Turnaround Arts: Minnesota

The arts are not something to add in after a school has solved its problems—they are something we can use to help fix them.

About the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities
Created in 1982 under President Reagan, the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities is an advisory committee to the White House on cultural issues. The committee works directly with the three primary cultural agencies - National Endowment for the Arts, the National Endowment for the Humanities and the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Find out more here

The Minnesota state legislature provided funds for Turnaround Arts: Minnesota from its Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund for school years 2015-16 and 2016-17. The Minnesota State Arts Board provided grants to schools, with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, to support the program in 2015-16. At the outset, each school benefits from national partnerships with leading arts organizations and corporations such as Crayola, National Association of Music Merchants and Music Theater International. 


About Turnaround Arts

Turnaround Arts: Minnesota is an arts and school improvement program. A good arts program, used strategically, can help target some of the persistent, pervasive problems commonly found in high-poverty, underperforming schools.

Participating schools have demonstrated increased academic achievement, increase student and family engagement, and improved school culture and climate. For more information on how Turnaround Arts has impacted pilot school across the nation, click here.    

Turnaround Arts: Minnesota schools started out in the lowest performing five percent of the state, but are working hard to improve and close the achievement gap, using the arts as one of their key tools:

Bethune Elementary School, Minneapolis

Cityview Community School, Minneapolis

I.J. Holton Intermediate School, Austin

Northport Elementary School, Brooklyn Center

Northside Elementary School, St. James

Red Lake Middle School, Red Lake

Riverside Central Elementary School, Rochester

Stonebridge World School, Minneapolis

What we do?

In order to have the arts impact school improvement, it is crucial to both build a high-quality, integrated arts program, and at the same time, think strategically about how to deploy the arts to tackle large school challenges.

Supporting this work on our school, the Perpich Center provides:

  • Coaches, resources, and implementation support for:
    • ​sustainable, whole school change
    • strategic arts planning targeted at specific school challenges
    • curriculum development in and through the arts
    • school culture and climate improvement
    • family engagement
  • Professional development for teachers and administrators

  • Documentation and sharing of outcomes and best practices​

  • ​Network of schools going through the same improvement process



The arts have had a tremendous impact on all of our Turnaround Arts: Minnesota schools.

In these two videos below, watch the story of Bethune Community School in Minneapolis, MN and Red Lake Secondary School in Red Lake, MN.

We Are Community, A Turnaround Arts: Minnesota Story


Red Lake Middle School, Red Lake, Minnesota


At the national level Turnaround Arts is a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts. There are 73 Turnaround Arts schools around the country, in 38 districts and 17 states and the District of Columbia. Find out more about the national scope here

Turnaround Arts - Bethune Elementary (2014)

Turnaround Arts - Northport Elementary (2014)

Turnaround Arts - Northside Elementary (2014)

Turnaround Arts - Red Lake Middle School (2014)