Thursday, 26 April 2012

Obama Recruits Chuck Close and Yo-Yo Ma for Arts Education Initiative Aimed at Struggling Schools

On Monday, the Obama administration will announce plans for a new program, Turnaround Arts, in an effort to test the hypothesis that arts education can serve as a linchpin for improving the nation's most overburdened public schools. Working in New Orleans; Boston; Denver; Des Moines; Portland, Oregon; Bridgeport, Connecticut; Lame Deer, Montana; and the District of Columbia, the program will call on a range of strategies to integrate art, music, dance, theater, and other forms of creative expression into the schools' curricula. "We’re trying to show that arts education is not only a flower," Rachel Goslins, executive director of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, told the Washington Post this week. "It can also be a wrench.”
In its current form, Turnaround Arts will be jointly funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, the Herb Alpert Foundation, and other private groups. The eight participating schools will receive $14.7 million over the course of three years, which will go towards buying arts supplies and musical instruments, in-school professional development during the year, and administering a summer institute. This is in addition to donations of $10,000 per school in musical instruments from the NAMM Foundation, as well as $10,000 per school from Crayola. As part of the program, big-name volunteers including Chuck Close, Yo-Yo Ma, and Sarah Jessica Parker will each “adopt” one of the Turnaround Arts schools, participating in performances, master classes, and community events. READ MORE

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