Arts Corps Programs
The Elementary Arts Education Program
provides in-school residencies with classroom teachers and after-school classes for elementary age students at school sites in Seattle, Burien, and White Center. During in-school residencies, teaching artists work in partnership with a classroom teacher, focusing on culturally-responsive arts integrated learning. For after-school classes, teaching artists provide arts instruction as part of year-long after school programs. This out-of-school setting allows freedom for both the teaching artist and students to engage in fun, creative exploration in project-based or thematic learning.
The Teen Artist Program
, which includes the beloved Youth Speaks Seattle poetry program, provides an opportunity for youth to develop leadership and creative thinking skills they need to meet the challenges of adulthood and employment in today’s creative economy. Students receive after-school arts instruction in the areas of music, poetry, and dance with select students developing their leadership skills through hands-on organizing of student outreach, performance, and event management.
The Creative Schools Initiative
is an intensive middle school arts integration program where teaching artists collaborate with teachers throughout the year to improve
learning and foster students’ academic engagement, critical thinking, creativity, and persistence. Classroom teachers and teaching artists
design culturally relevant, arts-integrated units that teach to academic standards and optimize student engagement. Teaching artists spend 20-hours per week building a rich learning environment with lessons rooted in student inquiry and project-based approaches.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
In 2012, Arts Corps was awarded the highest national honor in community based arts education by the White House, The National Arts and Humanities Youth Program Award.
In Seattle, schools are being stripped of arts learning opportunities, especially schools serving children of color and low-income communities. In fact, a recent report from Seattle Public Schools shows that race is the greatest predictor of access to school day arts education within the district. In 2011-2012, the odds of African American, Latino and American Indian/Alaskan Native students being enrolled in an arts class are significantly lower – as much as 33 percent lower – than their white counterparts.
Further, this same study shows a substantial drop in arts education participation in middle school, and no school-wide daily or weekly arts integration activity occurring in Seattle middle schools.
Arts Corps directly addresses this critical opportunity gap bringing powerful arts learning to young people. Arts Corps classes are provide youth opportunities to grow their creativity, take risks, imagine possibilities and persist through challenges – skills linked to achievement in school and in life.