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A Community Update from The Creative Advantage

by Tina LaPadula

A Black women at a podium looks down. A slide is on the screen behind her, featuring people addressing a crowded room.
Toyia Taylor at the 2019 Summer Arts Partner Institute, photo by Jenny Crooks

Arts Education Equity and Access

Seattle Public Schools Schools will likely start the 2020-21 school year with 100% remote learning. As the district explores student learning options for the upcoming year, The Creative Advantage is thinking expansively about ways to be responsive to current changes in alignment with our core goals to build arts education equity and access for students.

Many students, teachers, families and arts partners are concerned that arts partnerships will be minimized or eliminated. Our team has been strategizing about ways that community arts partners could be even more involved in the transformation of arts education possibilities. We’ve been scheming with folx who care about Social and Emotional Learning and Culturally Responsive Learning, and looking at what other cities are doing. We’re dreaming big and hoping to come up with a menu of options for the district that ensures arts partners can bring their magic and get paid.

  • What if student residencies include prerecorded (asynchronous) lessons and streamed (synchronous) online visits or lectures from teaching artists?
  • What if we intentionally blur the lines between “School Time” and “Out-of-School Time”?
  • What if The Creative Advantage hosts streamed arts content before school, at lunch and after school for different age ranges of youth?
  • What if we collectively develop thematic ideas around activism, voting, empathy for students, teachers and families to engage with?
  • What if we can create a schedule of consistent classes and creative engagements to market to schools and families?

We’re tapping into our creative super powers and putting all options on the virtual white board right now.

Transparency, Engagement and Accountability

In an effort to have greater transparency, engagement and accountability The Creative Advantage is creating an Advisory of teaching artists and education leaders to help guide our work, our policies and our trajectory. We’ll have open general meetings quarterly and Project Based Teams / Paid Advisory Team Consultants to help us dig into things we care about like:

  • Curricular supports for Creative Advantage Online Arts
  • CA racial justice assessment, program evaluation, goal setting and policy reviews
  • Observations, assessment and mentorship of Roster orgs to build aligned best practices, stronger racial equity strategies
  • Storytelling, documentation and amplification of great models and examples from community
  • Efforts to invite, amplify and showcase the artwork, ideas and opinions of students / young artists.
  • Connections to community events, organizing and activism.

Summer Institute Changes

We’ve collaborated with our partners at SAM, and transformed our traditional Summer Institute into a series of community get-togethers focused on knowledge-building and care. The kick off for community arts partners on our Roster, What’s Next? is Monday, August 24th from 10 to noon. This session is FREE but registration is required.


Here’s a list of resources that were shared in the chat from our June 25th Community Convening – A Time for Change:

Question: What are the efforts around making broadband a public utility?

Other resources: