Visual and Performing Arts

The Creative Advantage

Creative Advantage logo with photo of student working on a clay vessel


Seattle Public Schools Arts Plan

The Creative Advantage is the Seattle Public Schools arts plan . It is a city-wide initiative to establish equitable access to arts learning for every Seattle Public Schools student. It is a coordinated network that includes the district, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle Foundation, and more than 100 community arts partners.

We envision a city where, through the arts, all youth have voice to influence positive change in their schools and community and to develop skills for work and life. It’s an equity issue. A basic education inclusive of the arts is mandatory in Washington State, but many schools are not able to provide the necessary class time for arts instruction. While there are award-winning arts programs in some schools, many students do not have consistent access to the arts as they move through their school careers. This is especially true for students of color who are furthest from educational justice.

What is The Creative Advantage

Seattle Public Schools and The Creative Advantage are building access to arts education for all students by:

  1. Increasing art and music instruction from certified teachers during the school day.
  2. Ensuring that all arts instruction is culturally responsive to all students, teaches sequential arts skills and techniques, and develops students’ 21st Century skills – creativity, critical thinking, collaboration, communication and growth-mindset.
  3. Increasing opportunities to enhance student engagement by integrating arts with other core content in their classrooms.
  4. Providing students with consistent access to Seattle's diverse, high-quality teaching artists and community-based arts organizations.
  5. Providing students with opportunities to connect their passion for the arts to careers in creative industries.

The Creative Advantage In Action

See how The Creative Advantage is working in one Seattle elementary school, John Muir, in the video below.

Contact us

Audrey Querns
SPS Creative Advantage Project Manager

Gail Sehlhorst
SPS Visual and Performing Arts Manager

Tina LaPadula
Office of Arts & Culture
Creative Youth Development Project Manager

Ashraf Hasham
Office of Arts & Culture
Arts Education Manager

  We are grateful to our supporters and funders

Seattle Office of Arts & Culture logo  Seattle Foundation logoPaul G Allen Family Foundation logo 

Laird Norton Family Foundation logo

National Endowment for the Arts logo