Love Train Teaser + School Theater Productions

In six weeks…school is over?!

I cannot believe what an incredible journey we have been on at Turnaround Arts: Providence.  We have learned about Visual Thinking Strategies and we rode the “Love Train” with Valerie June. Every day our students and teachers take our breath away with their creativity and passion for the arts!


“Love Train” features Turnaround Arts students performing alongside their Turnaround Artists including Valerie June, Alfre Woodard, Bernie Williams, Black Violin, Chad Smith, Dan Zanes and Claudia Eliaza, David Garibaldi, Elizabeth Banks, Frank Gehry, IZ Avila, Jackson Browne, Jacqueline Suskin, Jake Shimabukuro, Jason Mraz, John Cruz, John Lloyd Young, Keb’ Mo’, Larisa Martínez, Ledisi, Mic Jordan, Misty Copeland, Ozomatli, Paula Abdul, Paula Fuga, Speech, Taboo, Tim Robbins, Tracy Reese, Trombone Shorty, Valerie June, Yo-Yo Ma, and The O’Jays (who wrote the song). This video was produced by Turnaround Arts and Playing For Change to share the message that the arts have the power to improve our schools and build more compassionate, connected communities.




John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts program, Turnaround Arts,

infuses struggling schools with the arts as strategy to help close the opportunity gap and provide equitable access to arts and music education

Washington, D.C. (April 13, 2018) —Turnaround Arts premieres a music video project featuring students from DelSesto, Gilbert Stuart, and Roger Williams Middle Schools alongside their artist mentor, Valerie June. This new rendition of “Love Train” by The O’Jays showcases the power of the arts and music to help lift up students and schools, contributing to overall success.

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Providence students join thousands of their Turnaround Arts peers from across America and more than two dozen Turnaround Artists mentors: Paula Abdul, IZ Avila, Elizabeth Banks, Jackson Browne, Carla Dirlikov Canales, Misty Copeland, John Cruz, Claudia Eliaza, Paula Fuga, Frank Gehry, Valerie June, Ledisi, Yo-Yo Ma, Larisa Martinez, Keb’ Mo’, Jason Mraz, Ozomatli, Taboo, Tracy Reese, Tim Robbins, Jake Shimabukuro, Trombone Shorty, Chad Smith, Speech, Jacqueline Suskin, The O’Jays, Black Violin, Bernie Williams, Alfre Woodard, Dan Zanes, and John Lloyd Young and more in this Turnaround Arts music video, produced by Playing for Change.

Turnaround Arts, a program of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, empowers struggling schools with innovative arts, dance, theater and music programs, arts integration across subject areas, arts resources, musical instruments, and high-profile artist mentors, as a proven strategy to help address broader school challenges and close the opportunity gap. DelSesto, Gilbert Stuart, and Roger Williams are three of 84 Turnaround Arts schools across the country and 3 in Providence, RI.

“Providence is the Creative Capital and we believe that the arts are a powerful tool that provides our students with opportunities for creative expression,” said Mayor Jorge O. Elorza. “We’re excited about this partnership with Turnaround Arts because all children deserve to find their passion through an arts education.”

Providence’s Del Sesto, Gilbert Stuart, and Roger Williams Middle Schools joined this signature program in 2017. Since becoming a Turnaround Arts school, DelSesto, Gilbert Stuart, and Roger Williams Middle Schools have added Visual Thinking Strategies and this Spring will host three Disney Jr. musicals produced and performed by the students.

The program’s success is leading to another expansion of the program at the start of the 2018 school year. The program launched in 2012 as a pilot program with eight schools.

Nationally, Turnaround Arts is made possible by the National Endowment of the Arts and a collaboration of government agencies, non-profit partners, and generous corporate and private donations.  A special thank you to Providence City Arts For Youth, Providence After School Alliance, Providence Boys & Girls Club, Providence City Year, Providence Career & Technical Academy.


DelSesto Middle School’s performances of Aladdin, Jr. will be held on Thursday, May 17th and Friday, 18th at 6:00PM; cash donations are welcome.

Gilbert Stuart Middle School’s performances of Into the Woods, Jr. are Friday,  June 1st  and  Saturday,  June 2nd at 6:00PM, and Sunday, June 3rd  at  2:00PM; cash donations are welcome.

talent shows

Coming soon, our partners at City Year are hosting talent shows in the schools. Gilbert Stuart’s Spring Talent Show is May 8th @ 3:30 PM in the auditorium.

Roger Williams Middle School has two Spring Talent Shows – the first is during the school day on Friday, May 25th The second show will be at 5:30PM on Thursday, May 24th and will be open to families, friends and the community.

arts festival

Roger Williams Middle School is hosting a Spring Arts Festival to share the cultural diversity of its school community on Saturday, May 19th at 1PM.


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