National Endowment for the Arts Art Works grant of $100,000 awarded to Seattle Public Schools for The Creative Advantage

Grant to support The Creative Advantage, a citywide initiative to establish equitable access to arts education 

National Endowment for the Arts Chairman Jane Chu has approved more than $80 million in grants as part of the National Endowment for the ARTS (NEA) second major funding announcement for fiscal year 2018.  Included in this announcement is an Art Works grant of $100,000 to Seattle Public Schools to support implementation of The Creative Advantage.

The Art Works category is the NEA’s largest funding category and supports projects that focus on the creation of art that meets the highest standards of excellence, public engagement with diverse and excellent art, lifelong learning in the arts, and/or the strengthening of communities through the arts.

The Creative Advantage is a citywide initiative to establish equitable access to arts education for every student Seattle Public Schools. It is a collective partnership between Seattle Public Schools, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Seattle Foundation, Seattle Art Museum, Arts Corps, ArtsEd Washington, and up to 100 community-based arts organizations.

Since 2008, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS) and SPS have collaborated to increase high-quality arts learning in high-need schools. The Seattle K-12 Arts Plan was created to address inequities in access to art education and provide a comprehensive, sequential and predictable arts education for all students. To realize the plan, The Creative Advantage was born. It solidifies the collective impact partnership between SPS and ARTS as the “backbone” management structure with The Seattle Foundation as the fiscal agent and high leverage partners to support essential goals of the arts plan.

The Creative Advantage has completed research, planning and mission alignment to develop the Seattle K-12 Arts Plan, which includes regional and school-based planning, increased certified arts staff, 21st century arts learning that is culturally responsive, arts partnerships, professional development for arts and non-arts teachers and arts partners and a comprehensive evaluation.

The Creative Advantage has restored arts access to the Central Arts Pathway (CAP), which includes 13 schools with 6,475 students; the South-southwest Arts Pathway (SWAP), which includes 10 schools with 4,552 students; and launched in the entire Southeast Arts Region (SEAR), which includes 21 schools with 10,208 students.

Seattle Public Schools and City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture announce grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation

Seattle Public Schools and City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture announce grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation for the creation of new Media Arts course at the Seattle Public Schools Skills Center

 

SEATTLE, March 21, 2017 – The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation and Seattle Public Schools (SPS), in partnership with the City of Seattle, will open up new career and college pathways for city youth to graduate from high school “Seattle Ready,” by establishing new media arts courses in the Seattle Public Schools Skills Center. Skills Center courses, taught by industry professionals, will enable students to be competitive in the local workforce and provide the opportunity to live and work in Seattle.

SPS has received a grant of $395,000 from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to fund the creation of new Media Arts courses offered through the Seattle Public Schools Skills Center. The grant will be supplemented by an additional $175,000 from the City of Seattle. Providing an initial investment, this external financial support will lead to a sustainable program. The new Media Arts courses will begin in July and students can apply today.

“We believe youth access to media arts education is essential to nurturing and encouraging creativity, self-expression and critical thinking,” said Dave Ferrero, senior program officer of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. “Our hope is that our support of the Skills Center and the Media Arts program will help close opportunity gaps in arts education for Seattle students.”

The Skills Center provides SPS students ages 16-20 access to a variety of career and technical education (CTE) courses taught by industry professionals that lead to industry careers and college. Skills Center offerings include aerospace, auto technology, nursing, construction, culinary sciences and now, media arts. In many cases, students can earn college credit or industry certification. Free transportation to courses is provided as needed.

Arts and culture are big business in the Puget Sound region, so a media arts education can help students become participants in a vibrant sector of the local economy. Nonprofit cultural organizations alone account for approximately 35,000 jobs, $1 billion in labor income and $100 million in taxes collected, according to ArtsFund’s 2014 Economic Impact Study. Additionally, revenue for these nonprofits was over $500 million while their patrons spent nearly $700 million on tickets, dining out, lodging, transportation, child care services, and other expenditures. The impacts of these expenditures ripple throughout the economy of the entire state.

The grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation will bolster the district and city partnership to close opportunity gaps in arts education. The Creative Advantage, is a partnership which includes Seattle Public Schools, the City of Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, The Seattle Foundation and local community arts organizations. The city is directing its financial support for the new Media Arts courses through The Creative Advantage.

“We are excited to announce the public-private partnership with SPS and the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, who share the city’s vision to address education issues,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “Providing real world experience in today’s creative economy ensures our students have the advantage they need to succeed.”

Another benefit of the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation grant is preparing SPS for the eventual adoption of education standards for media arts by the state of Washington. After the release of media arts standards by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards in 2014, the Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction convened a cadre of educators who have been guiding the adoption of those standards for Washington. Opening Skills Center Media Arts courses will help position the district to meet those standards which are scheduled to be adopted later this month.

The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation has also provided a $70,000 grant for the startup costs of a Regional Student Arts Showcase, which in its first year, will highlight visual and performing arts programs at Creative Advantage schools.

“These resources will open up new pathways for students as they prepare for college, career, and life,” said Seattle Public Schools Superintendent Larry Nyland. “We’re incredibly grateful for the support of our city partners and private organizations like the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation.”

The Creative Advantage can be found online at www.CreativeAdvantageSeattle.org, at facebook.com/TheCreativeAdvantage and on twitter @SeattleArtsEd.

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Recap: The Creative Advantage Arts Partner Summer Institute

The Creative Advantage kicked off the 2016-17 school year with its third annual Summer Institute in partnership with Seattle Art Museum. Over 100 teaching artists, administrators, classroom teachers, and youth development workers gathered for a day of learning, community building, and practice.  Sessions were facilitated by local artists, instructors, and national partners with topics ranging from Healing Justice in Arts Education (inspired by the work of Shawn Ginwright), The Entrepreneurial Teaching Artist, to Trauma-Informed Practice.  Participants also had opportunities to creatively engage and reflect by art discipline.

The morning plenary centered the role of racial equity and social justice in curriculum and approach. This included a deeply moving poem on structural barriers within education by Carlynn Newsome the 2016 Youth Speaks Seattle grand slam champion, followed by music and a story from Shontina Vernon, a mentor teaching artist with 4Culture’s Creative Justice program. Robyne Walker Murphy, Cultural Access Program Director at Cool Culture in Brooklyn, gave a stirring keynote entitled, “Empower, Create Connect: A Framework for Liberatory Education.”

The institute put front and center the values of practitioners working for creativity and justice in education, calling for narratives that position student voice and perspective as fundamental to high quality teaching and learning.

Next up: The Creative Advantage Professional Learning Series, beginning in January 2017.  For more information, sign up here.

Photo Jenny Crooks.

EMP Museum at Garfield High School

I wanted to share with you EMP Museum’s experience at Garfield HS as a Creative Advantage provider the past two years. This story is a testimony to all of your (Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture) diligent years of work/advocacy for arts education resulting in The Creative Advantage, creating real impact for students and teachers. – Bonnie Showers, Curator, Education + Interpretive Services, Experience Music Project

EMP Museum, as a Creative Advantage provider, has had an exciting first two years at Garfield HS following our August 2014 Garfield HS All-Staff Arts in STEM  Professional Development training held at EMP and led by five of our professional teaching artists, funded by The Creative Advantage.

The result of that first Arts in STEM PD has led to excitement at Garfield about teaching through the arts in all subject areas.  As the first year of staff participants reported:  that 2014 all-staff training was the springboard, supporting development of a shared language and enthusiasm among teaching staff and administration.  They experienced multiple learning styles effectively addressed through the arts, and the enthusiastic creative learning that emerged.

In the last two years, supported by The Creative Advantage funding at Garfield, EMP has provided 22 five to 10-day arts-integrated residencies in multiple topics from geometry/paper engineering and sculpture, voice over for engineering students, graphic novel and visual narrative for language arts, wire sculpture for biology students, Theatre Skills and Performance for English language learners (ELL), video-making for Japanese language classes, to RHINO software and 3-D printing for ceramics students. Over 600 students and 10 teaching and library staff have participated in these arts integrated projects.

Teachers noted in residency evaluations higher student engagement, enthusiasm, success and increase in confidence. (We have evaluations from all participating staff and teaching artists for these projects, and a set of 2015-16 student-centered pre and post evaluations focused on tracking 21st Century skills, arts skills, and subject area target goals. 100% of participating teachers reported that their arts integrated objectives were met or significantly exceeded in all projects)

EMP has now been requested to provide a follow up Garfield HS ALL-staff PD  focused on STEM in Arts on August 30, 2016.

This training is 100% supported by Mr. Howard principal at Garfield HS. We are delighted,  as this request represents an evolution in thought: learning skills to teach through the arts is a priority.

I am so appreciative of Bonnie Hungate-Hawk, Garfield’s tireless arts team lead, with Janet Woodward, a dynamo of an arts librarian, and the team of participating teachers: 2014-15: Heather Snookal, Ian Sample, Nicolas Fell, Gwen Johnston; 2015-16: Alan Kahn, Rachel Eells, Mary Hopkins, Thomas Townsend, Janet Woodward, Michele Flett.

It has been a rich two years and we are looking forward in 2016-17 to supporting Garfield’s growth as an arts integrated rich learning environment, as one of our Outreach Partner Schools.

I would like to thank each of you for all your advocacy and support for arts learning opportunities for these students. When I saw the smiles of success and confidence on the ELL students faces last night at their Family Night performance, it was clear: The Creative Advantage has made it possible to reach these students, and these arts opportunities are making all the difference in their lives.

Best, Bonnie

Photos from ELL Family Night, theatre residencies in Mary Hopkins classes taught by Karen Harp Reed.

 

NEWS RELEASE

NEWS RELEASE
FROM THE OFFICE OF THE MAYOR
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Contact:          Jason Kelly, Mayor’s Office Press Secretary, 206.684.8379
Erika Lindsay, Arts & Culture, 206.684.4337
Stacy Howard, Seattle Public Schools, 206.465.5404

 

City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools deepen engagement,
improve access to arts education

The Creative Advantage program reaching 23 schools

SEATTLE (April 29, 2016) – The City of Seattle and Seattle Public Schools today announced the year two progress of their joint Creative Advantage arts education initiative. Arts integration and 21st Century Skill-development deepened in the Central Arts Pathway, and the South-Southwest Arts Pathway developed a long-term arts vision and plan for schools in the region.

The Creative Advantage is a unique public-private partnership between the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture (ARTS), Seattle Public Schools (SPS), The Seattle Foundation, and community arts partners. It is reinvesting in Seattle’s students and our community’s economic and creative future by intentionally and collaboratively addressing inequities in access to the arts and restoring arts education to all Seattle classrooms.

“We must invest in our students, and arts education is integral to their ability to problem solve, collaborate, think outside of the box and persevere,” said Mayor Ed Murray. “We are approaching our education system holistically from pre-K through 12th grade, utilizing the city’s rich cultural organizations to help empower our youth and close the opportunity gap in the arts.”

“We know students learn best when their education engages their heads, their hearts and their minds,” said Dr. Larry Nyland, Seattle Public Schools superintendent. “The Creative Advantage is a shining example of the district, the City and the community collaborating to give all students access to a well-rounded education.”

Arts are recognized as a core academic subject by the State of Washington and are included in the current Seattle Public Schools Strategic Plan. In alignment with these state and district policies, 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 all Seattle students will have access to a continuum of arts learning opportunities.

In March 2013, The Creative Advantage began implementation in the Central Arts Pathway, all schools that feed into and out of Washington Middle School. In 2014-15, The Creative Advantage began planning in the South-Southwest pathway, all schools that feed into and out of Denny International Middle School.

Highlights from the Creative Advantage Year Two Evaluation report include:

  • Developed a regional arts plan for South-Southwest Pathway schools.
  • Created a professional development series and annual institute for teaching artist and teachers with arts partner Seattle Art Museum.
  • In 2015-16, all K-5 students have access to music instruction in the Central Arts Pathway.
  • Increased the number of arts instructional minutes at the elementary level in the Central Arts Pathway by 200 percent from 2013 to 2015.
  • 26 residencies at 12 schools increasing student learning from teaching artists and arts organizations.
  • 34 percent increase from 2014 in student demonstration of 21st Century Learning Skills in Central Arts Pathway classrooms.
  • Increased partnerships with community organizations leading to culturally-responsive teaching and learning in Central Arts Pathway schools.

SPS and ARTS will continue to deepen integrated arts learning and close the access gap in the two Creative Advantage Arts Pathways, which includes 23 schools.

There is a Creative Advantage Advisory Group comprised of school staff, program leaders and community members to hold the program accountable and provide feedback. The City has prioritized this program through new staff capacity and an investment of $1.5 million in the program to date.

The School District has invested $1.75 million in increased staffing, supplies and professional development, while there has been increased capacity through fundraising from grants, including the National Endowment for the Arts, Laird Norton Family Foundation and the Clowes Fund, foundations and individuals to date.

To read the full report, click here: http://www.creativeadvantageseattle.org/go-deeper/

 

The Creative Advantage can be found online at www.CreativeAdvantageSeattle.org, at facebook.com/TheCreativeAdvantage and on twitter @SeattleArtsEd.