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Education Lab is a project to spark meaningful conversations about education solutions in the Pacific Northwest.

Topic: Seattle

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January 15, 2015 at 5:23 PM

Seattle arts-in-schools program to double its reach in 2015

A program meant to correct historic gaps in art classes across Seattle will nearly double in size next fall, adding art and music classes at 10 more schools, city and school district leaders announced Thursday.

The Creative Advantage Initiative, a program paid for by the city of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools and the private Seattle Foundation, this school year helped 1,659 students in about 12 schools — mostly in the central part of the city — who wouldn’t otherwise have received regular music instruction.

Next year, the group will help 10 more schools offer arts and music classes. In general, schools in the program are able to hire more arts teachers and buy supplies, but they also get about $7,500 a year to hire artists or connect with organizations from the community, like the symphony or ballet.

Speaking at a press conference at Leschi Elementary on Thursday afternoon, Seattle schools chief Larry Nyland said art has historically been an important subject in schools, adding that his father taught art as a Seattle Public Schools employee.

“Then, for the last two decades, we’ve been focused on test scores and we’ve had financial crises,” Nyland said. “And so arts have been pushed out somewhat, certainly more than we would like.”

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Comments | Topics: arts education, creative advantage, Seattle