Together with the Kennedy Center, local arts organizations, and our coach partners, Turnaround Arts: California gathers Arts Leadership Teams from partner schools across the state annually to develop and deepen arts-rich action plans for school change.
Our Regional Coaches support schools in their implementation of the Turnaround Arts program, building teacher leadership to transform school climate, culture, and engagement through the arts.
To kick off the back-to-school season, they delivered treats to Turnaround Arts: California schools across the state. Keep scrolling to learn more about some of them!
J. Mimi Dojka
I am an arts education consultant for Create Humboldt and local public schools and non-profit arts organizations. As a Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach I I support two new Turnaround Arts: California Schools, Pine Hill Elementary and South Bay Elementary, located in Eureka, California. I also form collaborative partnerships between our schools and community-based arts institutions, including the Morris Graves Museum of Art and the Humboldt State University Art Education program.
I find the joy and anticipation that students and staff bring on the first day of school to be inspiring and contagious.
I am a project coordinator with North Coast Arts Integration Project and a Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach. This new year, I am excited for the classroom teachers, staff, and parents, who will get to see their students in a whole new light through the arts!
I am like a worker bee seeking out all the bits of arts resources available in our rural community and bringing them back for my partner schools to turn into educational honey.
P.S. ARTS| Los Angeles County
I am a Program Manager at P.S. ARTS. As a Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach, I provide consistent on-site support for eight Turnaround Arts: California schools. My primary goal as a coach is to increase classroom teachers’ capacity to integrate arts content and instructional strategies in meaningful ways. I help teachers by delivering tailored professional development workshops on arts integration strategies in alignment with Common Core and providing explicit classroom modeling of whole school arts-based practices.
My work as a coach is making sure teachers feel supported, successful, and motivated to include the arts in their curriculum development and lesson planning.
Sunset Center| Central California
I work at the Sunset Cultural Center as the Community Engagement Manager and I am also the Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach for the Central Coast schools!
I have the great honor to serve and work with educators and whole schools creating and supporting access to arts integration and education on a large scale.
This summer, Turnaround Arts teams from across the nation gathered at Airlie in Warrenton, Virginia to explore the question: How can we leverage the arts to increase equity for our students and community?
In their final retreat hour, new and veteran members of our #TAcalifornia team shared a reflective performance piece. Watch their performance below:
I used to think Turnaround Arts was a grant…
But, now I think it’s instructional strategies that will help our school.
I used to think Turnaround Arts was a prescribed curriculum…
But, now I think it’s a lot of freedom.
I used to think Turnaround Arts sent specialists to our school to teach our kids…
But, now I think we are the specialists.
I used to think Turnaround Arts was one more thing on my plate…
But, now I think it will enhance my plate.
I used to think Turnaround Arts was more work…
But, now I think it will make work more fun.
We used to think Turnaround Arts was far off…
But, now we think it’s family.
By Dr. Lisa A. Crawford
Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) is nearing completion of our first year in Turnaround Arts: California’s Regional Coach Pilot Program. We are working with two middle schools in the Santa Ana Unified School District (SAUSD), Sierra Preparatory Academy and Willard Intermediate School, focused significantly towards supporting arts integration in every classroom.
By Trena Noval, Louise Music, and Aaron Ableman
The Alameda County Office of Education (ACOE) is a statewide and national leader for innovative, research-based, and arts-centered integrated learning practices, programs, and advocacy. Through the Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership of the Bay Area, ACOE partners with the Alameda County Arts Commission to mobilize our 18 school districts, higher education, business leaders, funders, parents, students, and community members around the arts as an essential part of a high quality education and a key equity issue.
Collaboration, Creativity, Culture, & Community
By Mimi Dojka
I have worked as an arts educator throughout rural Northern California for many years, in pre-K through post-secondary settings. An essential aspect of this effort has involved collaboration, which I continue to practice in my work with the Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach Pilot Program (RCPP) and the North Coast Arts Integration Project (NCAIP).
With the Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach Pilot Program (RCPP) in action at all of our 16 partner schools across the state, we are so grateful for the myriad of opportunities to work strategically, collectively, and collaboratively with organizations whose missions and methods are so aligned with our own. This month, we convened RCPP representatives from Alameda County Office of Education, Integrated Learning Department, Collaborations: Teachers and Artists (CoTA), North Coast Arts Integration Project, Orange County Department of Education, P.S. ARTS, and Sunset Center to reflect on where we’ve been as a learning community, what our school sites need most heading into the last few months of this school year, and how we can refine our practice in the weeks to come.
We recently interviewed Program Director Danielle Reo and Lead Artist Reneé Weissenburger from CoTA, which provides regional coaching at Burbank Elementary School (San Diego), about their experiences in the RCPP thus far.
The Turnaround Arts: California Regional Coach Pilot Program (RCPP) is up-and-running in our 16 partner schools across the state, and we are learning so much as we work collaboratively with local partners to align coaching, arts integration, and artist residency resources to target school-identified goals for growth. Recently, we convened our statewide network of coaches at the Turnaround Arts Local Program Staff Retreat generously hosted by Loyola Marymount University. Representatives from Alameda County Office of Education, Integrated Learning Department, CoTA (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists), North Coast Arts Integration Project, Orange County Department of Education, P.S. ARTS, and Sunset Center joined forces with Turnaround Arts teams from across the nation to discuss best practices in program implementation with an eye towards sustainability.
Following the retreat, we interviewed Dr. Kristen Paglia, CEO of P.S. ARTS, which provides regional coaching at six Turnaround Arts: California partner schools in LA County and beyond: Avenal Elementary (Avenal), Barton Elementary (San Bernardino), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary (Compton), Warren Lane Elementary (Inglewood), Florence Griffith Joyner Elementary (Watts), and Franklin S. Whaley Middle School (Compton).
This fall, we launched a Regional Coach Pilot Program (RCPP) across our statewide network of schools, through partnerships with a group of local institutions with experience providing arts integration training or artist residency programs in public schools. The RCPP gives us an opportunity to work with local partners to align coaching, arts integration, and artist residency resources to target school-identified goals for growth. The RCPP also contributes to our long-term sustainability plan by developing regional support networks around Turnaround Arts: California schools that have the potential to grow deep roots.
Over the next year, we’ll introduce you to some of our regional coaches and the work they are engaged with in our schools. First up is an interview with Alex Richardson, who represents the Sunset Center in Carmel as a Regional Coach at two schools in Monterey County: King Elementary in Seaside and Mary Chapa Academy in Greenfield.