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Turnaround Arts Program Is Expanding

The Turnaround Arts Initiative, a brainchild of the Obama White House, will expand its efforts to support schools to use arts as part of school improvement efforts.

Arts leaders announced this week that 73 schools serving more than 35,000 students will be part of the program by the start of the 2017-18 school year. The program is adding schools in Providence, R.I., and Richmond, Va., this year. 

The program provides funds for art and music teachers, arts integration programs, and professional development, and pairs schools with notable artists. This year, Valerie June and Jason Mraz are adding additional schools, and Ben Folds, Taboo (from Black Eyed Peas), Dan Zanes, and Black Violin are joining the program as resident artists. 
The program is a public-private partnership, with funds from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Ford Foundation, and other organizationsIn a press release, Deborah F. Rutter, the president of the Kennedy Center, said that "we've seen that equitable access to arts education is a powerful tool in turning around struggling schools." Schools can apply to be part of future rounds of the program. 
In 2015, researchers found that the program was helping to improve academic achievement, attendance, and disciplinary issues at schools. 

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