It’s not everyday that you can say you performed at the White House much-less the First Lady of the United States. Students from four middle schools across Brooklyn will get the esteemed opportunity this Wednesday.
As part of the President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities, First Lady Michelle Obama will welcome students and artists from across the country to perform at the White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show. To showcase America’s budding artists, the students from Ebbets Field Middle School (Crown Heights), East Flatbush Community Research School (East Flatbush), P.S. 284 Gregory Jackson Community School (Brownsville), P.S. 165 Ida Posner (East New York) amongst others, will perform alongside Turnaround Artist mentors including Paula Abdul, Keb’ Mo’, Alfre Woodard, Tim Robbins, Bernie Williams, Charles “Lil Buck” Riley, Citizen Cope, Damian Woetzel, Irvin Mayfield, and Paula Fuga.
Mentors, Paula Abdul for P.S. 165 and Misty Copeland for P.S. 284 have expressed their vision for the students under them.
“Music, theater, dancing, visual art — the arts are an asset that all children deserve – not only to find their passion, but to engage them in learning,” said Abdul. “As a Turnaround Artist, I hope to inspire my students to succeed and to reach their dreams at P.S. 165.”
“When you work hard and tap into the power of the arts, you can be anything you want to be,” said Copeland. “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?”
Turnaround Arts is a national program created by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities, in coordination with the White House, the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment for the Arts, and several foundations and corporations. Turnaround Arts empowers high-need, low-performing schools with innovative arts, dance, theater and music programs, arts integration across subject areas, arts resources, musical instruments, and high-profile artist mentors, as a proven strategy to help address broader school challenges and close the achievement gap. Since 2011, Turnaround Arts has empowered 27 school districts across 13 states and Washington, DC with an infusion of arts and music education. In 2014, the First Lady hosted the inaugural White House Turnaround Arts Talent Show.