Turnaround Arts: DSM Earns Governors’ Arts Award
The Turnaround Arts program at Des Moines Public Schools has been presented with the Governor’s Arts Award for its success at arts learning leadership . Turnaround Arts is at five DMPS schools on the north side of Des Moines. The program is funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment of the Arts and numerous private and corporate donors, and uses the arts to help turn around lower-performing schools, narrow the achievement gap and develop a strong sense of community. Well-known national artists, including Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, have served as mentors with DMPS schools to show students and teachers new ways to integrate the arts into traditional subjects such as reading, science and math.
Below is the press release issued by the Iowa Arts Council:
Gov. Terry E. Branstad joined the Iowa Arts Council today to present this year’s Governor’s Arts Awards during the 2016 Iowa Arts Summit in Des Moines.
Administered by the Iowa Arts Council, the Governor’s Arts Awards recognize and honor individuals, organizations and businesses in Iowa that have had a significant impact on the vitality of the arts in Iowa. This year’s recipients are ArtHaus of Decorah; David Dahlquist and Turnaround Arts: Des Moines, both of Des Moines; and the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way of Fort Dodge.
“As we celebrate arts and culture in Iowa today, I am pleased to recognize our award recipients for the impact their work is having on our communities and Iowans of all ages,” Branstad said. “They have shown artists can build their careers right here in Iowa, and our nonprofit arts groups are the cornerstones that improve quality of life in our towns and cities. I congratulate all of today’s award winners and encourage others to follow their lead.”
“Here in Iowa, we enjoy an outstanding quality of life thanks in large part to our artists and nonprofit arts groups,” Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs Director Mary Cownie said. “Museums and performing arts groups and cultural nonprofits together add up to more than 5,000 arts organizations that support more than 20,000 jobs across the state. So, it’s important to lift up examples of extraordinary leadership in the field, which is exactly what the Governor’s Arts Awards were created to do.”
A list of this year’s Governor’s Arts Award recipients follows:
Impact & Accessibility in the Arts – Recognizes an individual, organization or business that initiates a community-wide artistic undertaking that is broad in scope and seeks to serve a significant amount of Iowans or that seeks to improve accessibility to the arts for an underserved target population in Iowa.
- ArtHaus, Decorah
- ArtHaus has developed innovative programs that bring visual, performing and literary art together to offer creative educational and cultural programs for all ages. Examples include a lecture series with Luther College faculty; a sound-sculpture park designed with help from Spectrum Network, which serves individuals with disabilities; plus a host of free and low-cost art fairs, gallery openings, poetry slams, live music concerts and a youth apprentice programs.
- Eric and Jenni Petersen-Brant, Co-Directors, ArtHaus
Excellence & Innovation in the Arts – Recognizes an individual, organization or business that is dedicated to artistic excellence and capitalizes on new or emerging methods or trends in the arts.
- David Dahlquist, Des Moines
- With more than 80 innovative public art projects, Dahlquist leads Iowa and much of the nation in building stronger communities through art. His High Trestle Trail Bridge between Madrid and Woodward draws more than 20,000 visitors monthly and has been featured in the Wall Street Journal and the BBC, which named it one of the top eight footbridges in the world. He was an early adopter of digital glazing (firing computer images and text on clay and glass), and his research is used by other artists around the country. He also was a founding member of the Des Moines Public Art Foundation and has taught classes and workshops at more than 70 institutions across the country and the world, including Iowa’s Sister State in China.
- David Dahlquist, Artist and Creative Director, RDG Planning and Design
Arts Learning Leadership – Recognizes an individual, organization or business that demonstrates leadership and commitment to developing arts learning for in-class, out-of-school, higher education or lifelong learners in Iowa.
- Turnaround Arts: Des Moines, Des Moines
- Turnaround Arts: Des Moines has used the arts to improve five schools on Des Moines’ north side. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment of the Arts and numerous private and corporate donors, the program uses the arts to help turn around lower-performing schools, narrow the achievement gap and develop a strong sense of community. Program leaders have brought well-known local and national artists, including Oscar-winner Forest Whitaker, to show students and teachers new ways to integrate the arts into traditional subjects such as reading, science and math.
- Sarah Dougherty, Visual Arts Curriculum and Turnaround Arts Program Coordinator; Noelle Tichy, Executive Director of Teaching and Learning; Thomas Ahart, Superintendent; all of Des Moines Public Schools
Collaboration & Partnership in the Arts – Recognizes an individual, organization or business that undertakes an artistic initiative that brings together diverse partners from within and beyond the arts community in Iowa.
- Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way, Fort Dodge
- The Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way understand how the arts generate economic development and help students sharpen their critical thinking and problem-solving skills to grow into creative, productive and collaborative adults. Since January 2015, the partnership between the Fort Dodge Community Foundation and United Way has allowed an employee to give 50 percent of her time to coordinate community arts events and expand the reach of the Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association, which has grown from 11 members to 30 members; from zero supporting artists to five; and from one patron to three, who have each contributed $5,000.
- Susan Ahlers Leman, Chair, Fort Dodge Fine Arts Association; and Randy Kuhlman, Chief Executive Officer, and Amy Bruno, Program Coordinator, both of the Fort Dodge Community Foundation
The awards were presented during the 2016 Iowa Arts Summit, where nearly 400 state and national arts professionals, community leaders and advocates gathered to network, learn and celebrate the arts in Iowa. The summit was presented by the Iowa Arts Council, a division of the Iowa Department of Cultural Affairs.