Broadway Grant Helps DMPS Turnaround Arts Schools

A Broadway League grant to Des Moines Performing Arts will benefit the five Turnaround Arts schools at DMPS.

A Broadway League grant to Des Moines Performing Arts will benefit the five Turnaround Arts schools at DMPS.

The lights are bright on Broadway, and a little of it is shining on to Des Moines Public Schools.

The Broadway League, the national trade association for the Broadway theater industry, announced today the recipients of their 19th annual National Education and Community Engagement Grants. One of this year’s winners is Des Moines Performing Arts for their work with our schools through an initiative called One by One: Laying a Foundation of Learning Through the Arts.

Des Moines Performing Arts is partnering with five Des Moines Public Schools – Findley, Oak Park, Madison and Cattell Elementary Schools plus Harding Middle School – to conduct multi-curricular workshops and residencies around Disney’s The Lion King.  The project will enable 500 students from Des Moines’ north-side to attend a performance of the touring production of Disney’s The Lion King and to participate in multi-curricular workshops and residencies that reinforce literacy, social, and 21st century learning objectives.

The One by One project partners Des Moines Performing Arts with the five Des Moines Public Schools that have been selected to participate in the President’s Committee on Arts and Humanities “Turnaround Arts” program, a national arts education initiative to boost academic performance in struggling schools. Des Moines is one of only six sites in the nation to be selected to participate in this phase of the program.

The collaboration will be a signature project of year one of the schools’ involvement in the Turnaround Arts Initiative and will lay the foundation for future arts-based learning experiences.

Turnaround Arts: Des Moines grew from the success of Findley Elementary, a pilot school in the Turnaround Arts national network that saw significant gains in achievement through the arts from 2011-2013. With Findley’s success as a model, Turnaround Arts has expanded to five schools located on the north side of the city in the communities of Oak Park and Highland Park. Working with four elementary schools and the middle school into which they feed, Des Moines Public Schools aims to provide quality, vertically integrated learning in and through the arts in schools of high need.

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