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The Creative Advantage (Re)Ignites Joyful Partnerships

by Rayna Mathis, Seattle Public Schools Creative Advantage Project Manager

On December 1, school leaders and arts partners gathered at the Seattle Asian Art Museum (SAAM) on a snowy Thursday evening in Volunteer Park for The Creative Advantage: Re(Igniting) Joyful Partnerships event. After offering virtual and limited in-person programming during the pandemic, The Creative Advantage, now in its 10th year, continues its focus on restoring access to the arts for all students in Seattle Public Schools through community-based partnerships with diverse and exceptionally talented artists across the city.

This year’s Community Arts Partnerships event theme was JOY! As was evident on the faces of folks coming into the space to see arts-learning peers in-person, reunited after virtual years apart. The evening began with incredible student performances from Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestra and students from the MY Southeast program led by conductor Kim Roy. A brief overview of The Creative Advantage and introduction of the newest team member, SPS project manager Rayna Mathis.

The night continued on with the sweetest game of “speed friending”, after-hours walks through SAAM’s beautiful galleries, and finally, round table discussions led by The Creative Advantage teachers and arts partners Silvio dos Reis, Julie Trout, Elaine Dondoyano, and Sumayya Diop. Before we knew it, the night was over, but energy was still crackling in the air. Truly, a joyful event indeed. A delicious buffet was catered by Shooby Doo Catering; special thanks to arts partner Seattle Art Museum for hosting the festivities.

The Creative Advantage is made possible through a public-private partnership with Seattle Public Schools, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Foundation, community-based arts organizations, and teaching artists.

Learn more about the history, addressing arts access gaps, and providing resources for schools.

All photos by Alborz Kamalizad.