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Seattle Public Schools and the Office of Arts & Culture expand The Creative Advantage to Nine New Seattle Schools

By The Creative Advantage Implementation Team: Rayna Mathis, (Seattle Public Schools Creative Advantage Project Manager) Gail Sehlhorst, (Visual & Performing Arts Manager), and Tina LaPadula (Seattle Office of Arts & Culture Arts Education Project Manager) 

A handwritten sign by a child: Welcome to the bureau (misspelled) of fearless ideas, with 3 exclamation points.

Seattle Public Schools (SPS) in partnership with the Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) is expanding The Creative Advantage program into the Whitman K-12 Pathway, which includes nine neighborhood schools. 

  • Adams Elementary 
  • Loyal Heights Elementary 
  • North Beach Elementary 
  • Viewlands Elementary 
  • Whittier Elementary 
  • Whitman Middle School 
  • Licton Springs K-8 
  • Salmon Bay K-8 
  • Ballard High School  
A group of school principals pose in a classroom, holding a large yellow pencil.

The Creative Advantage Implementation team’s November meeting at the Greenwood branch of The Bureau of Fearless Ideas, a Creative Advantage arts partner, with Whitman K-12 Pathway principals created a new K-12 continuum, envisioning an arts program that starts in Kindergarten and continues through 12th grade. Planning included a focus on racial equity data at the nine schools and arts access data in the pathway. From there, the principals developed an arts vision for the next five years to ensure a high-quality continuum of arts learning for all students and that ensures students of color, furthest from educational and arts justice, have access to thriving in the arts. The vision points include:  

  • Increased and equitable funding for arts  
  • Teacher support for high-quality instruction  
  • Arts as the pulse through integrated arts learning  
  • Students having voice, choice, and agency  
  • Regional arts collaboration, connection, and celebration
On a whiteboard: A writing prompt "4" Principals (by BFI Students): Describe an entire day at school if you were a student. What classes would you attend? What would you have for breakfast? How do you feel about homework?" Smiley face.

 The Creative Advantage Implementation Team is honored to partner with principals and teachers who are committed to artists in the schools and arts education, and value student voice and community input to center the arts in diverse ways that supports student, teacher, and school needs. Learn more at  

The Creative Advantage Seattle: 

The Creative Advantage is a collective impact partnership between the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), Seattle Public Schools (SPS), Seattle Foundation, and over 100 arts partners aligned across the mission providing equitable access to arts education to every student in SPS. Working with schools directly, The Creative Advantage program approach is to engage in “K-12 pathways,”. These are defined by Seattle neighborhood’s elementary, middle, and high school(s). Using this definition ensures that comprehensive, sequential, and predictable arts learning from kindergarten through high school. With the Whitman K-12 Pathway, The Creative Advantage is now in 90 out of 106 schools in the Seattle Public School District.