Parents, students, teachers, artists, residents and supporters of equitable and well-rounded education for all are invited to attend the sixth annual Arts in Education Forum, 6:30 to 7:30 p.m., Monday, Nov. 8 at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium (1017 E. Marion St.). An informal reception with snacks and refreshments will follow from 7:30 to 8 p.m. Both forum and reception are free and open to the public.
The sixth annual Arts in Education Forum will be a student-directed community discussion that engages issues around arts education, creative learning and student success. It is presented by the Seattle Arts Commission, the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs, and Seattle Public Schools, with support this year from the Seattle University College of Arts & Sciences.
A panel of three Seattle students will lead a discussion with Mayor Mike McGinn and Seattle Public Schools Chief Academic Officer Susan Enfield about how the arts engage, challenge and motivate young people. Student panelists will be:
• Sanai Anang, a ninth grade percussionist at Garfield High School who participates in school band and also takes private lessons;
• Audrey Myers, an 11th grader at Nathan Hale High School and a ceramicist who participates in school visual arts classes and after-school writing and dance classes;
• Maria Soledad Barrientos, a 2010 graduate of Rainier Beach High School who participated in school-sponsored and after-school drama programs.
Sandra Jackson-Dumont, chair of the Seattle Arts Commission Education Committee and director of education and public programs at the Seattle Art Museum, will serve as moderator for the forum. Kevin Maifeld, founding director of the MFA in Arts Leadership program at Seattle University, will provide welcoming remarks.
Audience members are encouraged to bring questions about creative learning and student success to ask the panel of policymakers and students. Youth are especially encouraged to attend.
The annual forum is part of the Arts Education Partnership Initiative, a collaborative effort launched in 2008 by the city of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools that aims to increase access to arts education for all Seattle students. The city is seeding the multi-year effort with $100,000 annual allocations matched by the school district.
Through the partnership, the district has built an arts leadership team to increase arts access, especially in schools where the fewest opportunities exist. Over the past three years, it has hired a new district manager of visual and performing arts; a district music specialist—the first district-level arts specialist in nearly 30 years; and a community arts liaison to coordinate partnerships with the arts community in support of student learning. Together, the district arts team is working to support and build on all current arts opportunities in schools and to develop long-term arts strategies for increasing equitable access.
To learn more about the partnership, visit www.seattle.gov/arts/education. For more information about the forum, contact Stephanie Beechem in the Office of Arts & Cultural Affairs at (206) 684-5962.