September 2021 Arts Newsletter

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The Arts News & Notes | September 2021

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The Arts are Fundamental

As we begin a new school year, it’s a good time to remember that the arts are fundamental – both basic and vital to who we are as human beings. In Washington state, we reflect these values in that the arts are included in a basic education (RCW 28A.150.210) and are required to graduate from high school. Please share this information with the students, families, and colleagues that you work with.

For some back to school inspiration:

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 – by Samantha Fish, 2021 WA State Youth Art Month Flag



Celebrate Arts in Education: Sept 12 – 18

Passed by Congress in 2010, House Resolution 275 designates the week beginning with the second Sunday in September as National Arts in Education Week. Use this week to celebrate arts and share the story of the transformational power of the arts in education! See ways to participate here.

Power of Music

Power of Music and the Arts  

U.S. Secretary of Education, Dr. Miguel Cardona grew up in a musical family and understands the power of the arts. Carla Kalogeridis interviewed him recently for the National Association for Music Education where she notes, “His overall education philosophy – and strategy for the healing of our nation – includes access to the best music and arts programs for all students across the nation. Read the entire interview here.

Resources for Teaching and Learning

Start Learning

stArt Exploring! K-5 Integrated Arts Learning

Explore these ready-to-use video lessons that help students learn science, technology, engineering, and math concepts and skills through the arts. Each video lesson is closed captioned and comes with an activity guide, and are available in English, Spanish, and Russian. stArt Exploring is produced by teaching artist Carina A. Del Rosario and supported by Sound Transit’s STart Program.


Guitar Video Lessons in Arabic and Hebrew  

Little Kids Rock has published a series of guitar video lessons in Arabic and Hebrew. Twenty-six lessons are from 2 – to 7-minutes in length.

“From Barre to the Chair”

Mark Travis Rivera shares how dance teacher Sally Kane creates a dance space where all students thrive, finding solutions to include all students. From this experience, Mark has committed over a decade to working in the field of integrated dance – where disabled and non-disabled dancers create work together. Read Mark’s advice about making the dance classroom a place where all students, regardless of their ability or identity can thrive.

Photo by Mariah Gravelin



Young Afghan Artist Paints About Her Homeland

“I just started this painting of (a) beautiful girl as usual, because I love to show the beautiful sides of my people, my culture and our beautiful kids over there,” Sara Rahmani explained to Jennifer Hause, CNN. “After a couple of days . . . they took over Kabul and I had such pain in my heart.” See Sara’s painting and read the complete article here.

Art – by Sara Rahmani


See Wicked in Concert

Kristin Chenoweth and Idina Menzel host this musical celebration of Wicked, the fifth longest-running show in Broadway history. Listen to performances of Stephen Schwartz’ music and an overview of the show’s plot written by Winnie Holzman, based an on adaptation of Gregory Maguire’s novel. See the program here.


Wildlife Photographer of the Year

The 2021 Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition, sponsored by the Natural History Museum in London has released a selection of photographs ahead of the opening of the exhibition on October 15th. This year’s competition saw 50,000 entries from photographers in 95 countries. All entries were reviewed for creativity, originality, and technical excellence by an international panel of industry experts. Awards will be announced October 12th, during an online Awards program. For more information click here.

Photo - by Sergio Marijuán, Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2021


Dance: A Prescription for Wellbeing

Dance is good for both physical and mental health. Research reveals that dancing improves mood and emotions, and improves people’s self-image and self-expression. It also reduces stress and lowers levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. To learn more, and to connect to research and resources, click here.

Arts Advantage

Research Shows an Arts Advantage

A recent report, The Arts Advantage: Impacts of Arts Education on Boston Students by Daniel H. Bowen and Brian Kisida reveals, “Students receiving the arts in school attend more, are more engaged, and their parents are more likely to participate in school activities.” The study analyzed student data over an 11-year period, from 2008-09 to 2018-19. Read the report here.

History of Greek Tragedy at the National Theatre

This interactive resource features images, videos, and text to tell the history of Greek Tragedy performances at the National Theatre in London from 1964 - 2014. Click here to access the resource.



Middle school

Middle School Music Grants

The Peter R. Marsh Foundation, headquartered in Camas, WA, is offering 150 Music Grants to middle school music teachers during the 2021/22 school year. A Music Grant has a value of $1,000 and is limited to one per middle school per year. View the Grant Guidelines and the Music Grant Request here.

Grants are limited to the first 150 qualified grant requests received.


OSPI Seeks Consultants for Arts Academies

OSPI announces the upcoming release (January 2022) of a Request for Qualifications and Quotations (RFQQ) to solicit proposals from arts organizations, teaching artists and others interested in participating with the Native Voices Arts Academy and the Voices from the Field Arts Academy. Both programs involve middle school students who qualify for the Migrant Education Program and their teachers with the integration of arts, culture and academic learning. See the announcements here.


Arts Education Partnership Event: Sept 14-15

Engage with arts and education colleagues at this free, two-day interactive virtual gathering. Build relationships and learn from others from across the country. For more information and registration, click here.

Equity in Arts

Professional Learning for Arts Educators

What does it mean to be an anti-racist in arts education? Learn from leaders in arts education and other creative industries in this three—part series on August 11, 18, and September 29, 2021. Presented by the State Education Agency Directors of Arts Education (SEADAE), sessions are free and open to all. Gail Sehlhorst and Chris Mena from Seattle Schools will be part of the panel on August 18th!

Click here to learn more and register.

Art Contest

Student Art Contest: Deadline Sept 23  

The Rho Kappa National Social Studies Honor Society is looking for original student art expressing the National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS) 2022 Annual Conference theme: Revolutionary! Ideas and Actions Change the World. Selected artwork will be displayed on NCSS branded design items (t-shirts, program, website, etc.) Find the consent and release form here. Enter the contest here.


National Town Hall for Arts Education Supervisors – Sept 30, 12:00-1:30 pm

This convening of district arts education leaders from across the country will provide the opportunity to discuss what needs to be done at the local and national level to ensure quality arts education is accessible to all preK-12 students, especially those who are furthest from educational justice. Free. To learn more and register, click here.


Poetry Out Loud

Develop youth voices using the works of great classic and contemporary poets. Learning is aligned with arts learning standards in theatre, and Common Core Standards for English/Language Arts. Poetry Out Loud is a national poetry recitation competition for high school students. Participation is free. Registration is open now through November 19, 2021.

Photo – 2021 Washington State Poetry Out Loud State Competition Broadcast. Photo by Pavel Verbrovski