July 2021 Arts Newsletter

New Logo

The Arts News & Notes | July 2021

Please share this with colleagues and friends who are interested in the arts in education. Sign up to receive The Arts News and Notes


Art Show Winner

The Arts are Fundamental to Early Learners

The arts bring joy into learning and are a way for all children to express themselves. Even our youngest learners can explore their vulnerability through the arts in a safe environment while connecting to their communities and to each other. Research supports that the arts are vital to human development – and this begins at birth!

This summer, we celebrate the arts, culture and social emotional learning in PreK – Grade 3 at Arts UpLift!, a conference co-sponsored by the Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA), OSPI and the Pacific Northwest Ballet.  Registration is free, we hope to see you there!

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 – “The Life of an Apple” by V. Pruneda, 2017 Superintendent’s Art Show


COVID survey logo

Early Results Reveal Students’ Worries and Hopes

About 65,000 middle and high school students in Washington volunteered to complete a survey to share how they felt during the pandemic.  Many of them reported feeling sad or depressed most days, but the majority of students in each grade also reported a high degree of resilience, saying they were optimistic about the future. Read the press release, the statewide middle school report and the statewide high school report.

OSPI logo

Seeking Community Input - Deadline: August 31

OSPI is interested in hearing from communities across the state about education priorities they would like to be considered for learning recovery and acceleration efforts using federal funds from the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) and state funds provided by the Legislature.

Prior to providing input, people are encouraged to review the one-pager explainer, available in English and Spanish, which provides an overview on how the Legislature allocated federal ESSER funds. The online survey is available in English and Spanish.

Access the one-pagers and the survey following these links:

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Start Exploring dragonfly

Free Online STEAM Video Resource

Produced by teaching artist Carina A. del Rosario and supported by Sound Transit’s STart program, this resource features video lessons that help students learn science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) concepts and skills through the arts.  Each 10-20 minute video is designed for specific grade levels and close-captions are available in English, Spanish or Russian. Activities designed for K-2nd grade are now available at www.cadelrosario.com/startexploring.  Activities for 3rd-5th grade will be released in August 2021. 

Wolf Trap logo

Engaging Young Children with Dance

This five-part module provides video and written resources for educators to introduce children to dance concepts incorporating observational and descriptive language, developing imagination and movement skills, and techniques to teach math and vocabulary through dance. The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts has empowered teachers to use active, arts-integrated learning strategies in the early childhood classroom since 1981.

Using Art for Good

Layla Cahalan, a 7-year old part-time resident of Orcas Island creates and sells re-usable, canvas bags with her original Salish Sea creature designs.  She donates all of the proceeds to help protect the sea creatures that she loves. Read more about Layla’s project here.

Layla Cunningham art

Quiara Alegria Hudes

Meet Playwright Quiara Alegria Hudes

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Quiara Alegria Hudes, who collaborated with Lin-Manuel Miranda on the Tony Award-winning musical, In the Heights, talks about the power of unearthing family stories.  She seeks to find the places where struggle and joy meet in her writing.  Most recently, Hudes released a personal memoir, My Broken Language, which is about navigating her life as a daughter of a Puerto Rican mother and Jewish father.

Ali Akbar Khan

Master Musician and Teacher Ali Akbar Khan

In his home country of India, Ali Akbar Khan is considered a national treasure.  He plays a 25-stringed instrument called the sarode. He has passed down his musical knowledge to more than 10,000 students worldwide.  In his classes, Khan composes new ragas on the spot as his students listen and try to play by ear.  See the video of his practice here and find an accompanying educator guide here. 

Students on podcast

Students Share How They Developed Their Podcast

This spring, The New York Times invited middle and high school students to create an original podcast of five minutes or less that informs or entertains.  Out of 1,500 entries, 12 winners, 13 runners-up, and 29 honorable mentions were selected. Four winners describe how they created a podcast to tell a story that mattered to them. Listen to the winning podcasts here.

ArtsEd logo

Blurring the Lines: Expanding Literacy and Arts Education

Creative youth education programs can help to close a gap between discipline-based arts instruction offered in schools and out of school experiences.  This partnership between schools and community-based organizations can expand robust learning experiences for youth and broaden the concept of comprehensive arts learning.  Read this article to learn more about intersection of English Language Arts, K-12 arts education, and youth development programs.


FFES logo

Register now!

The 2020-21 school year redefined what it is to be an educator in the modern world. Through this challenge, many opportunities for growth emerged.  Prepare for the 2021-22 school year with a focus on equitable practices and meeting the needs of diverse populations through creating, connecting, collaborating, and orchestrating change with colleagues.  Learn more about this free, virtual conference (July 26-29).

SESC logo

Inclusionary Practices Project Professional Learning

The Washington Education Association’s Inclusionary Practices Project and Special Education Support Center is offering virtual professional learning opportunities in July and August.  Courses are free and available to all.  Click here for course descriptions and registration.

Arts Uplift

Arts Conference for PreK-Grade 3: August 3 - 5

Come play and learn!  This free, virtual conference will celebrate joyful learning, wellness and creative possibilities in early learning.  Participants will gain tools to integrate arts instruction, culturally responsive teaching methods and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) standards and practices into their daily work.  ArtsWA, in partnership with OSPI and the WA State Teaching Artist Training Lab (TAT Lab) is hosting Arts Uplift! Click here for details and registration.

AAFS logo

Mentor a Student Artist 

The Allied Arts Foundation of Seattle is seeking professional artists to serve as volunteer short-term mentors or coaches for their art student Block Awards winners.  These awards are distributed among 16 of Seattle’s high schools in five categories – visual arts, music, theater, writing, and performance.  Coaches should be willing to donate at least two hours of their time to give lessons and/or instruction to each of the students with whom they are matched.  For more information, please email jeff@allied-artsfoundation.org