2020 Grants Challenge

Turnaround Arts: CA Los Angeles School Partnerships

We will support 9 high-need elementary and middle schools in LA County, using the arts to support whole school change. We will act as a thought partner to each school, offering financial, strategic planning, and implementation support to principals and teachers. This includes regularly convening our school and community arts partners for professional development and to exchange best practices. Through the arts, we will empower schools to build equity and lead for change, improve culture and climate, and increase student and family engagement.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

County of Los Angeles

In what stage of innovation is this project?

Expand existing program

What is the need you’re responding to?

There is a large opportunity gap in our schools, with students from affluent communities significantly outperforming their less affluent peers. Studies consistently show a strong connection between arts education and positive outcomes, yet students who need art the most are getting it the least. 6 million children in this country - nearly all of who live in poverty - have no access to the arts in school. We support schools by adding the arts as a key strategy for building equity and as an intervention to chronic underperformance. Our partner schools are considered state and federal “priority” schools, in the lowest 5-10% of achievement in the state.

Why is this project important to the work of your organization?​

TACA’s innovative partnership model allows us to have a broader and deeper impact through collaboration. By nurturing partnerships at the national, state, district, and community levels, the students we reach benefit from the shared expertise and best practices that are continuously being developed by those who understand the unique needs of each school community best. Our approach relies on eight key pillars: 1) principal leadership, 2) the strategic use of arts specialists, 3) non-arts classroom teachers integrating arts into core content, 4) the use of teaching artists and community organizations, 5) the engagement of the district, parents, and community, 6) strategic arts planning, 7) professional development, and 8) improvements to the school environment. By leveraging support in these key areas, we ensure the arts are well supported, resourced, and sustainable within the schools

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this proposal?​

Direct Impact: 299

Indirect Impact: 6,000

Please describe the broader impact of your proposal.

Schools in need of improvement often have principals and teachers that aren’t equipped, nor empowered, to lead for change. We directly serve 299 teachers and principals in LA County by building their capacity to integrate the arts into all facets of the school and across subject matter. TACA’s deep focus on building equity and culturally responsive teaching practices through the arts, indirectly benefits 6,000 students. We aim to create learning environments responsive to the varying needs of students in high-need communities. Additionally, many of the future jobs young people will have are yet to be created. We are helping to mold creative, innovative thinkers who will be better prepared for an ever-changing job market and economy.

Please explain how you will define and measure success for your project.

Throughout the year we gather quantitative and qualitative data to measure improvement and success in 4 key areas:

- Development of shared vision and collaborative leadership in and through the arts. We work with our schools to develop a school-wide strategic arts plan, outlining goals for bringing their shared vision to life.

- Improved teacher capacity to integrate arts into classroom instruction, providing multiple, culturally responsive entry points for learning.

- Improved school culture and climate that, through strategic use of the arts, embraces an equity and growth mindset, supports risk-taking, collaboration and empathy, and honors student voices.

- Increased family and community engagement that builds advocates, volunteers, and equitable partners in our students’ learning through arts-based strategies.

- We also anticipate continuing to see macro level improvement at our partner schools within english language arts and math proficiency rates, along with suspension rates decreasing.

Which of the LEARN metrics will your submission impact?​

Arts education

Which of LA2050’s resources will be of the most value to you?​

Access to the LA2050 community

Host public events or gatherings

Office space for meetings, events, or for staff