Find Posts By Topic

Reflections on The Creative Advantage 2021 VIRTUAL Summer Institute

by Tina LaPadula, Arts Education Manager, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture

The transition “back to school” for The Creative Advantage arts education community kicked off at the Virtual Summer Institute on August 19, 2021. Traditionally hosted by the Seattle Art Museum at their downtown location, this year’s version was virtual and combined the familiar combination of inspiration, updates, and art-making.

More than 100 teachers and teaching artists registered to explore these foundational questions:

  • How does self-care support culturally responsive teaching?
  • How can arts learning cultivate a culture of care?

Recent Franklin HS graduate, Savannah Blackwell, set the stage with a snippet of her awe-inspiring rendition of Lift Every Voice And Sing (Black National Anthem) and a personal message for educators about the power of arts learning, especially as we navigate the trauma of the past year.

Award-winning speaker, teacher, researcher, coach and healer, Dr. Bre, gave this year’s dynamic keynote and laid the groundwork for the day with an interactive workshop focused on the critical need for honest self-reflection. She reminded us of the love and care we need to give ourselves as educators so we can love and care for our students.

“We can either transform trauma or transmit it. Teaching artists have a special role to play in this healing. Art and creativity is a tool for that.”

Dr. Bre

We took a break to celebrate the resilience and creative brilliance of our students with a special highlight reel of student work from the virtual Regional Arts Festivals at the end of last school year.

Splitting into discipline-specific groups, we explored culturally responsive and anti-racist arts through Seattle Public School’s (SPS) new The Roots Arts Framework and participated in sample lessons in music, visual art, and theatre with the teachers and teaching artists of the SPS Antiracist Education Task Force who created it: Naho Shioya, Donte Felder, Jessica Staire, Chris Mena, Carina del Rosario, and Maribel Gonzalez.

We wrapped up with important back-to-school updates for community arts partners from SPS representatives. Click here to see SPS Back-to-school info for partners.

As we move into this new school year, please:

Savannah Blackwell is featured on Lift Every Voice: Responding to Lawrence’s Struggle Series, a video created by Seattle Art Museum in partnership with Donte Felder, South End Stories, and Jeff Santos.