Wednesday, May 25, 2016

News Release: San Diego’s Burbank Elementary School Students Star In Music Video With Jason Mraz Supporting Access To Arts And Music Education For All Children

NEWS RELEASE from the San Diego Unified School District, May 25, 2016






President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities program, Turnaround Arts, infuses high-need schools with the arts as a strategy to help close the achievement gap and provide equitable access to arts and music education


Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2016) —During today's White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show, Turnaround Arts premiered a music video project featuring students from Burbank Elementary School in San Diego singing and dancing alongside their artist mentor, Jason Mraz. This new rendition of "Everyday People" by Sly and the Family Stone produced by Playing For Change makes the case that all children deserve to experience the power of the arts and music in school.


Local students join thousands of their Turnaround Arts peers and more than a dozen Turnaround Artist mentors including Jack Johnson, Chad Smith, Jason Mraz, Elizabeth Banks, Tim Robbins, Yo-Yo Ma, Keb' Mo', Josh Groban, Bernie Williams, Misty Copeland, Paula Abdul, Trombone Shorty, Alfre Woodard, Citizen Cope, Doc Shaw, Frank Gehry, John Lloyd Young and Carla Dirlikov in this Turnaround Arts music video.


Turnaround Arts, a signature program of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, empowers high-need schools with innovative arts, dance, theater and music programs; arts integration across subject areas; arts resources and musical instrument; and high-profile artist mentors, as a proven strategy to help address broader school challenges and close the achievement gap. Burbank Elementary School is one of 68 Turnaround Arts schools across the country and 16 in California.


"This music video illustrates that our students as well as our Turnaround Artists are all extraordinary, and that as ordinary people we can all shine as individuals, and as a collective community of people who benefit from participating in the arts," said Malissa Shriver, Executive Director, Turnaround Arts: California.


San Diego's Burbank Elementary School joined this signature program of the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) in 2014. Since becoming a Turnaround Arts school, Burbank has expanded their music program, produced a school musical, held family arts events, and provided teachers with arts integration training. In that time, the school has seen increases in enrollment and student engagement, reductions in disciplinary referrals, and increases in family involvement. 


During the White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show, First Lady Michelle Obama announced that six additional California schools will join the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities signature program, Turnaround Arts. The schools will kick off the 2016 school year receiving Turnaround Arts intensive arts education resources and integration as a strategy to close the achievement gap.


As part of the program, high-profile artists adopt each school as the students' Turnaround Artist mentor. For Turnaround Arts: California schools, these mentors include Frank Gehry, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Tim Robbins, Carla Dirlikov, Chad Smith, Forest Whitaker, Kerry Washington, Jason Mraz, Russell Simmons, Barbara Kruger, Nigel Lythgoe, Herbie Hancock, Smokey Robinson, Jackson Brown, Jane Fonda and Whoopi Goldberg. They provide students with a motivational morning greeting, guidance in their artistic endeavors, annual visits to check in on progress, and special arts integration projects.


Six million children still do not have access to arts or music instruction in their schools, and millions more school children have only minimal exposure to the arts. The Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA), which President Obama signed into law in December 2015, provides more funding and new guidelines for states and districts to invest in arts and music education for all children as part of a well-rounded education.

"The arts are central to who we are as a people, and they are central to the success of our kids. This is not an afterthought," said President Obama. "This is not something you do because it's kind of nice to do. It is necessary for these young people to succeed that we promote the arts."

Research conducted by Booz Allen Hamilton revealed an average 12.6% improvement in reading proficiency and 22.5% improvement in math proficiency, increases in attendance and significant decreases in suspensions following Turnaround Arts' infusion of the arts into struggling schools. The program's success is leading to another expansion, as the number of Turnaround Arts schools will increase to 68 at the start of next school year.


The program launched in 2012 as a pilot program with eight schools. Nationally, Turnaround Arts is made possible through the collaboration of government agencies, non-profit partners, and generous corporate and private donations. Locally, Turnaround Arts: California was initiated with financial support from Berta and Frank Gehry and the California Arts Council. Turnaround Arts: California is also supported by The Eisner Foundation, The Herb Alpert Foundation, Rosenthal Family Foundation, Elizabeth Segerstrom, Jane Fonda, Facebook, the Wonderful company, and Susan and Daniel Greenberg. Local partners include AOL and AOL Charitable Foundation, Sunset Center, GRAMMY Museum at L.A. Live and Get Lit Words Ignite.


Getty Photos from the White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show photos for editorial use: (will populate by 7PM EST on May 25)


Video from the White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show for editorial use: Available late afternoon on May 25


Music video for sharing/embedding: Available on YouTube May 26


Download B-roll from the music video (for TV use only, not uploading to a .com): (password: everydayteaser) 



Local Turnaround Arts Media Contact: Rachel Bauch, Polskin Arts and Communications Counselors,, 323.841.4139


National Turnaround Arts Media Contact: Lora Bodmer,, 307.690.1630