NAMM (National Association Music Merchants) tapped Mr. Smith as advocate for arts in public schools. He has spoken publicly about his passion for music education, noting “it’s proven that graduation rates and attendance are higher when there are music programs. If we don’t have them, there are people like myself who won’t be exposed to the music and arts.”

“Without public school music education I would not have been able to realize my dream and my career path. I am a professional musician today because of the music classes I had access to all throughout my public school experience. I’m living proof it works!”

Smokey Robinson

William “Smokey” Robinson, Jr. is a singer-songwriter, record producer, and co-founder of Motown Records. Robinson produced 26 Top 40 hits with the Miracles and was the principal songwriter for Motown, penning several hits for The Temptations, Mary Wells and Marvin Gaye. He’s been inducted into the Rock and Roll and Songwriters Hall of Fame, the Kennedy Center, and awarded stars on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was awarded a medal at the National Medal of Arts and a BET Lifetime Achievement Award. Howard University and Berklee College of Music have awarded him honorary Doctorates in Music.

Tim Robbins

Tim Robbins is a multifaceted actor, writer, director and producer whose films include Dead Man WalkingShawshank Redemption, and Mystic River, for which he won the Academy Award®.

Mr. Robbins has been a consistent and influential voice in the theater for the past 30+ years as an actor, director, playwright, and Artistic Director of the Actors’ Gang—a theatre group that offers a supportive environment for a diverse ensemble of artists to present new, unconventional, and uncompromising plays and dynamic reinterpretations of the classics. Founded in 1981, The Actor’s Gang has produced over 100 plays in Los Angeles, in 40 U.S. states, and on five continents with ensembles that have included accomplished actors such as Jack Black, John Cusack, John C. Reilly, Helen Hunt, Kate Walsh, Fisher Stevens, Jeremy Piven and Jon Favreau, among many others.

Mr. Robbins and several other Actors Gang members also regularly conduct theater workshops with incarcerated men in an effort to fill the gap in arts rehabilitation programs in the California prison system.

“I am here today because of the importance of arts in education. When I was in school, I went from being a good student in grade school to a struggling student in high school. The arts became a lifeline for me.”


Since its inception in 1995, innovation and creativity have defined Ozomatli. Hailing from Los Angeles, the group found a way to represent the city’s eclectic culture through music that appeals to the local community and the world beyond. Ozomatli’s success is exemplified in an impressive variety of genres, from classic to modern Latino, urban, hip-hop and other world styles. The “Dioses del Baile,” or “Gods of Dance,” have created one of the most exciting, captivating and flat-out fun live shows touring today. They continue to harness their musical instincts by conceiving new concepts and forging new sounds that keep fans on their toes and the world dancing.

Prior to paying respects to the classic Latin catalogue, Ozomatli was creating its own repertoire adored by fans and critics alike. The band catapulted to the top of the live music scene with their first eponymously titled album. The impact of the then 10-piece band’s album was felt throughout the music world, and earned them the opportunity to open for Carlos Santana on his Supernatural tour. Following the success of its first album and touring with Santana and Mana, Ozomatli released its sophomore album, Embrace the Chaos, which garnered a Grammy award for Best Latin Rock/Alternative Album. The follow up album, Street Signs, won both the same award and the Latin Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album in 2005.

Ozomatli takes firm stances on various social justice issues. Their work focuses on giving voice to Latino culture, opportunity to children, fighting for workers’ rights, and promoting global unity and peace amongst people, cultures and nations. Ozomatli were named Cultural Ambassadors for the U.S. State Department in 2006, were the first musical group to speak at the TED Conference in San Francisco, and performed for President and First Lady Obama at the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute’s 32nd Annual Award Gala.

In addition to politics and social issues, Ozomatli emphasizes the importance of family and children. The band has strived to make music to be shared through the generations and have even recorded music specifically targeted towards children and families. Their 2012 release, Ozomatli Presents OzoKidz, features all original children’s music that captures the innovation and liveliness that Ozo fans have become accustomed to, while educating children on the values of nature and knowledge. The band continues to perform the album at special OzoKidz concerts, where parents and children alike dance and play along on OzoKidz kazoos.

Jason Mraz

Jason Mraz has quietly amassed a youthful, diverse, and vibrant fan-base throughout all parts of the globe. His critically acclaimed live performances have propelled him from the San Diego coffee house circuit to amphitheaters, arenas, festivals, and stadiums all over the world. Among many other international accolades, Mr. Mraz has won two GRAMMY® Awards and garnered six nominations, a People’s Choice award, the Hal David Songwriter Hall Of Fame Award and a few Teen Choice Awards. Mr. Mraz is indisputably among the most gifted and beloved artists of the modern era—recently making pop history with his record-breaking classic single, “I’m Yours,” while also earning platinum and multi-platinum certifications in more than 20 countries for his various releases.

Moreover, the San Diego-based troubadour has proven a truly diverse creative presence. A dedicated surfer, farmer-gardener, filmmaker, and photographer, Mr. Mraz is first and foremost a committed global citizen. His impassioned social activism and philanthropic efforts span wide-ranging environmental advocacy and ardent support for LGBT equality. He has participated in global activism, such as a rescue mission to Ghana with Free The Slaves and an internationally broadcast performance in Myanmar, with MTV Exit, to bring awareness to human trafficking. Through it all, Mr. Mraz continually confirms and celebrates music’s myriad forms and miraculous power, inspiring and delighting his countless fans around the world he calls home.

“I’m humbled by the opportunity to support and represent a school in our country and my local community that will greatly benefit from the support of a vibrant arts education program. The arts are the key to life and the Turnaround Arts program will open the doors for youth to life, love, creativity and endless imagination.”

David Hockney

Known for his photo collages and paintings of Los Angeles swimming pools, David Hockney is considered one of the most influential British artists of the 20th century.

Born in Bradford, England, in 1937, David Hockney attended art school in London before moving to Los Angeles in the 1960s. There, he painted his famous swimming pool paintings. In the 1970s, Hockney began working in photography, creating photo collages he called joiners. He continues to create and exhibit art, and in 2011 he was voted the most influential British artist of the 20th century.

Frank Gehry

Frank Gehry is one of the most renowned architects in the world. He was raised in Toronto, Canada, and moved with his family to Los Angeles in 1947. Mr. Gehry received his Bachelor of Architecture degree from the University of Southern California in 1954, and he studied City Planning at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design. In subsequent years, Mr. Gehry has built an architectural career that has spanned over five decades and produced public and private buildings in America, Europe and Asia. His work has earned Mr. Gehry several of the most significant awards in the architectural field, including the Pritzker Prize.

A few of Mr. Gehry’s notable projects include Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain; Walt Disney Concert Hall in Los Angeles, California; Eight Spruce Street Residential Tower located in New York City; and Opus Hong Kong Residential. Current projects include Guggenheim Abu Dhabi; Foundation Louis Vuitton Museum in Paris, France; Dr. Chau Chak Wing Building for the University of Technology, in Sydney, Australia; and West Campus for Facebook in Menlo Park, California.

Mr. Gehry co-founded Turnaround Arts: California in 2014

“Every child should have access to art and creativity in school. No matter what career path they choose this creative play sets them up to trust their instincts, believe in themselves and to solve problems. I was afforded this as a child, and it changed my life.”

Jesse Tyler Ferguson

Jesse Tyler Ferguson currently stars as “Mitchell Pritchett” on the Emmy Award-winning ABC comedy Modern Family.In its first four seasons, the show has a number of awards, and Mr. Ferguson himself has also received four Emmy Award nominations for Outstanding Supporting Actor in a Comedy Series.
He has also appeared on a number of other television shows and films.

Mr. Ferguson made his Broadway debut at the age of 21 as “Chip” in George C. Wolfe’s revival of On the Town, and he later went on to work in other acclaimed theatre productions and in particular has worked extensively with The New York Public Theatre’s Shakespeare in the Park.

Most recently, Mr. Ferguson co-founded the nonprofit organization, Tie The Knot. The charitable cause features bowties designed by Mr. Ferguson, with sales going towards various organizations that are fighting for marriage equality. He currently resides in Los Angeles.

“Ever since I can remember, the arts have played a critical role in my self-expression and in shaping me into the person I have become. I am excited to partner with Turnaround Arts to help ensure that local arts programs continue to thrive across America, giving kids like me the ability to express themselves freely.”

Cameron Diaz

Cameron Diaz, an American actress, producer, and fashion model, rose to stardom in the 1990s, with roles in The MaskMy Best Friend’s Wedding, and There’s Something About MaryShe has also appeared in Charlie’s Angelsand the Shrek series as Princess Fiona. Ms. Diaz has received four Golden Globe Award nominations to date as well as the New York Film Critics Best Lead Actress Award.

“All children deserve to have access to the arts, not only to discover their passion, but as a tool to engage them in the joy of learning. Turnaround Arts is an amazing organization and I look forward to working closely with them to help inspire [students] to discover and reach for their dreams.”