Jefferson Performing Arts Society (JPAS) provides arts education programming in local area schools, as well as access to professional theatrical experiences that align to classroom curricula and Louisiana Content Standards.
Cultural Crossroads is a residency-based program that incorporates arts-integrated instructional strategies. Cultural Crossroads also provides students with positive linkages to their communities through mentoring. Cultural Crossroads serves alternative schools and schools that are struggling academically. The primary goal of Cultural Crossroads is to use the arts to enhance student proficiency in reading, writing and mathematics. A total of 200 students at 6 area schools will participate in residencies that integrate the arts (visual, dance, performance poetry and music) with core academic subjects (English language arts, mathematics and social studies.) To accomplish this, all Cultural Crossroads artists work in tandem with classroom teachers to co-create lessons. At the start of each residency, the artist and the classroom teacher work to co-create a residency that directly links the artistic discipline with the Grade Level Expectations at least 1 core academic subject. All artists Pre-test Post test their students to track changes in learning. Class total scores show increases between 20% to 80%.

JPAS Cultural Crossroads Currently Serving the Parishes of:


Live Oak Manor Elementary
Deckbar Alternative School and John Martyn Alternative School


Net Charter High

25th Judicial District Court, Department of Youth and Family Services (DYFS), Families in Need of Services (FINS):

St. Bernard

C.F. Rowley Alternative  


** Rowley Alternative School in St. Bernard Parish will apply for and receive their own grant through the Commission on Cultural Affairs for St. Tammany and St. Bernard Parishes. Funds will be used to support JPAS Cultural Crossroads at Rowley Alternative School.
***Live Oak Manor Elementary applies for and receives their own Arts Council of New Orleans/LDOA/Cultural Crossroads Project Assistance Grants.
****Net Charter High and FINS apply for and receive their own funding through the Jazz & Heritage Foundation


More About Cultural Crossroads — Cultural Crossroads is a program that helps to prevent recidivism and re-direct the energy of troubled young people. Five of the six schools Cultural Crossroads serves are alternative schools. Students who attend alternative schools generally have considerable obstacles to overcome that often have an impact on their ability to be successful and stay focused in school; most live at or below the poverty line. As of December 21, 2013, the majority of the ethnic makeup of our student population is African American. JPAS Cultural Crossroads utilizes cross-curricula instructional methodologies through the integration of art and cultural experiences into the core curricula.

Cultural Crossroads students are also “On the Brink of Promise.” They are standing on the edge of change, at a “crossroads” that can lead to better life choices, especially if the development of their academic abilities is engaged through cross-curricula instructional methodologies. Many students within Cultural Crossroads lack role models. This can contribute to inappropriate behaviour, a lack of leadership skills and poor life choices. A review of research has found using cross-curricula instructional methodologies provides opportunities for growth by improving social development and academic achievement.


Qualitative Evaluation of the Cultural Crossroads Program for Sites in Jefferson, Orleans, St. Bernard and St Charles Parishes as Implemented in the 2010-2011 Academic Year and the first half of the 2001-2012 Academic Year. Support for this evaluation comes from the Blue Cross Blue Shield Foundation of Louisiana, the Walmart State Giving program and several grants the schools themselves received through the Arts Council of New Orleans.

Additional Findings and Observations:

  • Both teachers and principals complimented the artists on their abilities to engage the students in the lessons and even noted the observations and interactions with the artists as a mutually beneficial experience.
  • Both principals and teachers acknowledged a desire to consider teacher professional development days or sessions to enhance a better understanding of the possibilities for further integration of the arts across the curriculum.

Overall Assessment: All sources of evidence reveal that the Cultural Crossroads Program of the Jefferson Parish Arts Society is meeting the expectations of the stakeholders and could very well serve as a model for the implementation of a program designed to expand the educational experiences of the learners while encouraging an integration model of educational outcomes for both learners and classroom teachers.

Statistical Analysis of Student Data:During the 2010-2011 school year, a number of artists from the JPAS visited classrooms in Jefferson Parish with the goal of using various forms of artistic expression to improve ELA skills. Complete classes of students in three elementary schools (Rillieux, McDonogh 26, and Solis) were available for analysis of the impact of the program on cognitive abilities. The intention of these evaluations was to analyze the impact of the JPAS Cultural Crossroads instruction on students in Jefferson Parish Schools relative to testing.

JPAS Cultural Crossroads Evaluation Report
2011-2012 Interval 1 Teaching Vs Testing Table
2011-2012 Interval Assessment 1 – JPAS Achievement Comparisons

Engineering Our Ecosystem: A Virtual Field Trip Preview
Take a look into what Cultural Crossroads does.