March 13-17: Native American Voices Arts Academy

For its second year in 2019, in partnership with the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI), Centrum, Arts Impact, Native elders and teaching artists will present the second in a three-year commitment to hands-on Native American arts and cultural education for students and teachers in Washington State’s Tribal Compact Schools. The 2019 Native American Voices Arts Academy will be held March 13-17, as well as November 3-8.

Centrum and Arts Impact are collaborating with the OSPI’s Office of Native Education, Migrant Education Program, the Arts Office, Tribal Compact Schools to present the Native American Voices Arts Academy for 50 middle school students in grades 6, 7, and 8, and 21 teachers.

The goal of Native American Voices Arts Academy is to create a cultural experience grounded in a range of arts disciplines for Native students. The program seeks to honor and enhance the students’ heritage through Native ways of learning. Native American elders, with Tribal Compact superintendents and participating Native American elders and teaching artists are serving as key advisors to OSPI, Centrum and Arts Impact.

During the program, a cohort of 21 teachers from the Tribal Compact schools will be participating in a comprehensive professional development arts program coordinated by Arts Impact. Native artist educators, Roger Fernandes (Lower Elwha Band, S’Klallam) and Sara Marie Ortiz (Acoma Pueblo) will support teachers in hands-on arts-infused learning during the academy and in one-on-one mentorships in their classrooms in the school year, using the arts as a strategy for student success. The focus is on Project-based Learning: inter-weaving arts and cultural practices within the Since Time Immemorial Native American history and culture curriculum active in Washington state schools. Engaging students as agents of change in their own educations and the life of their communities is our long-term goal.

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