How Can I Get Involved In Arts Education Month?

As a valued arts education advocate, we invite YOU to help raise awareness for Arts Education Month!

Arts Education Month is a time to celebrate and acknowledge the vital role that the arts play in a student’s education and life.  Join the celebration by helping promote it using these marketing listings, and call your community to action!  Share these by including them in an e-newsletter, blog post, website, Facebook or  Twitter post, local newspaper, and more.

General Short Marketing Listing:

Mark your calendars!  May is Arts Education Month in Washington state – a time to celebrate and strengthen arts education in our schools for all students.  Arts Education Month recognizes the creative endeavors taking place in our schools and it’s a time to show the community how the arts are making a difference in education. Visit www.artsedwashington.org to access the Arts Education Month toolkit and find out more about how you can join in the statewide campaign celebrating arts learning in action.

General Long Marketing Listing – with hyperlinks:

Mark your calendars!  May is Arts Education Month in Washington state – a time to celebrate and strengthen arts education in our schools for all students.  Arts Education Month recognizes the creative endeavors taking place in our schools and it’s a time to show the community how the arts are making a difference in education.

This is why we, together with ArtsEd Washington, invite you to join the statewide campaign celebrating arts learning in action. You can show your support by:

  • Requesting a resolution* from your city or school board
  • Attending public performances, art exhibits, and classroom presentations at local schools
  • Encouraging local school district leaders and elected officials to see arts learning in action
  • Sharing information about special student arts events, encouraging your community to see first-hand how the arts are positively impacting schools and students

Arts Education Month is also your own personal opportunity make a commitment to arts education:

  • Learn about the issues and how the arts are critical to student success
  • Request the arts be put on the agenda and funded in your community
  • Serve as a community voice, sharing the importance of the arts in school

By working together, we can ensure all students in every school have access to learning in the arts.

Visit www.ArtsEdWashington.org to access the Arts Education Month toolkit, learn more about the issues, and find out how you can get involved.

*Be sure to share your signed resolution with ArtsEd Washington so it can be posted on their website!  Email it to office@artsedwashington.org.

For more ways to get involved in Arts Education Month, view our Arts Education Month Toolkit.

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    “It was one of the most focused professional development experiences I’ve had as a principal,” Farah exclaims. “PAL brought everybody’s voice together and was a key strategy in our success.”

    The Arts are Alive Thanks to Strong Leadership and PAL

    Throngs of students fill the halls with busy footsteps and the buzz of chatter as part of the daily routine at the Madrona K-8 School in Seattle.

    It’s a familiar scene in schools across Washington state. However, less typical – especially for a school where more than three quarters of its students fall below the poverty line – are the joyful musical strains that fill the air in every corridor.

    At Madrona, the halls are indeed alive with the sound of music and the arts are thriving, due in large part to the leadership of its school principal, Farah Thaxton, and ArtsEd Washington’s Principals Arts Leadership (PAL) Program.

    A Leap of Faith Shifts the Tide

    Prior to Farah’s leadership, Madrona had limited arts programming during the school day. Determined to shift the tide, Farah began to build out core arts classes, community arts partnerships and integrated arts learning opportunities. Farah hired a full time K-5 music teacher and a part-time instrumental teacher to bridge the arts opportunity gap, and build a path for her students into high school music programs. With support from the Central Office she purchased instruments and supplies, and through a Dept. of Education Grant began a 3-year partnership with Arts Impact to provide K-5 integrated arts teacher professional development focused on literacy and mathematics.

    Within a short period of time, the Madrona school day was infused with the arts but Farah recognized resources and strategies weren’t coordinated or leveraged.  She realized that, as principal, she needed to expand her own capacities in arts leadership, if the efforts were to build and sustain. Taking a leap of faith, she then applied to ArtsEd Washington’s PAL Program.

    “We absolutely wanted our commitment and practice of providing arts education to our students to be sustainable,” notes Farah, “which is why I jumped at the chance to get Madrona on board with PAL.”

    Farah paired PAL’s strong support and resources with a new School Arts Team, comprised of teachers, parents, and a community partner from ArtsCorp. Working with their PAL Coach (a PAL Program alumni principal), the team enthusiastically engaged in purposeful arts planning, creating a vision for the arts at Madrona and laying out three-year arts expectations of what the school would provide for students.

    Momentum and Enthusiasm Grows

    “PAL gave us the momentum and framework,” comments Farah. “The program helped us articulate and determine what Madrona should look like around the arts – it was a big achievement.”

    As enthusiasm grew, so did Madrona’s Arts Team, and the group dived into development of the school Arts Plan – including setting actions and benchmarks to achieve the arts vision.

    “It was one of the most focused professional development experiences I’ve had as a principal,” Farah exclaims. “PAL brought everybody’s voice together and was a key strategy in our success.”

    “A-Ha” Moments and Student Benefits

    Efforts are paying off and there are lots of “a-ha moments.” Through the arts, students are increasing their engagement, developing perseverance, and growing in their self-assurance.

    “For students challenged to excel in more traditional learning methods, the chance to shine in their natural abilities is a big thing,” says Farah. “For example with music and poetry curricula, students have to get up in front of their peers and this gives their confidence a boost.”

    Thanks to their work with PAL, Madrona has transformed its climate and culture. Dynamic school-to-neighborhood arts programming now reaches into the heart of the community and includes an Art Walk, showcase of student art at local restaurants, and an Art Room for families at school open houses.

    District Level Involvement

    Farah has also leveraged her PAL involvement to further the arts within Seattle Public Schools. Last year she was one of several district principals involved in the Leadership Work Group. Under the facilitation and guidance of PAL founder and ArtsEd Washington Executive Director, Una McAlinden, the group identified the supports principals need to build and sustain the arts system-wide, leading to vision and planning work at a regional level in the Central Pathway.

    “PAL is really outstanding and I’m proud of what we did at Madrona,” says Farah. “I’m excited about this kind of focused arts planning at the higher district level and committed to see it happen.”

    Madrona Fast Facts

    Location: Seattle, WA
    District: Seattle Public Schools
    Principal: Farah Thaxton
    Grades: PK-8
    Students: 320
    Teachers: 25 Certified

    Student Demographics

    • 76% Free or Reduced-Price Meals
    • 15% White
    • 70% Black
    • 3% Asian/Pacific Islander
    • 8% Hispanic
    • 4% Two or More Races

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