August 2020 Arts Newsletter

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The Arts News & Notes | August 2020

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Beach Framed

This is an incredible moment in time with a raging pandemic, tens of millions of people unemployed and a major reckoning with race. In the midst of this, we need art more than ever to express our feelings and ideas, to reveal the hidden stories, to imagine and create new possibilities. Let’s learn from history. In 1348, the bubonic plague ravaged Europe, but it also served to shake up conventional thinking which helped to usher in the Renaissance – and the flourishing of art, culture, literature, and the sciences.

Superintendent Chris Reykdal emphasized these ideas recently in a keynote speech for the Educational Theatre’s Leadership Summit.

. . . This is a big moment for us in America and I just really challenge you to double down with policymakers and leaders in your state and educators, get them to rethink art – art as a racial equity opportunity, art as the ability to learn core content, art as a fundamental reason to double down on public education.  There’s a lot of pressure out there to reduce resources but, now is the time to go bigger.  And our students need it for expression and for learning.  We know that there’s huge opportunity for the development of a young mind in this and so this is not the time to starve arts or to think of it as a secondary part of our lives or think of it as an enrichment activity in our schools. It’s core to what we do.

Let’s continue to work together to build more opportunities for quality art experiences for all students in Washington.

Thank you for all that you do in service of the arts in education,

Janet Hayakawa, Program Supervisor
The Arts - Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts
Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction
Office: 360-725-4966             
Cell/Text: 360-764-6157

Art by: G.M. Byers " Acrobat" (Participant in 2020 High School Art Show) 


Performing Arts Aerosol Study

This is a preliminary release of information from a study by the University of Colorado Boulder and the University of Maryland. It focuses on the distribution of respiratory aerosols that are released while playing wind and brass instruments, singing, acting, speaking, dancing, and during a simulated aerobic activity. The release of the preliminary study results aims to assist in the safe return to classrooms.

Click here to read the study.

Resources for Learning & Teaching...


George Boulogne (1745-99) Black Composer, Musician & Conductor

Boulogne, also known as Le Chevalier de Saint-Georges, was the son of a slave who rose to the top of French society through his mastery of fencing and his genius for classical music.  He played the violin and harpsichord, and composed concertos, symphonies, string quartets, and opera. To learn more about his life and music, click here.

If Cities


All Arts is a groundbreaking premier destination for inspiration, creativity and art of all forms. This New York Emmy-winning arts and culture hub is created by WNET, the parent company of New York’s PBS stations. Check out some of its art installations below.

If Cities Could Dance, A Dance Chain Letter

In this dance performance, 16 dancers from across the country, representing a range of dance styles, move as one being, with each dancer’s moves flowing naturally into the next. Produced in the COVID-19 era, each dancer begins in the last pose of the dance before passing the movement. Poet Chinaka Hodge narrates.

Variety Studio: Actors on Actors

The new season of the Emmy-winning series features one-on-one conversations between actors filmed entirely from their homes.

Image: From Episode, Puerto Rico's Bomba, A Dance of The African Diaspora


The New York Times’ Learning Network Announces Student Contests

From art and editorials to personal narratives and podcasts, see the list of the 10 contests and challenges for young people during the 2020-21 school year. These contests invite middle and high school students to compose for an “authentic audience” and motivates them to produce their best work. This is an opportunity to show students that their voices and ideas matter.

Image: From contest, Civil Conversation Challenge for Teenagers


Bibi: A New Classroom Film and Lessons, Grades 6–12

Help young people honor their own and others’ complex and unique identities, through Teaching Tolerance’s new 17-minute classroom film, Bibi. The lessons for grades 6–12 that accompany it can spark critical conversations about identity, culture, family and belonging. Bibi is a story told through the perspective of Ben, a gay Latinx man and his complicated relationship with his father. Watch the film and find the lessons here.

Whats going on

What’s Going on in this Graph?

In a collaboration with a the American Statistical Association (A.S.A.), this publication by the New Your Times encourages students to see how data and information are presented in a visual format. There are over 60 example graphs for students to analyze and explore what impacts the data have on them and their communities.

To see the collection of graphs, click here.

Image: Houston May Get 50 Inches of Rain. How Long Does it Take Your City to Get That Much?

Wolf Trap

Field Trip Fridays for Early Learners and Their Families

Field Trip Fridays are performed and recorded by Wolf Trap Teaching Artists to provide children and their parents/caregivers the opportunity to experience live arts experiences from the comfort of their home. These interactive performances are accompanied by a handout that has been created to serve as an educational tool to enhance the child’s experience.


STEAM and the Role of the Arts

This newly published paper outlines the importance and value of incorporating the arts into teaching and learning science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEAM). STEAM education empowers and immerses students and educators in inquiry, dialogue, problem-solving, and experiential learning that deepens understanding of all fields in their educational experience. The paper addresses five critical areas for implementing STEAM education: effective pedagogy, learner empowerment, teacher empowerment, intentionality & growth, and innovation.


Social Emotional Learning (SEL) as a Lever for Equity

The Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning (CASEL) is a trusted source for knowledge about high-quality, evidence-based social and emotional learning (SEL). CASEL supports educators and policy leaders and enhances the experiences and outcomes for all PreK-12 students.

The CASEL CARES initiative presents this 5-part, free webinar series to address how SEL can be most helpful in response to today’s circumstances.

Free Marching Band Performance Material Now Available to Schools

In partnership with the National Federation of State High School Associations and in coordination with United Sound, Varsity Performing Arts has released “Together As One – One Nation,” a fully arranged, designed and choreographed marching band performance. The free programming is a result of collaboration between some of the nation’s top marching arts designers, music education organizations, spirit leaders and more.