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The Creative Advantage Summer Institute Returns Live & In-Person

By Tina LaPadula, Arts Education Project Manager

The Creative Advantage Summer Institute returns in-person to the Seattle Art Museum on Thursday, August 18, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. This day of professional learning is the creative kick-off to the 2022-23 school year, and a time for teachers, teaching artists, community arts partners, arts administrators, and education leaders to reconvene, get inspired, and explore new collaborations.

The event features members of The Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster and includes panels, workshops, networking, student performances, lunch, and clock hours. The event is FREE, but registration is required.

Program Highlights

  • Workshops from all featured organizations highlighting four different artistic disciplines:
    • Theatre for Personal + Collective Empowerment with Red Eagle Soaring (RES) is a workshop that will focus on the personal and collective empowerment of our Red Eagle Soaring performing arts-related activities, the importance of bringing storytelling to the forefront of our holistic and educational growth mindset, and keeping that part of us vibrant throughout our lives. This workshop will be led by RES Program Manager Nicole Suyama (Inupiaq) and RES youth Olivia Vann & Sophia Vann (Cherokee) + Isaac Benally-Brooks (So. Cheyenne/Dine’/Nakota).
    • The Rhapsody Project’s interactive Layers of Heritage workshop will provide participants with activities and tools that help people of all backgrounds explore the layers of their identity and root themselves more fully in their status as a culture bearer. By sharing and discussing different elements that compose a person’s heritage whether it be one’s ethnicity, the land or community that we are raised in, or the traditions we are drawn to absorb participants will celebrate or express themselves in musical and written formats.
    • Dance For All is a workshop that provides a vibrant exchange with Spectrum Dance Theater artists and instructors. Open to movers of all ages and skill levels, Dance For All participants will explore dance as a medium for self-expression and social connection. Centering on the work of Spectrum Dance Theater and Donald Byrd, students will engage in a physical exploration of dance as an art form and as a social civic tool.
    • Teaching for Artistic Behavior (TAB) with Seattle Art Museum is an art teaching philosophy in which students learn to think like artists. The TAB philosophy states that the child is the artist and the classroom is the artist’s studio. During this session, educators will discuss how to inspire and guide youth in connecting with artworks in the galleries and developing their craft. This workshop will be co-facilitated by Yaoyao Liu and teaching artist, Alicia Betty.

A special thank you to Masao Yamada and the incredible young artists from Ground Zero (GZ) Radio, who will be on-site collaborating with The Creative Advantage on media coverage for the entire event.

Meet the Facilitators

Russell Brooks (So. Cheyenne) is the Executive Director of Red Eagle Soaring in Seattle. Russell grew up in Montana and is a former radio disc jockey, and is also a filmmaker and co-founder/board member of the Olympia Film Collective. Russell also works with band promotion and booking, and arts & cultural space preservation. Russell is passionate about continuing to create opportunities for Native artists and actors in the performing arts, as well as for Native storytellers to unleash their creativity across mediums, blending opportunities to tell their stories and finding the necessary support to bring their vision to the greater public, as well as collaborating with artists in the greater community. 

Nicole Suyama (Inupiaq) is the RES Program Manager and an Alum of RES, having been with the organization since age 11. Nicole is a musician, actor, director, teaching artist, and also the reigning World Karaoke Tour North American Champion. 

Joe Seamons is a musician and teacher who co-founded The Rhapsody Project with Ben Hunter in 2013. Through exploring his local heritage of Pacific Northwest folk music and lore, and the troubled history of prejudice therein, Joe’s work as a songster and teacher fused with his commitment to agitate for social justice. A descendant of the Aurora Colony in Oregon, Joe continues to explore the ways in which his personal heritage connects him to the legacy of that region. In shedding light on the songs and stories that have been preserved, as well as those that have been forgotten or suppressed, Joe works with his partners in the Rhapsody Project to harness the power of roots music to create empathy and equity. When he’s not performing with Ben Hunter, Joe plays with his Portland-based band Timberbound. 

Stephanie Guiland, originally from NYC, danced for Donald Byrd/The Group, Complexions on Broadway in Oprah Winfrey’s The Color Purple as the Dance Captain and Swing, and for Disney’s The Lion King. Her performance background also includes music videos and commercial dance work touring the U.S. and Europe. She served as Mr. Byrd’s Rehearsal Director for his company, his assistant on numerous projects for The Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and assisted with equity workshops for The Color Purple on Broadway and White Noise. Working with youth, she’s instructed for Dance Theater of Harlem’s Dancing Through Barriers program, Disney’s Lion King Cub School, WRArts, and in Arts in Education. Prior to relocating to Washington in 2020, she was a summer faculty member for the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary program for five years and worked for the Bounce Summer Intensive in NYC. She was an Adjunct Dance Professor at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY for nine years and is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer with numerous certifications. Her passion project aside from her main one raising a beautiful child is her fitness company, Kick My Assets. She joined The School of Spectrum Dance Theater as its School Director in 2021.

Yaoyao Liu is the Manager of School & Educator Programs at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). She joined SAM in 2018 as the Museum Educator for the Seattle Asian Art Museum, creating resources and programs for students, educators, and families. Yaoyao earned her BA in English with a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Michigan and her MA in International Studies from the University of Washington. Outside of SAM, she serves as Volunteer Manager for the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, fostering youth involvement with filmmaking and community building.

Alicia Betty is a local artist who has been affiliated with the Seattle Art Museum since 2008, teaching both students pre-K-12 and educators in the classroom, in workshops, and at special events. Born and raised in Seattle, they hold a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in drawing and painting from the University of Washington. Their current Xerox collage-based prints reflect their involvement in the punk and queer community over the past 20 years. In addition to being an artist and craftsman, they are a 35mm film projectionist and are committed to preserving physical media as they work at Scarecrow Video Archives.

Aaron Walker-Loud is an artist, band director, composer, producer, and educator. He is the founder and director of Big World Breaks (B.W.B.), a production company built for performance, studio and education, that has shared stages with Janelle Monae, Kool DJ Red Alert, Digable Planets, DJ Qbert, Macklemore, Reggie Watts, Saul Williams, and many more. B.W.B. has also produced live show backing for various artists such as Grammy-nominated vocalists Wayna and Rocky Dawuni, Sy Smith, Zo!, Dynamq, Choklate, Kimberly Nichole, Massive Monkees, and Xperience. Aaron is a proud alumni of the CD Music Factory: Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble, under the direction of Mr. Robert Knatt, and Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble / Drumline, under the direction of Mr. Clarence Acox. Walker-Loud began working with youth and families in 1999, eventually becoming the Education Director for Seattle JazzED (2010-2016), a teaching artist for Arts Corps (2008-present), as well as the drumline director for Washington Middle School (2008-2016) and O’Dea High School (2012-2018). Most recently, Walker-Loud became a member of The Creative Advantage roster, co-founded 50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide in 2012, founded the award-winning intergenerational BWB Drumline in 2015, and co-curated The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop exhibit at MOHAI (with over 31,000 attendees and 20 co-produced events), which won the 2016 American Association of State and Local History Leadership in History Award, “the most prestigious recognition for achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history.”