Willard Dance Team presents: Walls

The Kennedy Center’s National Committee for the Performing Arts (NCPA) in partnership with the Wallis Annenberg Center for the Performing Arts recently presented Satellite Summit: A Long Conversation, featuring a panel discussion on social justice, citizen artistry, and arts education and a special performance by the Willard Intermediate School Dance Team.

Inspired by the 6th-8th grade students’ experiences with immigration, Walls represents the barriers that keep families apart. The piece was choreographed by Irishia Hubbard who works with the school through a partnership with Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center. Willard Intermediate School in the Santa Ana Unified School District partnered with Turnaround Arts: California in 2016 and has been actively using the arts to fuel school change since.

Video: Sandra Selva
Music: www.bensound.com

The Dream and the Highest Peak

Photo by Sandra Selva

As part of a recent residency led by Get Lit – Words Ignite instructors Raul Herrera and Brian Sonia-Wallace at Sierra Preparatory Academy, students selected a classic poem, wrote their own response poem, and performed both for an audience of peers and family members. The following is a response poem to Langston Hughes’s Dream Variations.

The Dream and the Highest Peak
By: Erik Lopez, 6th grade

Racism feels like looking at a box of colored pencils without every color, full of emptiness

And it tastes like all the bitterness of the world put in one lemon

Racism is an on-going nightmare that has not yet ended

Racism is the train that’s been going since 1807 that only carries depression

It’s just like numbers, it doesn’t seem to end.

Langston Hughes’ unfulfilled dream will hopefully one day become a reality.

So that anyone can fling their arms wide

Enjoying the vibrant sun’s smile

And being allowed to dance

Till the wonderful day is done

As they watch the beautiful stars come on lightly like a warm blanket

Then sleeping without worries and only comforting dreams.

THAT IS THE DREAM!

And the highest peak

The peak that all civil rights activist want to reach

But if they want to make the dream a reality,

Then they have to pick up the pace to pass the point of the peak in stopping the painfulness of the racist to re-paint the picture of the passionate world with more colors than just white.

“I feel like I’m something special…”

John J. Montgomery Elementary School in the Chula Vista Elementary School District launched the 2018-2019 school year as one of 27 Turnaround Arts: California partner schools using the arts to fuel school change efforts. Turnaround Artists Ozomatli visited the Monty Eagles in celebration of the school’s commitment to leveraging the arts for educational equity.

Chad Smith + Zamboni Middle School

Frank J. Zamboni Middle School in the Paramount Unified School District launched the 2018-2019 school year as one of 27 Turnaround Arts: California partner schools using the arts to fuel school change efforts. Turnaround Artist Chad Smith of the Red Hot Chili Peppers visited the Zamboni Wildcats in celebration of the school’s commitment to leveraging the arts for educational equity.

Video: Sandra Selva

Sierra Prep Jazz Band Records with Mark Ronson

Sierra Preparatory Academy in the Santa Ana Unified School District is one of 27 Turnaround Arts: California partner schools using the arts to fuel school change efforts. After visiting the school, Turnaround Artist Mark Ronson invited the school’s Jazz Band, under the direction of Susan Tory, to experience the recording process in a professional studio. Check out their rendition of Stand By Me!

Video by Wreesman Reels

Frank Gehry + Ellen Ochoa Learning Center

Ellen Ochoa Learning Center is one of 27 Turnaround Arts: California partner schools using the arts to fuel school change efforts. Co-founder and Turnaround Artist Frank Gehry, architects from Gehry Partners, and California State Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon recently visited the school and encouraged middle school students to envision the future of their community through the arts.

Filmed by Sandra Selva
Edited by Jonathan Walls

Inside Out Project reaches #TAcalifornia schools statewide

This fall, Turnaround Arts: California hosted Inside Out Project Group Actions to support our newest cohort of schools in making bold, visual statements about their commitment to leveraging the arts for educational equity. From our state’s southern border to our northern coast, first-year #TAcalifornia teams transformed campus walls into celebratory messages of creativity, community, and identity — bringing the magic of teaching and learning through the arts from the inside… out!

School Spotlight: Barton Elementary

In 2014, Barton Elementary School in San Bernardino partnered with Turnaround Arts: California to use the arts as a tool for school change. This is their story.

Music: www.bensound.com
Video: Sandra Selva