March 2021 Arts Newsletter

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The Arts News & Notes | March 2021

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March is Women’s History Month

Despite efforts to make things more equitable, a 2019 study found that artists represented in the collections of 18 major United States’ museums are 85% White and 87% male. Mona Chalabi, a New York-based artist and data journalist notes that, “The worst represented group in the US art world are women of color. We make up just 1% of all of the artists in major collections despite the fact that we account for 20% of the US population.” (See this article by Hakim Bishara.) March is Women’s History month. Representation matters. As educators, we have the opportunity to make students aware of the good and important work of women artists. Here are some links to information and resources: National Museum of Women in the Arts; National Women’s History Alliance; Women’s History Month; National Art Education Association Women’s Caucus, and the National Endowment for the Arts.

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
Cell/Text: 360-764-6157

Art “Neon” Acrylic on Gesso Board by Connie Lechelt, 2020 Superintendent’s Art Show



Tips and Tools to Increase Student Engagement 

The Collaboration for Effective Educator Development, Accountability and Reform (CEEDAR Center) and the National Center for Systemic Improvement (NCSI) outline how high-leverage practices (HLPs) can be applied to lesson design and delivery, both in-person and virtually to strengthen instruction for a diverse range of students. Click here to access this special issues brief.


Self-Compassion Increases Resilience

Kristin Neff, associate professor of educational psychology at the University of Texas at Austin, has found that practicing forgiveness of our mistakes and a deliberate effort to care for ourselves through times of disappointment or embarrassment has a more positive impact than self-criticism. There has been an increased interest in Ness’ study of self-compassion during the pandemic. Read this article to learn more.

Art – “Pondering” Ceramic by Maggie Lou Martin, 2020 Superintendent’s Art Show

Largest drawing

The Largest Drawing in the World Made by One Person 

Dyymond Whipper-Young, a Philadelphia artist and educator, has completed the world's largest drawing by an individual, as measured by an independent surveyor. The artwork made with black marker, spans 6,507 square feet and took over five days to complete. For more information, click here.

Resources for Learning & Teaching...


Celebrate Women’s Creativity

This collection of 49 stories features women from a spectrum of disciplines that share how they’re using creativity to feel empowered, and to make an impact in the world. Through their stories, they hope to inspire creativity in other women.


Women with Character Who Inspire Lesson Plan

Students in grades 6 – 12 will learn about women with great character, identify and write a brief description about an inspiring woman of character in their lives. Musician Angelique Kidjo and human rights activist Kerry Kenndy are featured as examples. For the lesson plan and resource materials, click here.

Art school

Art School Video Series from KQED

This video series for grades 6 – 12 introduces contemporary artists who discuss their careers and intentions, then demonstrate hands-on techniques or concepts. Art School provides resources for learning how to break dance, draw comic strips, create animations, and much more.


Expressing Democratic Principles Through Jazz

Trumpet player, composer and jazz ambassador Wynton Marsalis is one of the country’s leading cultural figures. He is again meeting the moment with music, writing and recording his new composition "The Democracy! Suite" amid the pandemic. Jeffrey Brown has the story as part of the PBS arts and culture series, "CANVAS."


J-Setting is an Emerging Dance Form  

This underground LGBTQ+ dance form requires militaristic precision, but it’s also about joy—about knowing oneself and expressing that self-knowledge through dance. It combines aspects from many different dance styles. This is part of KQED’s If Cities Could Dance series.

Click here to learn more about J-Setting in Atlanta.


“For Every One” by Jason Reynolds 

In this film, Reynolds performs his poem with every one in mind, and for every one who has a dream. For Every One was originally performed at the Kennedy Center for the unveiling of the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial in Washington, D.C. Jason Reynolds is a New York Times best-selling author and National Book Award finalist. He writes novels and poetry for young adult and middle-grade audiences.


A Butterfly’s Life Cycle Dance

In this K-2, standards-aligned lesson, students will choreograph an original dance that communicates the life cycle stages of the monarch butterfly. They will read Eric Carle’s book, The Very Hungry Caterpillar, and explore the monarch butterfly migration process. Click here to print the lesson plan.

Nature photos

Tips to Capture Amazing Nature Photos    

Photographer Rebecca Latson shares her 10 favorite National Park photos from 2020. Along with the photos, she explains how she captured each image. Eight of the photos are from the Pacific Northwest.

Photo – “Late Afternoon in The Painted Hills Unit, John Day Fossil Beds National Monument” by Rebecca Latson

Harriet Tubman

Retell History through Dance or Drama  

In this standards-aligned, grades 3-5 lesson, students will observe a dance performance to understand the emotional struggles Harriet Tubman faced as she helped enslaved people escape and travel north along the Underground Railroad. Students will share what they learn about this secret migration through the creation of an original dance or drama production to the song, “Harriet Tubman.” Click here for the lesson plan.

Ethan Howke

Give Yourself Permission to Be Creative – Ethan Hawke

In this TED Talk, Ethan Hawke reflects on moments that shaped his life and how courageous expression promotes healing and connection. He shares that his acting career began at age 12 and that the profession continues to give back to him through the characters that he plays. He makes the point that creativity is vital and says, “There is no path till you walk it.”


Photography Mistakes Can Help You Learn

Photographers, like any other people, make lots of mistakes. Photographer and teacher Iain Stanley points out three common mistakes and how students can improve their photography skills. Click here to read his article.

Media Literacy Lesson Plans

Find this series of medial literacy lesson plans for grades 6 – 12 on the Washington Open Educational Resources Hub. Topics include: evaluating online sources, avoiding confirmation bias, authorship, evidence vs. “truthiness” and more.



Arts guild

Self-Care for Educators: Thursdays at 2:00 pm     

Presented by the Children’s Art Guild, this unique professional development workshop is free and designed to help teachers tap into the passion for their craft to address stress in their professional lives. The workshop offers participants the opportunity to explore a variety of self-care techniques, to create a self-care plan, and to build a community of support. For more information and to register, click here.