“Arts education isn’t something we add on after we’ve achieved other priorities like raising test scores and getting kids into college. It’s actually critical for achieving those priorities in the first place. That’s what the Turnaround Arts program is all about.” — First Lady Michelle Obama
Why do US schools continue to suffer from declines in arts education budgets and instructional time even though a 2005 Harris Poll found that 93% of Americans believe that the arts are vital to a well-rounded education? In this thoughtful TED talk, Rachel Goslins, Executive Director of the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities, persuasively argues that the arts are not a bouquet of daisies we give our children when we (or they) can afford it; they are also a tool (a wrench) that can be used to address some of the most intractable problems our young people face.
Rachel Goslins was appointed by President Obama to manage the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities in 2009. Under her management, the Committee launched 3 new national initiatives, including Turnaround Arts, the first federally-led public/private partnership to bring arts education to a group of the country’s lowest-performing elementary schools.