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Friday, October 17, 2014

Turnaround Artists Alfre Woodard and Trombone Shorty Inspire Students

On Monday morning, the dance team and marching band lined the walkway outside of St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy in Greensburg, LA, to welcome a very special guest. Alfre Woodard, an actor and Turnaround Artist with the President's Committee on the Arts and Humanities (PCAH), had arrived to serve as a creative mentor to the students and inspire them to pursue their goals and education through the arts. As part of the Turnaround Arts: Louisiana program, St. Helena was selected with two other schools to be transformed through arts integration.

GRFA Executive Director Jacques Rodrigue and Turnaround Artist Alfre Woodard visit with students at St. Helena Arts and Technology Academy in Greensburg, LA.

Students welcome Alfre Woodard as their Turnaround Artist.

After a special acting workshop with Alfre Woodard, students pose for a group photo with Jacques Rodrigue and Tunaround Arts Director Cathy Fletcher.

It was just this year that the George Rodrigue Foundation of the Arts was selected by the PCAH to implement the Turnaround Arts initiative at three schools in the state using the Louisiana A+ Schools method of arts integration. Already the teachers and students of our Turnaround A+ Schools are embracing the arts in curriculum -- creative projects line the halls, music can be heard in classrooms, and student engagement is reaching a new level.

A student at Homer A. Plessy Community School in New Orleans presents flowers to Alfre Woodard.

Turnaround Artist Trombone Shorty with student at Homer A. Plessy Community School.

As part of the national Turnaround Arts initiative, Turnaround Artists like Woodard adopt schools and work directly with students, teachers, and parents from the community to draw attention to the impact of the arts on a school's transformation.  In addition to visiting the schools, the Turnaround Artists connect with students throughout the year via Skype.

Alongside Woodard, Turnaround Artist Troy Andrews, better known as Trombone Shorty, visited Homer A. Plessy Community School in New Orleans on Tuesday to see the arts in action in the classrooms and communicate how arts in education can impact their academic and creative potential.

Students do a musical performance for special guests Alfre Woodard and Trombone Shorty.

Woodard reads to students at Homer A. Plessy Community School.

We are so excited to have these exceptional artists as part of Turnaround Arts: Louisiana and look forward to a successful, creative school year for our Turnaround A+ Schools.

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