Turnaround Arts: California is thrilled to add three partner schools to our statewide network of 26 schools, leveraging the arts to support whole-school transformation. Please join us in welcoming Westlake Middle in Oakland, Los Cerritos Elementary in Paramount, and Washington Elementary in Lynwood!
The arts are being called upon to boost student engagement while supporting the wellbeing of students, teachers and families who have been dealing with significant challenges over the past year. The multi-year Turnaround Arts program provides teachers and principals with individualized coaching and training to help them build and implement a school-wide vision for the arts. This includes support and training to help teachers integrate the arts into core academic subjects, as well as arts resources, funding, and project planning support to help schools partner with community-based arts organizations for projects that engage the broader school community. As part of the partnership, school districts also commit to ensuring that every student receives 45 minutes of standalone arts instruction weekly.
“We look forward to working with these three new schools. It is now more important than ever to provide culturally responsive arts experiences in which students feel seen and honored. Arts Education empowers students, teachers and principals – it is foundational to learning and enables personalized instruction and promotes social and emotional wellness.” – Malissa Shriver, Turnaround Arts: CA Co-founder
Meet Our New Partner Schools:
Westlake Middle School – Oakland
A 6th – 8th grade school, Westlake serves 313 students with 100% qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. According to Principal Maya Taylor, “Westlake is a diverse school community and the arts provide a perfect way to make learning visible and accessible for all while supporting our most vulnerable students in expressing themselves and finding their voice. In partnership with Turnaround Arts: California, we hope to strengthen relationships between students and teachers, engage families in student learning, and build student pride in their school community.”
Los Cerritos Elementary School – Paramount
A Pre-K – 5th grade school, Los Cerritos serves 486 students with 90% qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. Principal Hilda Mapp shares, “This past year has been challenging for our students and teachers. We are thrilled to partner with Turnaround Arts: California to strategically use the arts to provide a sense of structure and safety, promote wellness, and build collaboration between students and teachers.”
Washington Elementary School – Lynwood
A Pre-K – 6th grade school, Washington Elementary serves 621 students with 100% qualifying for free or reduced price lunch. Principal Sandra Verduzco shares, “We believe that the arts will create many opportunities for our students and provide them with an education that teaches them how to work collaboratively, builds their confidence, and stimulates their creativity and uniqueness. Our school team looks forward to working in partnership with Turnaround Arts to build high-value arts assets to strategically address our school’s biggest needs.”
Los Cerritos and Washington join a cohort of six Turnaround Arts: California (TACA) schools located in communities adjacent to the LA River. In partnership with Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, Gehry Partners, and local school districts, TACA is serving as an education component of the Los Angeles River Master Plan, a comprehensive vision to invest in the LA River and its surrounding communities.
“These are three things that can help strengthen our communities: Education is the fundamental building block of everything we want to create in California. Arts are an expression of where we come from and where we want to go. The LA River ties all of our communities together and the Master Plan gives us a way to make the river a recreational, cultural, environmental and economic asset for the people who live in those communities today. These schools joining with Turnaround Arts? I can’t think of a better way than that to exemplify those three goals.” – Anthony Rendon, Speaker of the CA State Assembly
“We look forward to welcoming these new schools, expanding young people’s access to the arts, and to developing their own distinctive voice. Currently, the LA River cuts through communities where the opportunity gap for these kids is large. We are trying to use our work along the river to not only to provide critical water and environmental relief to these cities, but to also enliven the arts and cultural assets that already exist in the region. Education is key and my hope is that expanding the Turnaround Arts network here will result in greater opportunity for more people in this very special part of LA County.” – Frank Gehry, Renowned Architect and Turnaround Arts: CA Co-founder