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    Arts Education

    In Seattle Public Schools the arts include dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts. The arts are a core academic subject and part of Basic Education per district policy, superintendent procedure, and Washington state law. The Seattle K-12 Arts Plan, developed through community engagement, outlines how we ensure equitable access to Basic Education in the arts.

    Mission and Vision

    The mission of Visual & Performing Arts is to ensure equitable access to a comprehensive, sequential, and predictable arts education for each and every student in Seattle Public Schools.

    We envision a wholistic approach to learning where students can explore, take risks, make mistakes, be themselves, and find community.

    Arts Goals

    Every student in every school receives:

    • High quality arts learning that teaches sequential arts skills and techniques, develops students' 21st century skills and is culturally responsive
    • Instruction from certified arts teachers
    • Arts integration
    • Arts partnerships with community-based organizations and teaching artists
    • Opportunities to connect arts to careers

    Why the Arts Matter

    Research shows that students who have an arts education are more successful in school and life. Students in the arts:

    • are more motivated and engaged,
    • have better attendance,
    • have lower discipline rates,
    • do better academically,
    • are more likely to graduate, and
    • are more civically engaged as adults.

    The Creative Advantage

    The Creative Advantage is our initiative to establish equitable access to arts education for every student in Seattle Public Schools. The Creative Advantage is made possible through a public-private partnership with Seattle Public Schools, Seattle’s Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Foundation, community-based arts organizations, and teaching artists.

    To learn more about the history, how we’re closing arts access gaps, and providing resources for schools go to The Creative Advantage webpage.

    Students and a teacher in an art museum look at a work of art on the wall.

    Contact Us

    Gail Sehlhorst
    Visual and Performing Arts Program Manager

    Pamela Ivezic
    K-12 Instructional Services Music Coach

    Audrey Querns
    Creative Advantage Project Manager

    Resources and Other Information

    For teachers (login required)

    Seattle Schools Arts News