Earlier this fall, the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) provided two community partner meetings on the Creative Advantage to share updates and seek input from teaching artists and arts organizations on further developments for this work. Since that time, there have been a number of developments. A few key items are expanded upon in this update. Please stay tuned for more!
Seattle Public Schools Capacity Investment for Arts Education
Audrey Querns has returned to Seattle Public Schools (SPS) as the implementation project manager for the Creative Advantage. Audrey served as the SPS K-12 Arts Plan Project Manager during the planning phase of the Creative Advantage. In her new role with the District, she oversees school arts planning, and is building a governance structure for community engagement. Three arts leadership coaches have also been hired to support school arts planning in 13 Central region schools. Each of these three principals has been an arts leader in their own school: Erica Ayer, principal of Bagley Elementary; Julie Breidenbach, principal of Thurgood Marshall Elementary; and Farah Thaxton, Principal of Emerson Elementary.
School-based Arts Planning
The Central region schools will go through their school arts planning in February and March 2014. From December 2013 to January 2014, coaches will support principals in creating school arts teams made up of school leaders, arts teachers, non-arts teachers, families, and community partners. With principals at the helm, teams will be responsible for developing a 3-year arts plan to include stated goals for community arts partnerships. An initial step in the process will be for each school to conduct an inventory of current arts opportunities, both provided by the District and by partner groups, such as teaching artists and arts organizations. The structure for school-based planning is being developed through a partnership with ArtsEd Washington.
The Creative Advantage will roll out to additional SPS regions on an annual basis, beginning fall 2015, with the goal of District-wide implementation by 2020. Arts education efforts throughout the District will be supported during this timeframe via teacher and arts partner professional development opportunities, planning support from SPS, and through use of the Creative Advantage arts partner roster.
The Creative Advantage Arts Partner Roster
ARTS will maintain an arts partner roster of teaching artists and community arts and culture organizations for the Creative Advantage, which will serve as a resource for schools seeking arts partners to meet their arts education goals. The application will launch in January 2014, and ARTS will offer two technical assistance workshops to support interested parties in applying. The roster will be available District-wide, and will also be shared with other City entities, such as Seattle Public Libraries and Seattle Parks and Recreation.
Upcoming Teaching Artist Event and the Creative Advantage
STAN (Seattle Teaching Artist Network) is a collaborative learning community of Seattle-area teaching artists of all backgrounds (from aspiring to experienced) and across genres that provides information on job openings, networking events, and professional development opportunities.
STAN also hosts monthly socials for the teaching artist community. The December 2013 event will be held at the Seattle Art Museum, and will include an update on the Creative Advantage. See the invite for details!
We are continuing our outreach efforts to community partners and District staff, SPS parents and family members, youth, and the Seattle community at large.
Lara Davis, arts education specialist