WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

D.C.'s Savoy School Picked For President's Arts Program

Play associated audio

A D.C. public school is becoming one of only eight in the country to receive funding for a lucrative arts program through the President's Committee on the Arts and the Humanities. The committee announced yesterday that Savoy Elementary in Southeast D.C. has been selected for the lucrative Turnaround: Arts initiative. 

It's a two-year pilot project where schools in high-poverty areas with historically low test scores are selected to take part in a program that provides intense music, dance and fine arts training.

"We know this will mean an enormous amount for our kids and our community," says school princinpal Patrick Pope. "There's an enormous amount of spotlight being shown on us."

If Pope's name sounds familiar, that's because the spotlight was on him in 2009 during the educational reform era of former D.C. Public Schools Chancellor Michelle Rhee. Back then, Pope was principal at Hardy Middle School in Georgetown, where he led a popular arts program. When Rhee replaced him with another principal, the decision was met with protests from both parents and students. 

Fast-forward two years, and Pope is now settled in to his new office at Savoy, in Anacostia. It s a position he's held for one year. With no mention of the past, he looks forward to making his mark at Savoy. 

"We are looking at music labs, music instruments, music instruction for all students, as well as bringing in practitioners, arts educators to come and really work directly and teach our children," Pope says. 

All schools chosen for the project are paired with a professional mentor. Actress Kerry Washington, who plays a high-powered D.C. publicist in the new T.V. drama Scandal, has been assigned to Savoy. 


When Barack Met Michelle: 'Southside With You' Recreates The Obamas' First Date

Richard Tanne's new film is a dramatization of Barack and Michelle Obama's first date in 1989. Critic David Edelstein says the movie's mix of politics and romance has a "naive kind of charm."

Ramen Noodles Are Now The Prison Currency Of Choice

Ramen will buy anything from smuggled fruit to laundry services from fellow inmates, a study at one prison finds. It's not just that ramen is tasty: Prisoners say they're not getting enough food.

Felons' Rights Restored, Early Voting And Other Voting Law Changes This Week

Voting laws have been getting a lot of attention recently and more twists and turns can be expected before the election in November. Here's an update on where the laws stand.

After Losing Steam In Smartphones, Chinese Firm Turns To Smart Rice Cookers

One of China's most valuable tech startups, smartphone maker Xiaomi, is getting into networked appliances, in a bid to innovate its way out of trouble, as its core business falls flat.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.