P.S. ARTS Chosen to Attend White House “STEAM Fair” and Demonstrate Exemplary Art Project for First Lady Michelle Obama

Share Article

White House STEAM Fair will demonstrate student learning through the arts.

P.S. ARTS and students from Lucille J. Smith Elementary School in Lawndale, CA, one of seven schools benefitting from The Herb Alpert Foundation’s long-term investment in arts education in the Lawndale Elementary School District, have been invited by the President’s Committee on the Arts and the Humanities (PCAH) to model examples of high-quality STEAM classroom projects – projects that integrate the “A” for arts into STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) curricula – at the White House on May 20th. The White House “STEAM Fair” will be hosted by First Lady Michelle Obama and the PCAH to celebrate the success of the Turnaround Arts initiative—of which The Herb Alpert Foundation is a major supporter—a PCAH program to help turn around low-performing schools and increase student achievement through arts education. The Fair will showcase schools and arts organizations from across the country with model STEAM classroom projects.

As a partner to the Turnaround Arts initiative and one of the most highly regarded arts education service organizations in Southern California, P.S. ARTS was invited to the White House to demonstrate its approach to arts and math integration. Students in the Lawndale Elementary School District have received weekly P.S. ARTS classes for eight years thanks to the generosity of The Herb Alpert Foundation, whose overall contribution has totaled over $2 million since the program’s launch in 2005. This pilot program continues to serve as a model for investment in community to achieve impactful, systemic change and has helped to expand P.S. ARTS’ role as a leader in the field. Paul Cummins founded P.S. ARTS in 1991, with seed funding provided by Herb Alpert.

“P.S. ARTS is honored to be invited to participate in this event,” said Dr. Kristen Paglia, P.S. ARTS Executive Director of Education & Programs. “The bright, creative students from the Lawndale Elementary School District who will be demonstrating P.S. ARTS’ STEAM project are the best evidence of the role of the arts in student achievement and overall school improvement!”

Dr. Paglia will be attending the White House STEAM Fair along with The Herb Alpert Foundation President Rona Sebastian, P.S. ARTS Teaching Artist Benjamin Morales, and Smith Elementary students, Nicolas Hernandez (age 10) and Pamela Hernandez (age 11), whose flights were all generously donated by Delta Air Lines, the official airline of P.S ARTS. These students were selected to represent P.S. ARTS at the Fair because they thrive in their arts classes, exhibiting poise, creativity, and civic leadership. They will demonstrate their creative skills to Fair attendees, including The First Lady, public officials, celebrities, and other philanthropic partners of the Turnaround Arts initiative.

P.S. ARTS was asked to model the Orbit Tower Project developed by Morales for his 4th grade visual arts classes in the Lawndale Elementary School District. This project explores the work of sculptor Anish Kapoor to reinforce the properties of shapes and lines and enhance design skills. Through this project, students reflect on the purpose of public art and the significance of monuments, as well as the relationship between form and function in art and architecture. Hernandez and Hernandez will demonstrate the creation of the structure from the design to the construction phase.

For media inquiries, please contact:
Megan Strawther | 310.586.1017 | Megan.Strawther(at)psarts(dot)org

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Caroline Graham

Megan Strawther
P.S. Arts
Email >