ReNEW students perform at the Kennedy Center with Troy 'Trombone Shorty' Andrews, Preservation Hall Jazz Band's Kevin Louis

March 12, 2018 — Students from Turnaround Arts school ReNEW Dolores T. Aaron Academy (DTA) in New Orleans took the stage with their peers from across the country and Turnaround Artist mentors at the Turnaround Arts Talent Show held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on Sunday, March 11. The Talent Show showcases the power of the arts and music to help lift up students and schools, contributing to overall success. Nine  4th - 8th grade students performed a brass band medley along with their Turnaround Artist mentor, Troy ‘Trombone Shorty’ Andrews, and Preservation Hall Jazz Band’s Kevin Louis.

Students from Turnaround Arts schools nationwide performed at the Turnaround Arts Talent Show alongside their Turnaround Artist mentors; Bernie Williams, Keb’ Mo’, Valerie June, Trombone Shorty, Larissa Martinez, Taboo (from the Black Eyed Peas), IZ Avila, Lil’ Buck, Paula Fuga, Mike Arturi, Kim Taylor, Carla Canales, David Brooks and Mic Jordan. Turnaround Artists serve as coaches, mentors, and sources of inspiration working with students throughout a school’s Turnaround Arts journey.

Paintings, photographs and poems created by Turnaround Arts students for the event will be displayed in the Kennedy Center’s Hall of Nations through the end of the month.

Turnaround Arts, a national education program run by the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts and made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, empowers struggling schools with innovative arts, dance, theater and music programs, arts-based learning across subject areas, arts resources, musical instruments, and high-profile artist mentors, as a strategy to help address broader school challenges and close the achievement gap. DTA is one of 73 Turnaround Arts schools in 17 states and the District of Columbia.

During the Turnaround Arts Talent Show, the students also premiered their next music video project set to “Love Train” by The O’Jays. The video features thousands of Turnaround Arts students from across the country alongside Turnaround Artists including, but not limited to Elizabeth Banks, Misty Copeland, Chad Smith, Paula Abdul and many more. The project, being unveiled on March 26, makes the case that people all over the world can come together through the arts and music to make a difference.

Many Turnaround Arts schools see improvements in math and reading proficiency, increases in attendance and significant decreases in suspensions following two years of Turnaround Arts’ infusion of the arts into struggling schools.

The program launched in 2012 as a pilot program with eight schools. Nationally, Turnaround Arts is made possible by the National Endowment for the Arts, public partnerships, foundations, and private donors.