May 2021 Arts Newsletter

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The Arts News & Notes | May 2021

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Celebrate Arts Education!

May is the month that we celebrate arts education in Washington. Governor Inslee’s Proclamation recognizes that the arts are essential to the education of all students. Engagement in the arts develops student cognition, technical skill, social-emotional learning, and critical thinking which benefit students’ well-being long after their graduation. Dance, media, music, theatre, and visual arts are often the classes that students look forward to and the ones that keep them coming to school. There is so much to celebrate, and yet, as Niko Looper’s painting notes, “We Need to Do Better.” We need more education leaders to understand the value of the arts. We need to increase both access and participation in arts education. We need the arts curriculum to be inclusive, engaging and rigorous. We need more teachers and administrators of color in the arts. How do we do this? Thelma Golden talks about cultural change (video listed below), and she says, “Think of artists as a catalyst.” Let’s use our creative prowess and continue to work towards this evolution of arts education in Washington.


Some resources to inspire the value of the arts:

Arts Education Is Essential (national unified statement)

The Arts are Essential (OSPI document)

New evidence of the benefits of arts education (

Benefits of the Arts in Early Childhood Development – The Early Childhood Commission (

How art gives shape to cultural change - Thelma Golden - YouTube

Using Arts Education to Help Other Lessons Stick - The New York Times (

10 Reasons to Support the Arts in 2021 | ARTS Blog (

Mark your calendars – May 20th, 3:00 pm. Watch the 48th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show Awards Program where students from across Washington will be recognized for excellence in 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 “We Need to Do Better” Watercolor by Niko Shawn Renee Looper, 2020 Superintendent’s Art Show



UPDATES: COVID-19 Requirements  

The Department of Health and the Governor’s Office released updated guidance for Theater & Performing Arts and Events as of April 21.



2020-2021 Arts Instruction & Assessment Reporting

School districts will be required to report arts instruction and assessment information to OSPI as outlined by RCW 28A.230.095. For more information and online tools, click here.



Arts Learning Standards – Entry Points

COVID-19 has presented particular challenges to learning and teaching in the arts. A Statewide Arts Advisory Team developed this Entry Points document to support teaching the arts during this time, whether remotely, using a hybrid model, or fully in-person. This document is organized by arts discipline with student/family language to use in communication with students and their families.


Cover Art – “Lighbulb Sunset” Photo by Lauren King, 2020 Superintendent’s Art Show

Resources for Learning & Teaching...


Arts & Cultural Spaces are Re-Opening   

As COVID-19 restrictions ease, arts and cultural spaces are inviting the public to visit. Beyond just looking at exhibits, most museums encourage visitors to be curious and wonder about what they’re seeing. These inquiry-based approaches include Visual Thinking Strategies ( and Artful Thinking by Project Zero ( Research supports that even a one-time visit to a museum benefits students’ well-being in three capacities: creative thinking, empathy and critical thinking. If an in-person visit is not possible, many museums have online resources. Take a look at the possibilities! Please let us know if there are other museums not listed here that you’d recommend.

Burke Museum, Seattle

Cascadia Art Museum, Edmonds

Clymer Museum & Gallery, Ellensburg

Confluence Project, Columbia River

Confluence Gallery, Twisp

Frye Art Museum, Seattle

Henry Art Gallery, Seattle

Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Pullman

MadArt, Seattle

Mary Hill Museum of Art, Goldendale

Museum of Popular Culture (MoPOP), Seattle

Museum of Glass, Tacoma

Northwest Museum of Art, La Conner

Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture, Spokane

Seattle Art Museum, Seattle

Shack Art Center, Everett

Squaxin Island Museum , Shelton

Suquamish Museum, Suquamish

Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma

Wa Na Wari, Seattle

Wenatchee Valley Museum & Cultural Center, Wenatchee

Whatcom Museum, Bellingham

Wing Luke Museum, Seattle

Yakima Valley Museum , Yakima