On June 3, 2015, The President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) announced an expansion of its successful Turnaround Arts initiative into five additional school districts. The program, funded through a public-private partnership, will receive over $5 million over the next three years from the U.S. Department of Education, the National Endowment of the Arts, the Ford Foundation and other private foundations and companies to bring arts education into low-performing schools. Turnaround Arts now reaches over 24,000 of the country’s highest-needs students in 50 schools in 14 states and the District of Columbia.
Newly appointed Turnaround Artists Carla Dirlikov, Cameron Diaz, Mike McCready will “adopt” three Broward County Turnaround Arts schools and work directly with students and teachers to support their arts education. These schools will receive arts education training and resources to address their individual needs including teacher training, arts supplies, music instruments, and funding for partnerships with community arts education and cultural organizations. The Turnaround Artists will support the schools for the length of the program, working with students, schools and communities to highlight their success.
Carla Dirlikov is a passionate believer in advancing the arts and has shown an unflagging advocacy of empowerment through music in the U.S. and abroad. In 2005, Dirlikov began a decades-long association with the U.S. Department of State serving as a Cultural Arts Envoy, the duties of which include promoting American culture overseas, giving master classes and teaching music to orphans and poverty-stricken youth. Her first engagements took her to Mexico, her mothers’ native country and a place where she lived as a child. Since her first visit, Dirlikov has returned to Mexico frequently, both as a professional soloist as well as under the Embassy's programming.
"As a child who benefited directly from a strong arts education program in a public school, I believe in the power of the arts to strongly impact not only a child's education but also their future,” said Dirlikov. “It is a tremendous honor for me to join the Turnaround Arts roster and aid in the incredible work that they do for kids every day. I have had the chance to see this firsthand, and have found no greater joy than witnessing the excitement in a child's face as they explore the arts. As an opera singer, it's a special honor for me to be able to participate and contribute, I believe that singing can provide everyone with an easy and fun way to access the arts and share their emotions. I can't wait to get started!"
Dirlikov joins an illustrious group of new “Turnaround Artists,” including Bernie Williams, Cameron Diaz, David Blaine, Jack Johnson, Macy Gray, Mike McCready, Misty Copeland, Paula Abdul, Thom Mayne, Jake Shimabukuro, and Tracy Reese. These artists will join Chad Smith, Clarence Greenwood (aka Citizen Cope), Doc Shaw, Elizabeth Banks, Elton John, Frank Gehry, Jason Mraz, Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Josh Groban, Marc Anthony, Rashida Jones, Russell Simmons, the Silk Road Ensemble, Tim Robbins, and Troy Andrews (aka Trombone Shorty). Artists who have been working with the program since its inception include Alfre Woodard, Chuck Close, Damian Woetzel, Forest Whitaker, John Lloyd Young, Kal Penn, Kerry James Marshall, Kerry Washington, Edward Norton, Sarah Jessica Parker, and Yo-Yo Ma.