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    Art Works Grant Awarded to Seattle Public Schools
    Posted on 05/14/2018
    Two middle school students play string intstruments in a classroom.

    Art Works grant of $100,000 awarded to Seattle Public Schools

    Grant to support 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 NEA’s second major funding announcement for the 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 variety and quality of these projects speaks to the wealth of creativity and diversity in our country,” said NEA Chairman Jane Chu. “Through the work of initiatives such as The Creative Advantage in Seattle Public Schools, NEA funding invests in local communities, helping people celebrate the arts wherever they are.”

    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, Seattle's Office of Arts & Culture, The Seattle Foundation, Seattle Art Museum, Arts Corps, ArtsEd Washington, and up to 100 community-based arts organizations.

    Seattle Public Schools Visual and Performing Arts Manager Gail Sehlhorst said of the grant, “We are so grateful for the NEA. This funding allows the city and district to continue our gap-closing work in the arts — making the arts more accessible, providing a forum for school communities to develop in the areas with historic inequities and making the arts more accessible for every student every day and to support schools in developing arts-rich environments and giving students the creative advantages they deserve.”

    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. In its sustaining phase, 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.

    View the 2016-17 Creative Advantage Progress Report pdf icon.

    Read more about visual and performing arts in Seattle Public Schools.