Over the past several years, ArtsEd Washington has made significant progress in advancing arts education in K-12 schools across Washington State.

Our accomplishments include advocating at the federal and state levels, training arts organizations and other advocates to advance arts education in their communities, helping schools and districts to build their capacity for the provision of arts learning through statewide programs and partnerships, providing free community tools and resources, and more.

Federal & State Advocacy

  • Conducted annual in-person visits to our federal delegation in Washington, D.C., presenting a detailed analysis of arts education and federal funding for arts education in their districts.
  • Successfully prevented the state legislature’s attempt to suspend the OSPI’s Classroom-Based Performance Assessments (CBPAs) in the Arts (2009 & 2012).
  • Secured the State Board of Education’s inclusion of two arts credits in Career & College Ready, their framework for new high school graduation requirements.
  • Leveraged partnerships with mainstream education organizations to ensure passage of ESSB 2261, a bill that re-defines, and seeks better funding for, Basic Education; preserves the Arts as a core subject area; and adds the new CORE 24 graduation requirements.
  • Secured state-level resolutions and proclamations in support of Arts Education Month each year, including a Senate floor hearing that resulted in unanimous approval (2009). In 2012, House and Senate both adopted resolutions along with a first time State PTA member resolution.
  • Advised state legislators on a bill seeking to allocate lottery revenue to arts education, assisting with bill content and language, and providing opportunities for the legislators to see arts learning in action in local classrooms.
  • Ensured the inclusion of arts and classroom creativity in the final report from Washington Learns, Governor Christine Gregoire’s education task force (2006).
  • Prevented an attempt to waive the state arts graduation requirement for students opting for a career and technical pathway.
  • Developed community tools including legislative and parent fact sheets, general arts education talking points, outreach ideas for back-to-school activities and the holidays, and general tips (2011 and ongoing).

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Training & Support Activities

  • Conducted Advocacy Training workshops at numerous state-level conferences, including ArtsTime and Cultural Congress, and in local/regional venues. Presents annually at a range of education conferences, e.g. AWSP & WSSDA.
  • Created an online toolkit for Arts Education Month, our statewide public awareness campaign, to enable schools and arts organizations to raise the profile of arts learning in their communities.
  • Consistently distributes a strategic system of e-communications, including Action Alerts to activate a growing advocate network on time-sensitive issues; trACTION eNews (featuring the latest arts education news and information, an Advocacy Tip-of-the-Month, and more); and our website, including a resources section for advocacy, teacher professional development, and grant/award opportunities (ongoing).
  • Partnered with WSAC for Community Conversations in the Yakima Valley for Educational Service District (ESD) 105 (2009), and to share the AERI report in Whidbey Island, Port Townsend and Spokane communities (2010).

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Programs & Partnerships

  • Partnered with the Washington State PTA to develop an arts advocacy brochure for parents.
  • Built the capacity for arts learning of almost 50 elementary schools in the greater Puget Sound area through our Principals’ Arts Leadership (PAL) program, including two district-wide models (Riverview and Enumclaw).
  • Partnered and participated in state and national arts education research, including a U.S. Department of Education grant seeking to make a direct correlation to schools’ arts teaching capacity through principal engagement.
  • Continues to serve as the Washington State Arts Commission’s only Cooperative Partner for arts education.
  • Conducted statewide research and development for our initiative Arts Partners/Curricula Bank, to provide teachers and district administrators in King County with online access to community-based arts education programs and arts curricula that is aligned with our state’s Essential Academic Learning Requirements (EALRs).
  • With Association of Washington School Principals, launched the inaugural Schools of Excellence in Arts Education Award (2011 and ongoing).
  • Achieved successful implementation of ArtsEd Washington’s Art Lessons in the Classroom at Washington schools around the state. The curriculum, which aligns with state standards, includes the sharing of public art through 4Culture, the Washington State Arts Commission and a collection of local museums such as Tacoma Art Museum, Seattle Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, and the Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture.
  • Partnered with Seattle Public Schools, the state’s largest district, to develop a targeted program of professional develop for principals as arts leaders.

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Community Tools & Resources

  • Constructed a school board advocacy toolkit with school district links, 60-second speech samples, list of ideas for taking action, and best practices for follow up.
  • Developed a comprehensive Arts Education Month toolkit complete with user templates for letters, media releases, speeches, invitations, and a commemorative resolution.
  • Designed presentations and strategies for addressing schools, clubs, and civic organizations.
  • Created, used, and promoted a School Board Candidates’ survey to ensure that “the arts mattered” in the 2011, 2013, and 2015 school board elections.

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Recognition, Awards & Citations

  • Attained national recognition by the Arts Education Partnership in their guide, What School Leaders Can Do to Increase Arts Education.
  • Received coverage of the Principals Arts Leadership program in special 4Culture broadcast feature.
  • Achieved a feature story on Arts Education Month and the statewide School of Excellence in Arts Education Awards on KING 5 television (story featured arts integration programs at award-winning school, Carnation Elementary).
  • Former ArtsEd Washington Executive Director Una McAlinden received the North Kitsap School District’s 2009 award for The Advancement of Arts Education in Washington State.
  • Una McAlinden and ArtsEd Washington honored as recipients of the 2009 Washington Art Education Association Tribute Award.
  • Una McAlinden chaired the Advocacy committee and served on the Network Leadership committee for the Kennedy Center Alliance for Arts Education Network (KCAAEN) from 2008-2011.

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