ARTS is spotlighting the incredible members of our Community Arts Partner Roster. This month the spotlight is on Jack Straw Cultural Center. A community-based resource since 1962, Jack Straw provides a production facility that is unlike any other in the region for local artists who work creatively with sound. Jack Straw focuses on annual artist residencies through their Artist Support Program, Writers Program, and Gallery Residency Program; art and technology education for all ages; arts heritage partnerships; and radio production.
As a community arts partner Jack Straw provides students at all grade levels with the tools to tell their stories using audio technology. Students work with artists from several disciplines, including theater, writing, music, visual art, and digital media, in integrated arts residencies, both in classrooms and in their University District studios. Students, working individually and in small groups, all create their own audio stories, music, and/or visual art. Jack Straw’s teaching artists are also skilled in providing English language learners, disabled youth, and special education students with accessible arts education opportunities and programs for students that need more attention on building literacy skills. They maintain a low ratio of students to artists so that students have the special attention they need for a strong, accessible, hands-on experience.
Jack Straw Cultural Center is currently accepting applications from Seattle high school students for a new pilot program: The Jack Straw Young Writers Program. The Young Writers Program will introduce high school writers to the medium of recorded audio, provide them with literary mentorship, develop their presentation skills for both live and recorded readings, and present them in public readings at Jack Straw. Application deadline: 5 p.m. on Friday, January 22nd, 2016. For more information visit: http://www.jackstraw.org/programs/ed/youngwriters.shtml
About the roster:
The Community Arts Partner Roster is a vetted list of teaching artists and community arts and culture organizations approved to work in Seattle Public Schools through the Creative Advantage. Schools, community agencies, and other public and private entities are encouraged to utilize this list when seeking partners to lead creative learning opportunities with their program participants. http://www.creativeadvantageseattle.org/community-arts-partner-roster/
The Creative Advantage invests in artists and educators thru ongoing professional learning opportunities that deepen qualities of practice and foster community within the field, locally.
Our most recent convening, the annual School Partner Summer Institute, drew 116 participants to the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) on August 20, 2015 for a day of engaged learning, creativity and reflection. In attendance where teaching artists, certificated teachers, youth development staff, arts administrators and more.
From a rich keynote on racial equity and social justice in the arts to the opening day poetry performance on culturally relevant and responsive teaching, the framing of our time together was clear and purposeful. Workshop sessions included topics on arts integration, creating equity in the classroom, cultivating growth-mindset, building community, and social emotional learning.
We are grateful to facilitators and participants, alike. Each has shared critical and rich feedback to inform future offerings that center creativity, collaboration, and equity.
“It was great to be amongst so many energetic arts educators and to hear their insights on the work that has been done, and still needs to be done in Seattle. The mix of teachers, teaching artists, and CBO’s (community based organizations) provided a range of perspectives and insights.”
“I think an understanding of implicit bias and equity is so important for our work as arts educators. Glad to see the topic tackled head-on.”
“There is an amazing and motivated community of educators supporting arts education in Seattle. There has been lots done, but still much work to be accomplished across the board.”
Stay tuned for more professional learning opportunities from Creative Advantage this fall.
The Seattle Public Schools’ School and Community Partnership department, which is committed to building the capacity of community based organizations partnership with schools, has launched a Professional Development calendar for Education Partners.
Events on the calendar are designed for community-based organization staff and volunteers, and other partners to help them align their work and authentically partner with Seattle Public Schools.
The next upcoming event:
Data Stewardship and Introduction to Analysis Tuesday, October 6, 10 a.m. John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence 2445 3rd Ave S (at Lander St), Seattle, WA 98134
If you weren’t able to attend the September training, fear not – you have another opportunity! This training is for anyone who is planning to or interested in receiving student-level data from SPS. It will cover FERPA regulations, SPS data stewardship best practices and scenarios, and the basics regarding analyzing data
Founded by members of Seattle’s own world champ breakdance crew Massive Monkees, Extraordinary Futures is an innovative non-profit organization that has “created the nation’s first dance-based leadership program focused on urban youth with limited access to arts education and quality mentorship. Their fun, unique, and engaging arts based programs empower urban youth to lead healthier lifestyles and to realize their full potential as leaders. With nearly a decade of experience mentoring youth as teaching artists, the Extraordinary Futures team brings a unique formula for using art to develop leadership capacity in urban youth.”
About the roster:
The Community Arts Partner Roster is a vetted list of teaching artists and community arts and culture organizations approved to work in Seattle Public Schools through the Creative Advantage. Schools, community agencies, and other public and private entities are encouraged to access this list when seeking partners to lead creative learning opportunities with their program participants
Image courtesy Extraordinary Futures.
I’m thrilled to introduce our 2014 Report to the Community – in an all-new digital format. While I’m a little abashed about publishing a 2014 report when we’re three-quarters of the way through 2015 already, I think this one was worth the wait.
The Office of Arts & Culture has been publishing a paper Report to the Community for decades – this document is a wonderful resource to look back and see how the Office has progressed. However, every year we struggle with representing the work we do and not boiling it down to long laundry lists. As our society reveres pictures, emoji and memes over long blocks of narrative, I start to wonder who reads the annual reports we distribute (last year’s was 40 pages long!). Are they a useful tool to share the work we do, or are they just a lot of work?
As I was pondering this year’s report, we were in discussions with a local company, Community Attributes, about mapping our cultural space – and I realized that maps would be a valuable counterpart to lists. I got more and more excited about mapping the deeper we got into the project. As a city that is contemplating how we expend our resources and who benefits from those investments, what better tool to visualize exactly where dollars are directed than a map?
And thus this year’s digital 2014 Report to the Community was born. In here, you’ll find maps of all our public art and activations, where all grant dollars were directed, a prototype for the cultural space mapping that launched this project. Please click around, check it out and tell us what you think.
This version is our first foray into the digital report world. I’m really proud of this piece, and I’m already plotting how to make it better and more useful next year. Which is just a couple months away….
Calandra Childers, Deputy Director, Office of Arts & Culture
Seattle Art Museum (Downtown)
1300 First Ave.
Seattle, WA 98101
August 20, 2015; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
Register Now! http://www.seattleartmuseum.org/visit/calendar/events?EventId=35411
We are excited to announce Gilda Sheppard as keynote speaker for the upcoming Creative Advantage School Partnership Summer Institute! This interactive one-day workshop invites participants to gain skills and knowledge applicable to their work with school partnerships. They will learn from local experts, see best practices in action, collaborate with their peers and get creative! This day will inspire and empower participants to help transform student learning through the arts.
Gilda Sheppard is an award winning filmmaker who has screened her documentary films throughout USA and internationally at the Berlin Germany International Black Film Festival and Fest Afrique 360 at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival and the 2008 Cannes Film Festival Short Film Section. Gilda is a professor of sociology, cultural and media studies at The Evergreen State College in Tacoma, Washington. She has taught internationally in colleges and universities in Ghana, West Africa and is a volunteer Professor at Washington State Reformatory for Men and Women’s Correctional Center for Women. Her present documentary Swinging With No Hands is based on provocative and transformative stories from men and women in these two facilities. Gilda is co-editor for the anthology, Culturally Relevant Arts Education for Social Justice: A Way Out of No Way.
The Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with Seattle Art Museum presents The Creative Advantage School Partnership Institute. The institute includes learning opportunities focused on – arts integration, equity in your practice, arts and socioemotional learning, growth mindset, and effective community building in the classroom.
If you are a current or aspiring teaching artist, arts or school administrator, certified teacher, or youth development worker, we invite you to attend. If you represent an organization, please also share with your teaching artist faculty and program staff.
Seattle World School (SWS) is one of several Seattle Public Schools to launch an arts plan through The Creative Advantage, a city-wide partnership to reinvest in equitable arts education for all students. Funding from these efforts allows SWS and other activated Creative Advantage schools to partner with local arts organizations like Spectrum Dance Theatre and Jack Straw Productions. Located in Capitol Hill, SWS is unique in that it primarily serves immigrant and English Language Learners (ELL) students. With over 20 languages and more than 30 countries represented at the school, students are not only learning subjects like math, science, history, and language arts, but are simultaneously learning English as their second, third, or fourth language.
So we wanted to find out: what role do the arts play in these students’ educational experiences? With the help of SWS music teacher Aimee Mell, we recently had the pleasure of visiting two choir classes and speaking directly to students about what arts programs mean to them.
Walter, an 18-year-old student at SWS, is involved in choir. “I like choir because I learn a lot of words and their pronunciations,” he told us. “It helps with my English, like understanding words in math class or understanding the meaning of a song.”
Walter has many goals for his future. First he wants to go to college, but after, he’s also interested in becoming a doctor, joining the Army, or trying out for the Seattle Sounders. The skills he’s gained from his arts classes, like becoming more fluent in English, may help him achieve those dreams.
And Walter isn’t the only student who feels the arts are benefitting him both in and out of school.
“I really like when I have to work with my hands, like drawing or sewing,” said Shirley, 16. She hopes to one day become an interior designer, and she knows that her arts classes are helping prepare her. “For example, when teachers ask me to do posters, they really appreciate my work and art skills,” she explained.
Music teacher Aimee Mell also believes the arts can help newly-emigrated students, like Walter and Shirley, transition to life in the United States.
“My goal is that when students newly arrive to the U.S. and at the World School, that they will walk into my music room and find something they can relate to, and that they will feel a little piece of home,” she told us. “Learning and living in a new language is daunting, and hopefully music is a place of fun, refuge, community and success.”
In addition to preparing students for success in life, arts classes at SWS provide creative opportunities for students to express themselves. Dona, 16, is involved in choir along with Shirley and Walter. “I really have a good time singing with friends, and even on stage,” he told us.
The arts have helped Dona gain the courage to take risks and try new experiences, like singing John Legend’s “If You’re Out There” at a choir concert or acting two different roles in the The Taming of the Shrew. “I like to try different things,” he said. “I like to sometimes do drama and sometimes music, and even art—though I don’t know how, but I’ll try.”
Arts classes have been an integral part of Dona’s education at SWS. When we asked how he would feel if he lost access to arts programs, he found it difficult to imagine. “I don’t know how I would enjoy my time without singing or acting,” he said.
Shirley feels the same. One of her best memories is from acting in a school production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. “When I did Midsummer Night’s Dream, I was the main character, so my grandma came from my home country, Guatemala,” she said. “I was pretty excited. She saw me in the play and she congratulated my teacher. That was the best play that I could do. And my dress was amazing, I really liked it.”
From sparking students’ creativity to helping them learn English, arts classes are a valuable part of the school day that should be accessible to all SPS students – a belief that The Creative Advantage is working towards making a reality.
Photo by Aimee Mell
“Change, true change, is a collective tidal wave made of many voices and multiple approaches.” Excerpted from Justice in Education.
Community Arts Partner Roster is growing
This year the Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster added 25 more teaching artists and organizations to our list growing list which encompasses 77 Seattle artists and arts organizations. The roster is a vetted list of teaching artists and community arts and culture organizations that have been approved to work in Seattle Public Schools through the Creative Advantage. The roster is also a community resource that is available for schools, community agencies and other public and private entities which use it to seek partners to lead creative learning opportunities for their programs.
Creative Youth Development Summit a success
Something to Say: Creative Youth Development Summit was a powerful convening of youth arts and community program leaders that took place at the Seattle Central Library on June 5, 2015. Youth development directors, teachers, managers and supervisors gathered for a day of interactive exploration led by Denise Montgomery, a national expert on creative youth development. The summit lived up to its creative name with teaching artists leading a variety of activities in in visual art, theatre arts, and creative writing. The activities allowed participants to experientially and creatively reflect and engage in art making practices to expand their perspectives on how to incorporate creativity in their own practice and programs. The summit planning committee included staff from – Arts Corps, Office of Arts & Culture, School’s Out Washington, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Public Library, YMCA Powerful Schools, Youth Development Executives of King County.
Teaching Artist Guild launches national quarterly
The Creative Advantage is a member of the The National Guild for Community Arts Education. Here is a highlight from their most recent bulletin.
Teaching Artist Guild Launches National Quarterly
Teaching Artists Guild (TAG) – a professional membership-based organization dedicated to supporting teaching artistry – has released the first issue of a quarterly publication that will include interviews, in-depth features, business advice, upcoming events, field developments, and job opportunities. http://nationalguild.org/About/NewsEvents/News/Field-News/Teaching-Artists-Guild-Launches-TAG-Quarterly-Publ.aspx
Creative Advantage School Partnership Summer Institute
Seattle Art Museum
Aug 20, 2015; 9 a.m. – 5 p.m.
This interactive one-day workshop invites participants to gain skills and knowledge applicable to their work with Seattle Public School partnerships. Learn from local experts, see best practices in action, collaborate with your peers and get creative! This day will inspire and empower you to help transform student learning through the arts.
This workshop is free to participants and includes lunch and eight Washington State Clock Hours. Teaching artists, K-12 teachers, and arts education administrators are welcome to attend.
If you have any questions regarding registration, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Creative Advantage out and about this summer:
Catch us if you can at on Saturday, July 18 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. at Jubilee Days, between SW Roxbury St. and SW 112th St. on 16th Ave. SW and 17th Ave. SW.
or on Saturday, August 1 at Umoja Fest from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Judkins Park, 2150 S Norman St, Seattle.
Come say hi and learn more about the Creative Advantage.
Photo credits: Creative Youth Development Summit, by Jenny Crooks; Teaching Artist Guild publication; the Creative Advantage teacher workshop, photo by: Catherine Anstett; Jubilee Days.
The Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) is committed to providing opportunities that promote arts education in Seattle. ARTS’s latest endeavor, The Creative Advantage, will support teaching artists and arts and culture organizations in their partnerships with Seattle Public Schools (SPS) via professional development, evaluation, and the community arts partner roster.
In addition to The Creative Advantage the office supports youth arts opportunities in a number of ways. Funding programs such as Youth Arts and Work Readiness Arts Program (WRAP) provide funding for teaching artists, community arts organizations, and cultural institutions to help financially support their out-of-school-time youth arts programs.
This also can be seen through LHPAI’s (Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute) performing arts education program. LHPAI offers multi-disciplinary experiences that build skills, enrich and enhance cultural awareness, personal commitment and civic engagement.
Each of these programs recognizes the importance of culturally rich learning experiences that are relevant and responsive to student interests and needs.
ARTS values the work that teaching artists, community arts organizations, and cultural institutions do to connect Seattle youth to creative learning opportunities in the arts. The arts are a key component of high-quality education, and a guarantee of basic education in the state of Washington. The arts foster creative and critical thinking skills, collaboration, communication, persistence and growth-mindset, and a myriad of other attributes contributing to the healthy development of individuals and communities. To get support for your efforts, take a look at three opportunities our office offers:
Funding for 2014-15 Youth Arts projects is now available
Application currently open
Deadline: Tuesday, February 4, 2014
Youth Arts is an annual funding program that makes a difference in the lives of Seattle middle and high school youth by providing arts education beyond the regular school day in neighborhoods throughout the city.
Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster
Application opens: Tuesday, January 21, 2014
The Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster will maintain a list of teaching artists and arts and culture organizations, qualified to lead school day residencies in integrated or cultural arts, and professional development for teachers in integrated arts strategies.
Please sign up for the e-newsletter for up-to-date information on ARTS programs.
Also, check out our current and upcoming arts education opportunities, and apply today!
Application scheduled to launch in February 2014
ARTS, in collaboration with the Seattle Youth Violence Prevention Initiative (SYVPI), will solicit proposals from arts, cultural and community organizations interested in providing programming that links arts learning and work experiences for Seattle youth ages 14 to 18 years old.