November 2021 Arts Newsletter

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The Arts News & Notes | November 2021

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When my children were making the leap from middle to high school, their music teacher encouraged them to sign up for freshmen band. She wisely explained that in moving to a much larger school, band would be something familiar, they would be part of a family, they would have a place to belong, not to mention that it would be lots of fun! My boys followed her advice and one ended up taking band all four years in high school. The other switched to studio art, but in the end, freshmen band helped both of them in their transition to high school.

This sense of belonging is an important part of what supports and benefits learning and it’s an integral part of an arts classroom. When we look at our arts classrooms, does everyone feel welcome? Are they as diverse and inclusive as they could be? Can all students see themselves in an arts classroom? What can we do so that all students feel that they belong?

Want to learn more about belonging? Check out the work of the Othering & Belonging Institute whose focus is about . . . advancing research, policy, and ideas that examine and remediate the processes of exclusion, marginalization, and structural inequality—what we call othering—in order to build a world based on inclusion, fairness, justice, and care for the earth—what we call belonging.

Thank you for all that you do in service of the arts in education,

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

Art – “Flying Free” by E. Rawson, Superintendent’s High School Art Show, 2016



Free Student Workshop: Apply by Nov 15 

The Superintendent's High School Art Show is Turning 50! To celebrate, OSPI and WA Arts Education Association (WAEA) are partnering to team up with students to design a new logo for the event. High school students are invited to attend a two-hour online workshop to learn about the branding process from professional graphic designers, and spend time designing the branding. Student designs and ideas could make it into the final logo! Plus, those who attend will receive a sketchbook and Micron pen donated by Blick Art Supplies and WAEA.

The workshop is Tuesday, Nov. 30, 2021 | 4:30 - 6:30 pm. Register here by November 15th.


Vancouver Public Schools to Host NW Regional HS Dance Festival  

Vancouver School of Arts and Academics will host the Northwest Regional High School Dance Festival, February 25-27, 2022. Students and recruiters from all over the country will be in attendance for performances, auditions, and master classes. Click here for more information. See highlights from the 2019 NW High School Dance Festival.


Amy Reed-Ferguson is a PBS KIDS 

Early Learning Champion

Congratulations to Amy Reed-Ferguson, kindergarten teacher at Pope Elementary School, Puyallup School District, one of 11 educators from across the country named a PBS KIDS Early Learning Champion. Through her participation in a series of workshops sponsored by WA’s PBS stations and OSPI, Amy created a unit of study focused on oral storytelling and keeping traditions alive combining resources from Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State, PBS Learning media, and WA PBS station websites. This award recognizes and celebrates passionate educators who work with young children from infants to second graders, and offers professional learning and networking opportunities provided by PBS KIDS and KBTC, a service of Bates Technical College.

Resources for Teaching and Learning


National Native American Heritage Month    

At the turn of the century, one day was determined to recognize the significant contributions the first Americans made to the establishment and growth of the U.S. Since 1990, this has been expanded to the month of November. The Library of Congress and the National Endowment for the Humanities, National Gallery of Art, National Park Service, Smithsonian Institution, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum and U.S. National Archives and Records Administration developed this web portal with exhibits, collections, audio, video, images, lesson plans and other educational materials.

Additional dedicated websites: National Archives, National Endowment for the Humanities, National Park Service, Native Knowledge 360°, Smithsonian Education

Artwork – Spatial Whorl by Dick West, Oil on canvas


Art Teacher Christie Tran Lifts

Black Student Voices   

Christie Tran, art teacher at River Ridge High School in the North Thurston School District was featured in a Learning for Justice magazine article, Designing Their Own Black Future. It shares the story of the forming of the school’s Black Student Union and how students made art, learned history, developed their voice, found purpose, and a sense of home in the process.

Artwork – by River Ridge High School Black Student Union


Liberty, Equity and Self Government

Liberty: Don Troiani’s Paintings of the Revolutionary War, is a special exhibition at the Museum of the American Revolution, that highlights compelling stories about the diverse people and complex events of the American Revolution and brings them to life. Additional teaching and learning resources are available. Listen to the PBS arts and culture story about the exhibit.


Honoring Those Who Serve 

Veterans Day is observed on November 11th with speeches, parades and other events to honor the veterans of the armed forces. This year’s Veterans Day poster competition asked artists to create a design connecting history, legacy, and meaning of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier during its centennial anniversary. Click here for the Veterans Day Poster Gallery and other teaching and learning resources. The entire month of November is Military Family Appreciation Month – a time to recognize the unique sacrifices and challenges family members make in support of their loved ones in uniform. See more resources here.


Representation Matters

See clips from several Asian American playwrights (Lauren Yee, Chay Yew, David Henry Hwang, Qui Nguyen) talking about representation, their careers, and an inclusive American theatre.


The Story of Hawaii’s Hula 

Hula’s origins are deeply spiritual and rooted in Hawaii’s history and creation stories. Beyond the dances that many tourists see today, hula also includes sacred dances that have been passed down through the centuries. This six-minute video tells the hula story and is part of KQED’s award-winning video series, If Cities Could Dance. This four-minute video features Snowbird Bento demonstrating how to hula.


Abstract Architectural Photography  

Anete Lusina’s article, The Geometric Beauty of Abstract Architectural Photography features the creative work of photographer Nikola Olic, whose work has appeared in numerous publications, galleries, private collections, public spaces, museums and more.

Photo – by Nikola Olic


SEL-Music Lesson: Who Am I – My Feelings Make a Song  

Four progressive lessons engage primary grade students in music learning while addressing social emotional learning (SEL) standards. Lessons begin with call and response strategy and progress to creating original songs. Created by Kelly Foster Griffin, a National Board Certified Teacher, Northshore School District.


Connecting The Arts & SEL

Arts educators from across the state developed this resource to support the integration of social emotional learning (SEL) into content learning in The Arts. The document outlines the six SEL standards with a corresponding statement that elaborates how The Arts address SEL including related Arts Anchor Standards. See the document here.

Art – (left to right) “Divine Adolescence” by Yoni Rodriguez, “Fiery Woman” by Hannah R. Bomardner, and “Hope” by S. Holliday, Superintendent’s High School Art Show.



Film Career Day: Nov 6, 11 am – 3 pm

The City of Seattle Office of Economic Development and Office of Arts & Culture in partnership with the National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY) present this virtual and in-person event – free to 13-26 year olds. For more information and to sign up, click here.


Learn & Plan with Resources from PBS: Nov 15

Join staff from WA’s PBS stations on Nov 15, 4-5 pm as they share free, ready-to-use, standards aligned digital resources for in-person and virtual learning on LearningMedia. Explore these materials and interactive lessons to use with students. Also learn about Alma’s Way, a new PBS KIDS show focused on critical thinking and social and emotional learning. Click here to earn one clock hour or register for the workshop here.


Picture Climate Change Photo Contest: Deadline Nov 15

5th – 12th grade students are invited to submit photos that showcase climate change in the western United States. Sponsored by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Western Region, see details here. Find standards aligned lessons on climate change here and the publication, The Essential Principles of Climate Literacy here.

Youth Voices

Youth Voices Contest: Deadline Nov 15   

You(th) Matter invites youth between 14-18 years old to express their views on the relationship between policing and democracy, in a national competition to win cash prizes. The Youth Voices contest will showcase youth writing, film, and artwork from communities nationwide. Click here for contest guidelines.


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


Ism Youth Files: Deadline Nov 25

BIPOC youth ages 14 – 21 are encouraged to express the mental health issues that they face every day. MediaRites Productions will select stories in all short-form genres: monologues, personal essays, poetry, and graphic short stories to include in podcasts, an e-book, and short films. Selected entries will receive $100-300. Click here for more information.


Native Art Grants: Deadline Dec 3

The Connections to Culture grants support opportunities for Native artists to work with historical collections at the Burke Museum to expand and grow cultural arts knowledge, inspire artistic practice, and to aid in the transmission of artistic and cultural knowledge throughout communities and across generations. Funds cover travel expenses, materials, and artist fees. Click here to learn more.


Wildlife Photographer Competition:

Deadline Dec 9 

The Natural History Museum (London) hosts an annual competition and exhibition highlighting the relationship between photography, science and art. Images can cover wildlife and the natural world, wild plants, animals, their natural environments, or illustrate our interaction with nature. There is no entry fee for photographers 17 years or younger. Click here for more information.

Photo – by Hui Yu Kim


Opportunity for King County Artists:

Deadline Dec 15

The Arc Artist Fellowship provides unrestricted $12,000 awards for Indigenous, Aboriginal or Native artists who live in King County. 4Culture will also provide promotional support through their website. Everyday expenses like rent, childcare, and transportation can be offset with this award to allow for creative practice. For more information, click here.


OSPI Seeks Consultants for Arts Academies

OSPI announces the upcoming release (January 2022) of a Request for Proposals (RFP) 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.


Free Teacher Workshops

The Children’s Art Guild presents, Authenticity in the Creative Classroom, monthly workshops for dance, music, theatre, and visual arts educators. Participants co-create lessons, processes and learning units that will let students explore creative possibilities. Nov 16, Dec 14, Jan 18, Mar 1, Apr 5, May 17, June 14. Register here.