American’s for the Arts recognizes our very own, Lara Davis with the American Express Emerging Leaders Award

Americans for the Arts, the nation’s leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, announced that Lara Davis, ARTS very own, Arts Education Manager will be honored by Americans for the Arts with the American Express Emerging Leaders Award. Davis is one of six recipients of the 2015 Americans for the Arts Annual Leadership Awards. Presented each year, these awards recognize the achievements of individuals and organizations committed to enriching their communities through the arts.

“We are thrilled and honored that American’s for the Arts is recognizing the amazing work that Lara is doing for the Creative Advantage initiative,” says Randy Engstrom, director, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture. “Lara’s drive and tireless energy inspires everyone she meets and is a large part of the Creative Advantage’s success.”

The Creative Advantage is a partnership between City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, The Seattle Foundation, and local community arts organizations. The goal of the Creative Advantage is to address the systemic barriers to student access to arts and ensure that every student has arts integrated into their education, starting in kindergarten. The long term goal is that by 2020, all Seattle students will have access to a continuum of arts learning opportunities.

“Our Leadership Awards honorees have distinguished themselves as tremendous leaders and passionate advocates for the arts and arts education,” said Robert L. Lynch, President and CEO of Americans for the Arts. “These leaders have implemented innovative and transformative programs to strengthen the communities they serve, and their unwavering commitment to local, state, and national support for the arts is deserving of this recognition.”

Given annually since 2006 and sponsored by American Express since 2011, the American Express Emerging Leaders Award recognizes an exceptional new and/or young arts professional for their exemplary leadership, deep engagement with community, and strong commitment to advancing the arts. Lara Davis has been active in youth development and community arts education for more than a decade. She has served as a Seattle arts commissioner and as program director for Arts Corps, an award-winning, Seattle-based youth arts organization. In her current role as Arts Education Manager for the City of Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, Davis manages Creative Advantage, a public/private partnership that pairs teaching artists and cultural organizations with underserved public schools to ensure that all Seattle youth in every neighborhood have equal access to arts learning. Davis serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching Artists Guild, and facilitates equity and racial justice trainings for teaching artists, educators, and organizations, presenting locally and at national conferences.

Honorees will be presented their awards at the Americans for the Arts 2015 Annual Convention in Chicago during the Opening Plenary session, Friday, June 12, 2015 from 12 to 2:15 p.m.

The five other recipients are:

  • Association for Public Art, Pennsylvania: Public Art Network Award
  • Eric Booth, New York: Arts Education Award
  • Jeff Hawthorne, Oregon: Michael Newton Award
  • Richard E. Huff, Texas: Selina Roberts Ottum Award
  • Ann Marie Miller, New Jersey: Alene Valkanas State Arts Advocacy Award

Americans for the Arts is the leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America. With offices in Washington, D.C. and New York City, it has a record of more than 50 years of service. Americans for the Arts is dedicated to representing and serving local communities and creating opportunities for every American to participate in and appreciate all forms of the arts. Additional information is available at www.AmericansForTheArts.org.

 Photo credit: Fedora El Morrow

Let’s Get Cookin’ Program to Engage Kids this Summer

[Repost from 6/16/14 School’s Out Washington press release.]

The Let’s Get Cookin’ Project in Seattle will expose children from low-income backgrounds to the skills and knowledge needed to prepare healthy meals and make healthy lifestyle choices.

This summer, children and youth in six summer programs will have the opportunity to participate in the Let’s Get Cookin’ project.  The summer programs will incorporate the cooking component as a way to not only develop cooking skills and increase access to healthy, local foods, but also to create and support environments of well-being and decrease health disparities. Some examples of how the Let’s Get Cookin’ grant funds will be used include:  Utilizing an on-site garden to use fresh vegetables and herbs grown by kids attending the program in their cooking projects; culturally appropriate menu planning and food preparation to appeal to the kids served in the program; family engagement around cooking and healthy lifestyle choices; and incorporating educational games into the cooking activities that promote academic skills such as measurement, literacy etc.

Data from the Public Health – Seattle & King County Seattle Public School Health Profile shows alarming information around the health disparities that exist in our community.  Twenty-three percent of low-income children in Seattle are overweight or obese as compared to 19% of all children in the city and only 25% of low-income children eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day as compared to 30% of all children.

These numbers show health issues facing all children our community, and how it is hitting our low-income populations even harder. The Let’s Get Cookin’ project serves primarily low-income children and aims to address these health trends that are negatively impacting our young people and creating unhealthy lifestyle habits for the future.

School’s Out Washington (SOWA), in partnership with the City of Seattle Human Services Department Youth and Family Empowerment Division, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and Seattle Tilth Association, are supporting Let’s Get Cookin’ and have selected the following summer programs to participate:

  • YMCA of Greater Seattle – Concord Site
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of King County – Joel Smilow Club House & Rainier Vista Teen Center
  • Urban Impact
  • YMCA of Great Seattle – Bailey Gatzert Site
  • Causeys Learning Center
  • Horn of Africa

Please contact Danielle Baer, Communications Manager at dbaer@schoolsoutwashington.org or (206) 351-6141 to set-up an interview with any of the funded summer programs.

School’s Out Washington is a statewide organization with a mission of providing services and guidance for organizations to ensure all young people have safe places to learn and grow when not in school. School’s Out Washington is dedicated to building community systems to support quality out-of-school time programs for Washington’s 5-18 year olds through training, advocacy and leadership.

Let’s Get Cookin’ Program to Engage Kids this Summer

[Repost from 6/16/14 School’s Out Washington press release.]

The Let’s Get Cookin’ Project in Seattle will expose children from low-income backgrounds to the skills and knowledge needed to prepare healthy meals and make healthy lifestyle choices.

This summer, children and youth in six summer programs will have the opportunity to participate in the Let’s Get Cookin’ project.  The summer programs will incorporate the cooking component as a way to not only develop cooking skills and increase access to healthy, local foods, but also to create and support environments of well-being and decrease health disparities. Some examples of how the Let’s Get Cookin’ grant funds will be used include:  Utilizing an on-site garden to use fresh vegetables and herbs grown by kids attending the program in their cooking projects; culturally appropriate menu planning and food preparation to appeal to the kids served in the program; family engagement around cooking and healthy lifestyle choices; and incorporating educational games into the cooking activities that promote academic skills such as measurement, literacy etc.

Data from the Public Health – Seattle & King County Seattle Public School Health Profile shows alarming information around the health disparities that exist in our community.  Twenty-three percent of low-income children in Seattle are overweight or obese as compared to 19% of all children in the city and only 25% of low-income children eat 5 or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day as compared to 30% of all children.

These numbers show health issues facing all children our community, and how it is hitting our low-income populations even harder. The Let’s Get Cookin’ project serves primarily low-income children and aims to address these health trends that are negatively impacting our young people and creating unhealthy lifestyle habits for the future.

School’s Out Washington (SOWA), in partnership with the City of Seattle Human Services Department Youth and Family Empowerment Division, Public Health – Seattle & King County, and Seattle Tilth Association, are supporting Let’s Get Cookin’ and have selected the following summer programs to participate:

  • YMCA of Greater Seattle – Concord Site
  • Boys and Girls Clubs of King County – Joel Smilow Club House & Rainier Vista Teen Center
  • Urban Impact
  • YMCA of Great Seattle – Bailey Gatzert Site
  • Causeys Learning Center
  • Horn of Africa

Please contact Danielle Baer, Communications Manager at dbaer@schoolsoutwashington.org or (206) 351-6141 to set-up an interview with any of the funded summer programs.

School’s Out Washington is a statewide organization with a mission of providing services and guidance for organizations to ensure all young people have safe places to learn and grow when not in school. School’s Out Washington is dedicated to building community systems to support quality out-of-school time programs for Washington’s 5-18 year olds through training, advocacy and leadership.