An integral component of the Turnaround Arts: California model is our network of partnering coaches. To accommodate the wide geographic spread of the Turnaround Arts: California schools, and to build and strengthen local support networks for schools, our organization developed the Principal Leadership Coach and Regional Coach Programs with a small group of local institutions and individuals that have existing, positive track records providing high-quality leadership training, arts integration training, and/or artist residency programs to schools.
Principal Leadership Coach
Developing principals’ capacity to use the arts strategically to fuel school transformation is essential to our work. Through one-on-one coaching and an annual Principal Retreat, veteran and first-year principals alike are supported in positioning themselves as effective advocates for equity, strong instructional leaders through the arts, and creative/collaborative problem-solvers.
Dr. Akida Kissane Long, Principal Leadership Coach
After 35 years in the Los Angeles Unified School District, serving as a teacher, curriculum specialist, central office administrator and principal, Dr. Long joined the Turnaround Arts: California team in 2017. Using her dissertation research as the basis for her work, Dr. Long established her own Leadership Coach Consulting practice. She is also Program Chair of Educational Leadership, Assistant Professor, La Fetra College of Education, University of La Verne. Dr. Long has three adult children and seven grandchildren.
Regional Coach Program
Turnaround Arts: California’s Regional Coach Program leverages local arts education resources and expertise across the state to provide weekly, ongoing support to Turnaround Arts: California partner schools. 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. The goals of the Regional Coach Program are to:
- Amplify collective impact through strategic, arts-infused school reform
- Build local, school capacity through professional development and in-person support
- Develop a regional coach network to deepen practice and impact
- Foster statewide exchange to refine a sustainable, public-private arts integration model
Creative Coaching for Arts & Equity
Creative Coaching for Arts & Equity’s mission is to support the growth of culturally responsive, arts-centered teaching and learning communities and structures that center students’ belonging, joy and growth. Our values are multiracial collaboration, racial and gender equity, creativity, relationships, joy, warmth, and culturally sustaining pedagogy.
Liz Harvey founded Creative Coaching for Arts & Equity in 2021. She is a visual artist, administrator, and teacher. During the past two decades, she has served as Regional Director for Visual Thinking Strategies, Curator of Education for the University Art Museum and arts education faculty at Cal State Long Beach; manager of arts education programs at LACMA and the J. Paul Getty Museum, where she ran the Summer Family Art program; and Arts Integration Coach for East Oakland School of the Arts/Castlemont High School. As a visual artist, Liz focuses on queer ecologies and textile-based explorations by making both objects and performance. For performance projects, she works with key collaborators in choreography, dance, science, and embroidery. Projects have been shown in California, New York and Italy, including Plan-d Gallery and the Los Angeles River, San Jose Museum of Quilts and Textiles, the deYoung Museum, and Salesforce Park. Harvey is a founding member of Mending Collective, an artists’ collective that supports mending practices as a way to push back against consumption and waste in the garment industry. She holds an MFA in Sculpture from Cal State Long Beach.
Collaborations: Teachers and Artists | Southern California
CoTA is a professional development program that tackles the possibilities of making the arts a lively, essential, and ongoing aspect of elementary school education. CoTA is based on the belief that integrating the visual and performing arts into other content areas promotes engagement, accessibility, and relevance for students.
Danielle Reo, Program Director, CoTA (Collaborations: Teachers and Artists) (MBA Entrepreneurship and Management, San Diego State University, BA in Art History and Studio Art, University of California, Santa Cruz). From visual arts to finance, Danielle’s unique skill sets have been successfully integrated within San Diego’s nonprofit sector. Spanning over three decades of nonprofit management experience, Danielle’s approach to arts infused pedagogies promotes collaboration and inherently acknowledges the cultural diversity of its recipients. Notably, Danielle has previously served as associate director of inSite97, a binational collaborative artistic venture of 27 nonprofit institutions in San Diego and Tijuana. She has consulted with small businesses and nonprofit arts organizations in accounting, organization development, arts education programming, and marketing. In addition to serving as CoTA’s Program Director, Danielle is Finance Director of Installation Gallery/inSite and a Certified Public Accountant with Lazarus Goldbarg & Associates LLP.
Reneé Weissenburger draws on her passion for literature, photography, and history to inform her work both in the studio and classroom. When teaching photography, literature, creative writing, and arts integration strategies at UCSD Extension, National University, and USD, she strives to expand students’ sensitivity, perception, critical thinking, and creative skills. For over twenty years, Reneé has served as lead artist for CoTA (Collaboration of Teachers and Artists), a not-for-profit professional development organization which provides in-depth arts-integration training for public school teachers. Her work with CoTA uses writing, photography, assemblage, and installation art to guide students and teachers to investigate literature, history, and science. She enjoys collaborating with writers and, in the last few years, has designed and created photographic trailers for book releases.
P.S. ARTS| Los Angeles County
P.S. ARTS’ mission is to improve the lives of children by providing arts education to underserved public schools and communities. P.S. ARTS partners with schools to provide more than 25,000 students with year-long art education in dance, visual arts, music, and theater. Because being part of a nurturing and productive community is essential to children’s well being, P.S. ARTS also seeks to provide professional development for teaching artists and community engagement opportunities to children and families that encourage collaboration, strong community spirit, and a culture of giving back.
Darryl manages educator development and facilitates community art classes for middle and high school students in the Antelope Valley, with a primary focus on cultural organizing. As the Turnaround Arts: CA Regional Coach, he is responsible for the management, coordination, implementation, and ongoing maintenance of P.S. ARTS’ Educator Training contracts all throughout Los Angeles county. Prior to his work at P.S. ARTS, Darryl was a classroom teacher and holds a multiple subject teaching credential. Also known by his artist alias, Foremost, Darryl is a working socially engaged artist who co-founded the Freedom Art Squad, a youth development project for students grades 7-12 that uses art and imaginative play to reimagine school safety and advocate for alternatives to law enforcement on school campuses in the Antelope Valley. As an artist, he also helped shape the Turnaround Arts: CA Cope & Hope project. Darryl is a graduate of UCLA with a Master of Education and a graduate of CalArts with a Master of Fine Arts.
Independent Artists and Practitioners
Sandy hails from Los Angeles and has over 20 years of experience in strategic planning, teaching artist training, curriculum development, program management, and professional development for both classroom teachers and teaching artists. She is happy to join Turnaround Arts: CA this year after having been part of the initial program start-up some years ago. She currently works as a District Coach with the Arts Ed Collective at the Department of Arts and Culture where she helps school districts create strategic plans for the arts. She has also done extensive work in arts integration with particular focus on Common Core Standards in Math and English Language Arts as well as the Next Generation Science Standards. Sandy has worked for a wide variety of arts education organizations including PS Arts, the Arts + STEM Collaborative, Turnaround Arts: California, The Armory Center for the Arts, The Music Center Performing Arts Center, Los Angeles Opera, Dramatic Results, the Da Camera Society and more. In addition, Sandy has served the field of arts education by serving on the several advisory councils and boards supporting the field of teaching artistry. Just prior to her work in arts administration, she worked as a teaching artist in a middle school with young cellists and violinists. In addition, she worked in special education with Los Angeles Unified School District for over ten years. Sandy also currently doubles as a professional cellist, specializing in classical and jazz, and as a fiddler playing Scandinavian folk music for local dances and festivals.
Stacy has recently retired from 32 years teaching in Stockton Unified School District. In that time, she taught many different grade levels, from preschool to 7th & 8th grade visual art, the last three years were spent as an arts specialist in TK through 4th grade at a Turnaround Arts school. It was that experience which provided the incentive to become a regional coach after retirement so she can continue to be involved with the amazing transformation of schools through the arts. She has also been a teacher leader for The California Arts Project teaching professional development workshops for teachers and pre-service teachers through Mini-Corps. Most of that work also involved integrating the 4 disciplines of the arts (visual, music, dance, and theatre) into other core curriculum (reading, math, science and social studies). More recently Stacy worked with the Integrated Learning Specialist Program in Alameda County. Currently Stacy is the Curriculum Coordinator for Rhythm Works, a nonprofit bringing drum circles to the community.