Jack Straw Cultural Center, an ArtsWA grantee
Jack Straw vocal coach Meg McLynn helps a Lowell 2nd grader record his original poem in the studio at Jack Straw Cultural Center. Photo by Nat Seymour.

Arts in Education

ArtsWA works to strengthen K-12 arts education as part of, and fundamental to, basic education.

The State of Washington recognizes the arts as a core academic subject. This means that all young people should have arts instruction as part of their regular school day. The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) identifies dance, media arts, music, theatre, and visual arts as essential elements of a complete and balanced education. We closely align our Arts in Education (AIE) programs with OSPI’s work supporting the arts as part of a well-rounded education.

We work to help students, parents, teachers, principals, and the public to understand the value of arts in education. We support community partnerships between arts organizations, schools and districts, and local leaders. We support learning opportunities for K-12 students, teachers, teaching artists, and arts education leaders. Our grants and programs make arts education stronger for students across Washington State.

Why is Arts Education Important?

The arts help students learn in both traditional and non-traditional ways:

  • The arts build interest and engagement in learning
  • The arts develop skills like creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, and communication
  • The arts support students with different backgrounds, abilities, and learning styles
  • The arts help young people express themselves and think about the world
  • Arts educators play a role in supporting access, equity, and inclusion in schools
Jack Straw Cultural Center, an ArtsWA grantee
Jack Straw vocal coach Meg McLynn helps a Lowell 2nd grader record his original poem in the studio at Jack Straw Cultural Center. Photo by Nat Seymour.

Our Programs

Our Collaborators

We are proud to have strong relationships with two important statewide partners:

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