December 2020 Arts Newsletter

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The Arts News & Notes | December 2020

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Art Show Entry

As winter approaches and the COVID pandemic rages, more than ever we need to attend to the mental health and wellness of students and ourselves. Develop trusting relationships, stay connected with others – and give time and space for students to do this as well.

As we teach the Arts, let’s be mindful of the power of the arts to heal and build resiliency. “Supporting Student Wellness Through the Arts” is special report from the Education Commission of the States and the Arts Education Partnership.  It is a comprehensive collection of resources and research to help education leaders support students.

Thank you for all that you do in service of the arts in education, and please take the time to take good care of yourself during these challenging times.

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

Photo —"Untitled” by Kaylee Doepker, Walla Walla High School, Regional Finalist, 2020 Superintendent’s High School Art Show


Anthony Schmidt photo of Volkswagen

KOMO News Features Woodinville Student  

Anthony Schmidt is a 12-year old who creates realistic photos featuring model cars from his massive collection. His detailed knowledge of the makes and models of cars helps him to stage photo shoots that capture the story of a car.  His mother, Ramona notes that Anthony’s autism helps him to make his art. She says, “It’s truly because of the autism... It's not despite autism, it's because of it.”

Photo - by Anthony Schmidt

Britta Hobbs and Matt Griffin

Singing Together While Apart

Evergreen Public Schools’ choir teacher, Britta Hobbs shares how she and her students have figured out how to make music during the COVID pandemic. Matt Griffin interviews the Covington and Frontier Middle School teacher who shares how she learned to take the audio track from student assignments on Flip Grid and edit them together for this choral performance.

Educational Theatre Assoc. logo

COVID’s Impact on Theatre Education     

School theatre programs are feeling profound effects from the COVID-19 pandemic according to a newly released survey of theatre teachers across the U.S. by the Educational Theatre Association (EdTA). The survey, “The Impact of COVID-19 on Theatre Education,” confirms programs hit hardest by the pandemic face significant risks in the coming years.

Herrera Mural

Herrera Mural Installed

“Uno Dos Tres,” a black and white mural designed by 105-year-old artist, Carmen Herrera was recently installed at the Manhattan East Academy for Arts and Academics in New York City.  The 54-foot by 17-foot artwork was painted by students from the school (ages 13 to 18).  To learn more, click here.

Photo courtesy: The Lisson Gallery 

Resources for Learning & Teaching...

Palmer Museum of Art

Virtual Museum Tour Explores Art and Identity  

The Palmer Museum of Art has created a virtual tour for educators and students grades 5–12. Short videos, images and text, presented by museum educators guide the viewer through an exploration that investigates the concept of identity – the collection of personality, behaviors, thoughts, values, experiences, traditions and more that make each person who they are. Related art-making activities, lesson plans and other resources are also included.


Dance in the Time of COVID  

Watch this excerpt from the Paul Taylor Dance Company, performed by Maria Ambrose and Lisa Borres. This dance is from Taylor’s 1977 masterwork, “Images,” with music by Claude Debussy. In his introduction, artistic director Michael Novak notes this performance offers hope and beauty, and emphasizes the company’s legacy of innovation, determination and artistic integrity has propelled their work forward even during the pandemic.

Lindsey Allen's "Going Through the Motions"

New Report: Implementing Social and Emotional Learning

This report offers early lessons from an initiative focused on social and emotional learning (SEL) in elementary schools and out-of-school time (OST) programs. The lessons are relevant to leaders of individual schools and OST programs, technical assistance providers, funders, and researchers who are interested in understanding and supporting SEL. One key finding to success -  teachers, administrators, and support staff at schools must understand their own social-emotional abilities and attend to their own well-being before they can teach those competencies to their students.

Art – “Going Through the Motions” by Lindsey Allen (2020)

A Stream of Clarity Solidified Through Music    

Elementary music teachers Dr. Melissa Zych & Catherine Sullivan discuss ways that social emotional learning and social justice manifest in the music classroom setting. Listen to this podcast and learn how these ideas can be incorporated into everyday practice. 

A stream of clarity solidified through music

NDI-NM dancers

Special Report: Dance Counts  

The Arts Education Partnership released Dance Counts as part of a four-part series describing the researched benefits of arts education. With this new digital resource, education leaders, policymakers and practitioners can explore research collected from ArtsEdSearch that shows the personal and community benefits of dance education for learners of all ages.

Photo courtesy of NDI-NM

Food sovereignty

New Film: ‘The Hunt’

Sanjay Rawal’s 9-minute film explores Indigenous foodways to promote healing and recovery from historical trauma. Chef Nephi Craig of the White Mountain Apache Nation and master forager Twila Cassadore of San Carlos Apache Nation are featured.

Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education

How can Art Education Honor our Instincts and Creativity?  

This edition of the Journal of Cultural Research in Art Education  includes articles that explore the power of art to promote joy, strength, healing, community-building and happiness along side liberatory practices.


Project 562: Images of Native Peoples

Project 562 is a national project dedicated to photographing over 562 federally recognized tribes in The United States to create a repository of imagery and oral histories that accurately portrays contemporary Native Americans.  Its creator, Matika Wilbur, is a visual storyteller from the Swinomish and Tulalip peoples of coastal Washington, and is a certified K-12 teacher.

Project 562 logo


Dance days

Dance Day at Montclair State University: Dec 12

High school dance students are invited to take free dance classes, meet with faculty and students and see a virtual performance of dance majors. Registration is required for this virtual event.  For more information click here.