Office of Arts & Special Projects

Turnaround Arts

Turnaround Arts uses the arts to create success in schools. The program, led by the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities together with local partners, connects schools with high-quality arts education resources to improve student motivation and attendance, parent engagement, and more.

In New York City, The Fund for Public Schools, NYC Department of Education, and NYC Department of Cultural Affairs are collaborating to support four schools through the Turnaround Arts program. These schools were competitively selected according to national guidelines which included demonstrated need and opportunity, strong school leadership with district support, and a commitment to arts education:

The heart of the program is a collaboration with school communities that strategically targets services and resources to address larger school challenges. Over the course of the three-year partnership, the program works closely with each school to help build arts education programming that is rigorous, effective and integrated holistically into the culture of the school.

Partner schools receive an array of arts education services and resources designed to increase opportunities for success, build an extended community and raise the visibility of achievements, including:

  • Art supplies
  • Musical education materials
  • Licensing rights and kits for school musicals
  • Instructional resources
  • Professional learning facilitated by leaders in the field

"When you work hard and tap into the power of the arts, you can be anything you want to be. I hope to inspire my students at P.S. 284 to dream and focus, to have confidence and strength. Isn't this what we want for all children?"

- Misty Copeland, Turnaround Artist

"Bringing arts into classrooms is a critical piece of improving our struggling schools and raising student achievement. With the arts, students learn to think creatively, become more engaged in their schoolwork, and find productive passions and hobbies. I look forward to this incredible experience for our students, and I know this program is going to help them thrive in and out of the classroom."

- Chancellor Carmen Fariña

National partners in Turnaround Arts include the U.S. Department of Education, National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities and AOL Charitable Foundation, Crayola, Ford Foundation, The Herb Alpert Foundation, JCPenny Cares, The Keith Haring Foundation, Inc., Little Kids Rock, Musical Theatre International, NAMM Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Rosenthal Family Foundation, Steven and Alexandra Cohen Foundation, Laird Norton Family Foundation, iTheatrics, Wolf Trapp Foundation for the Performing Arts.  The program is administered in partnership with Americans for the Arts.

For more information, contact:
Alexa Fairchild, Local Program Director, or 212-513-9316

Turnaround Arts: NYC in the News

May 2017

Students visit Brooklyn Historical Society for civil rights project

Alfre Woodard, Student John Negron, Student Hermanise Saintremy, and Kathy Fletcher Discuss "Turnaround Arts"

May 2016

Four Brooklyn Schools Represent the Borough in White House Performance

Turnaround Arts is proud to present "Everyday People," produced by Playing For Change

March 2016

Paula Abdul Joins Turnaround Arts at the Brooklyn Museum

Turnaround Arts Student Dances with Ballerina Misty Copeland

February 2016

Marc Anthony Visits Ebbets Field Middle School

October 2015

Paula Abdul: Why Public Schools Need the Arts

September 2015

Sarah Jessica Parker Shares the 'Thrilling' Way to Get Kids 'Excited to Be at School'

Celebrities Lend Support for Initiative to Keep the Arts in Schools

June 2015

White House's 'Turnaround Arts' Reaches Brooklyn Schools

Office of Arts & Special Projects