NAMM Foundation Works with White House Committee On New Arts Initiative
The NAMM Foundation will support a new initiative lead by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities and developed in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Domestic Policy Council. The Turnaround Arts initiative being launched in Washington, D.C. will work to turn around low-performing schools with strategies that expand access to comprehensive music and arts education as part of the core curriculum.
The Turnaround Arts initiative, announced by the committee’s co-chairs, George Stevens Jr. and Margo Lion, is a new public-private partnership designed to narrow the achievement gap and increase student engagement through the arts. Working in some of the nation’s lowest-performing elementary and middle schools, this program will test the hypothesis that high-quality and integrated arts education boosts academic achievement, motivates student learning and improves school culture in the context of overall school reform.
“This initiative is a crucial step in supporting the NAMM Foundation’s ongoing efforts to increase active participation in music making among school-aged children,” said Mary Luehrsen, executive director of the NAMM Foundation. “Now working with the White House, we can tap into NAMM’s extensive arts education research and our vast member knowledge base to ensure that these schools see a marked improvement helping to prove that the initiative is a success.”
Turnaround Arts will work in eight “turnaround schools” across the country – public schools in the lowest-achieving five percent of their state that are receiving School Improvement Grants through the U.S. Department of Education. Over the course of two years, Turnaround Arts will bring intensive arts education resources and expertise into these schools and support the school leadership in using the arts as a pillar of their reform strategy. An educational evaluation and research study of the program will measure the impact and effectiveness of this approach.
Over the next two years, the President’s Committee and its partners will provide training and resources to address each selected school’s needs. Resources will include an Aspen Institute summer leadership program, in-school professional development, partnerships with community arts education and cultural organizations, additional art supplies and musical instruments, and community engagement events. Presidentially-appointed artists on the Committee, including Chuck Close, Sarah Jessica Parker, Kerry Washington, Forest Whitaker, Yo-Yo Ma, Damian Woetzel and Alfre Woodard, will “adopt” one of the selected schools for the length of the program, working with the schools and communities and highlighting their successes.
For more information about the TAI, please visit: www.turnaroundarts.pcah.gov
For more information on the NAMM Foundation, please visit: http://www.nammfoundation.org/