Questlove Joins Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership Board of Directors

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Photo by Jeff Fusco

Questlove has his hands in lots of pots, but between being part of one of the most respected bands in hip-hop, writing books and serving as The Tonight Show house band drummer, he never seems to forget where his, um, roots. He brings his talents to Philly often, recently DJing at the brand new Fillmore and, of course there’s the Roots Picnic, but he’s aware of his civic duties to the city, too. Case in point: Today, the Philadelphia Arts in Education Partnership (PAEP) announced that Questlove has joined their Board of Directors.

PAEP is an initiative that works to promote learning through the arts in K through 12 schools in the region. Questlove, a graduate of the Philadelphia High School for the Creative and Performing Arts, says he took on the role, because he knows firsthand how such programs can make a difference in the lives of budding young, local talents.

“Organizations like PAEP are the reason I am who I am, and Im beyond proud to serve alongside them in my hometown of Philadelphia,” he said in a press release. “The arts are something we all should experience at a young age. They open your mind in a way nothing else can.”

In his role, Questlove will work alongside PAEP members in their mission to incorporate arts programming into regional classrooms. Their thinking is that combining art with curricular subjects, like math, science and literacy, will promote richer learning experiences and help students develop skills like problem solving, creativity and collaboration.

Their work was recently put to test in a four-year project called Arts Link that was funded by the U.S. Department of Education. According to a press release, in the final year of the initiative, mean scores on the Mathematics PSSA tests were 105 points higher for schools that incorporated PAEP philosophies. Arts Link students also outscored the comparison group by 60 points in science, and 40 points in reading. More on that here.