Creative Schools Initiative


Arts Corps is proud to enter year two of the Creative Schools Initiative at two south Seattle middle schools serving diverse student bodies that reflect the spectrum of economic, racial, and cultural backgrounds of the surrounding communities. This important pilot program has been made possible due to leadership investments from:

  • Paul G. Allen Family Foundation
  • Musician Dave Matthews
  • JPMorgan Chase Foundation
  • Boeing Company
  • Laird Norton Family Foundation
  • The MetLife Partners in Arts Education Program funded by MetLife Foundation and administered by the National Guild for Community Arts Education
  • Medina Foundation

The inaugural Creative Schools sites are Orca K-8 and Madrona K-8, both of which are committed to enhancing student learning and school culture through the arts. Each site is working with a dedicated teaching artist who is collaborating with teachers to create engaging projects that are rooted in student inquiry and build creative and critical thinking skills.


Madrona K-8 
Working with Teaching Artist Laura O’Quin and AmeriCorps Artist-in-Service Amy Piñon, students will have an opportunity to apply a creative practice to their language arts and social studies classes. Laura and Amy will integrate audio and visual arts into the classroom by utilizing design strategies such as brainstorming, interpretation, rapid prototyping, activating the senses, and storytelling. Students will build on the 21st Century Skills such as perseverance, collaboration, and critical thinking by designing and implementing multimedia projects including printed and online publications in the communications and journalism electives.


Orca K-8
Students and teachers at Orca K-8 are working with Teaching Artist Nate Herth and AmeriCorps Artist-in-Service Liz Farmer to generate learning environments that embrace creative disciplines, empower student voice and connect the arts to core subject disciplines. Focusing on the complexity and subjectivity of history, students will learn to tell powerful stories and share them. Using the structure of story (The Hero’s Journey and Archetypes) and multi-media communication tools (studio-art, photography, film and other digital technologies), we will study history, look critically at the world of today, and ask: how can we lend ourselves to the world? what role do we play in our world?