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Seeding the Next 10 Years of The Creative Advantage 

Rainier Beach ceramics

The Creative Advantage has completed our first ten years of implementation and is now in every Seattle Public School. We’re embarking on a strategic plan with the help of Rainbow Research to sustain and deepen our work for the next 10 years. Just before the end of the school year, we visited a series of schools with Rainbow Research’s Executive Director, Dr. Samuel H. Leguizamon Grant, to observe classrooms and facilitate conversations with Creative Advantage stakeholders. We crisscrossed the district to meet with teachers, principals, community arts partners, institutional leaders, and students to hear about their experiences and goals for arts education.

It was a very inspiring week. We witnessed visual art students at Rainier Beach and Lincoln Highschool highlighting the power of trial, error, perseverance, and patience, theatre teens prioritizing the development of empathy and self-awareness, young musicians from Robert Eagle Staff Middle School expressing the joy of being in an ensemble that challenges you. Elementary students at John Muir, Rising Star, and Olympic Hills told us how calm, confident, and happy they feel when they make art. Principals talked about the benefits of arts-rich schools and diverse partnerships to boost student motivation, well-being, and parental participation.

We attended end-of-year performances and celebrations of learning. At Sugiyama Highschool, students marveled at the job skills they learned during internships at KEXP, STG, GZ Radio, and PNB.  We capped off our grand tour at Nova High Schools’ 22nd Animation Showcase at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute.

Rainbow Research is collecting up all the feedback and data we received, and we look forward to sharing with the community as we continue to shape The Creative Advantage’s strategies for the future. Huge praise for the fortitude of the teachers and teaching artists modeling courage, curiosity, and kindness as they guide the next generation of creative thinkers in our city. Have a restful break! We’ll see you on August 22 for The Creative Advantage Summer Institute.