3 New Schools Join our Statewide Network

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

Turnaround Arts: CA + The LA River

In partnership with Speaker Anthony Rendon, Frank Gehry, and Gehry Partners, Turnaround Arts: California is proud to play a role in the Los Angeles River revitalization*. In 2018, we began partnerships with five schools along the LA River helping school leadership strategically use the arts to build equity and access for students, transform the school’s culture and climate, and engage family and community members. These partnerships are ongoing and we have plans to continue expanding to new schools in the coming years.

Meet one of our partner schools in Cudahy, Ellen Ochoa Learning Center, in the video below. Renowned Architect and Turnaround Arts: CA Co-founder Frank Gehry, visited with his team of architects to help students envision the future of their community through the arts.

Our Partner Schools along the LA River:
Abbott Elementary – Lynwood
Ellen Ochoa Learning Center – Cudahy
Tweedy Elementary – South Gate
Whaley Middle School – Compton
Zamboni Middle School – Paramount

*The LA River revitalization project integrates design and infrastructure to bring people, water, and nature together across all 51 miles of the LA River. Learn more at riverla.org.

Hope Builders: Barton Elementary

A Turnaround Arts: California Partner School since 2014, Barton Elementary shows how the arts can transform a struggling school into a vibrant and engaging place for students to learn and explore their creativity. Since joining the Turnaround Arts program, Barton has seen their English Language Arts proficiency rate increase by 98%, suspension rates have decreased 11%, and chronic absenteeism has decreased by 15.5%.

Thank you to Fay-Hauser Price for directing this beautiful piece on Barton Elementary for KVCR’s Hope Builders series.
Hauslights, LLC at Hauslights@gmail.com

Ways of Looking: Exploring Measurement of School Transformation through the Arts and Social Emotional Learning

On Monday, October 28th Turnaround Arts: California convened thought leaders from the fields of education, the arts, psychology and social emotional learning to discuss ways of looking at the work to better understand key leverage points that increase and demonstrate impact. We welcome you to watch parts one and two of the event below!

Part 1:
Welcome, Context and Framing

Malissa Feruzzi Shriver, Co-founder and President, Turnaround Arts: California
Dr. Sarah Bainter Cunningham, Associate Provost for Research and Strategic Partnerships, Rhode Island School of Design
Dr. Akida Kissane Long, Principal Leadership Coach, Turnaround Arts: California
Panel Conversation
Sophie Fanelli (Modertator), President, Stuart Foundation
Dr. Linda Darling-Hammond, President, Learning Policy Institute
Dr. Ivonne Chand O’Neal, Principal, MUSE Research
Dr. Steve Seidel, Director, Arts in Education, Harvard Graduate School of Education
Dr. Timothy Shriver, Co-founder, Collaborative for Academic, Social and Emotional Learning (CASEL)

Part 2: Panelists and Attendees Respond

Daveed Diggs visits Vincent Academy

Vincent Academy in Oakland, CA, 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 Daveed Diggs visited Vincent Academy in celebration of the school’s commitment to leveraging the arts for educational equity.

Mark Ronson visits Sierra Prep

Since 2016, Sierra Preparatory Academy has partnered with Turnaround Arts: California to use the arts to fuel school change efforts. Turnaround Artist Mark Ronson visits the school annually in celebration of its commitment to leveraging the arts for educational equity, this time engaging with student STEAM projects, the cast of the school’s first-ever musical, and more!

Video: Sandra Selva
Music: www.bensound.com

In 90 years…

Happy 90th birthday, Frank Gehry!

Together with our network of 27 partner schools across the state, we strive to honor our co-founder’s pioneering spirit by leveraging the arts for educational equity. We are deeply grateful for Frank Gehry’s commitment to the next generation of imaginative learners and innovative leaders.

Introducing Tiffany Siart, Executive Director

Like many kids entering middle school, I felt awkward, lacked confidence, and was hungry to express myself.  Then, I met Bonnie Lavin, our school’s dance teacher, who invited us, the students, to choreograph together. Bonnie saw our potential, and exposure to dance led me to challenge myself academically and approach learning with excitement instead of fear.  Our first performance, inspired by the musical Hair, reverberates through me to this day.

Today, I am thrilled to take on this inspiring new challenge: to be the next Executive Director of Turnaround Arts: California. I join a community of artists and teachers, big thinkers committed to the fundamental and critical role that the arts play in a child’s education and development. I join a community committed to making arts education a reality for all students in California, every day. I join a community that believes in our children and their potential, and our sacred responsibility to expose them to opportunity and nurture their growth.

I want to thank Frank Gehry, Malissa Shriver, Terry Lenihan, and the entire Board of Directors of Turnaround Arts: California for this opportunity. I see I am in excellent company with Barbara Palley, Heather Heslup, and Jacob Campbell of the Turnaround Arts: California team. I cannot wait to meet all the teachers, principals, coaches, superintendents, partners, and collaborators who make this expansive mission thrive and grow every day.

Thank you,
Tiffany Siart
Executive Director

“Let the sun shine in,
Open up your heart and let it shine on in.”
Aquarius/Let the Sun Shine in, from the musical Hair

10 more schools join the #TAcalifornia family!

Have you heard?!

We added 10 more elementary and middle schools to the #TAcalifornia family. Scroll down to learn about each one of them!