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The Arts News & Notes | June 2020

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Sixteen students performing an acapella number via ZOOM. A student performing a dance routine on her couch. Students sharing their inspiration in video clips from bedrooms and studios across the state. All this and more from the 47th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show, held virtually this year for the first time.

With a virtual art show there were many “firsts” including having jurors from the central and eastern part of the state, performing arts segments, and inviting the public to get creative with ekphrastic poetry – poetry inspired by art. 

If you’d like to be inspired by this showcase of arts education in Washington, you can see the entire program here. You can see all of the 113 entries in this year’s art show here.

We appreciate the many, many people and organizations who came together to make the virtual art show possible. In particular, we want to thank the coordinators of the regional art shows at the Educational Service Districts across the state and the Washington Art Education Association (WAEA), who has been a longtime partner with the art show in recognizing excellence in the visual arts.

Thank you for all that you do in service of the arts in education,

Janet Hayakawa, Program Supervisor The Arts – Dance, Media Arts, Music, Theatre, and Visual Arts Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction [email protected] Office: 360-725-4966              Cell/Text: 360-764-6157

Art by: Z. Stinebaugh ” Eyes of Art” (Participant in 2020 High School Art Show) 


47th Annual Superintendent’s High School Art Show Award Recipients

“The annual Art Show is one of my favorites of the events we host at OSPI,” said Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal. “It is an honor to have the opportunity to celebrate the talented student artists who have been brave enough to share their artwork with us.”

Lightbulb Sunset

Lauren Bridget King 

“Lightbulb Sunset” | Superintendent’s AwardJ M Weatherwax High School Teacher: Tracy EcklundAberdeen School DistrictESD 113

Cherry Blossom Tea Pot

Rubi Capote

“Cherry Blossom Tea Pot” | Governor’s AwardTonasket High School Teacher: Tyler SantTonasket School DistrictESD 171

Boy's Don't Cry

Rocio Arias Garcia

“Boys Don’t Cry” | OSPI Staff AwardDavis High School Teacher: Carole HulsYakima School DistrictESD 105


Alyssa Ann Maggi

“Catacombs” | Jurors’ Choice AwardVancouver School of Arts and Academics Teacher: Crystal ZellerVancouver School DistrictESD 112

Wave of Turmoil

Katie Leigh Place

“Wave of Turmoil” | Jurors’ Choice AwardFriday Harbor High SchoolTeacher: Andrew AndersonSan Juan Island School DistrictESD 189


Peyton S Wood

“Pothos” | Jurors’ Choice AwardOak Harbor High School Teacher: Kit ChristophersonOak Harbor School DistrictESD 189


Olivia Alejandra Vazquez

“Tension” | Jurors’ Choice AwardOlympia High School Teacher: Joshua EversonOlympia School DistrictESD 113

Brian's Apples

Hannah Anne Mildred V Sasse

“Wallace Island” | AWSP AwardOlympia High School Teacher: Joshua EversonOlympia School DistrictESD 113

Beast, Machine & Soul

Andrew Jonathan Cobler

“Beast, Machine, and Soul” | ArtsEd Washington AwardTumwater High SchoolTeacher: Jill GiudiceTumwater School DistrictESD 113


Shelby Donna Staley

“Connection” | InspireWA AwardNorth Mason Senior High SchoolTeacher: Gavin ForsethNorth Mason School DistrictESD 114

Pollen Patters

Peyton Knauft 

“Pollen Patterns” | PESB AwardLincoln High School Teacher: Jane EackerWalla Walla Public SchoolsESD 123

Washington Path

Greta Laesch

“Washington Pass” | SBE AwardLiberty Bell Junior/Senior High School Teacher: Erik BrooksMethow Valley School DistrictESD 171

Life on the Rocks

Ryan F Collins

“Life on the Rocks” | WAEA AwardHanford High School Teacher: Kelley MunteanRichland School DistrictESD 123

Gradient Mountainscape

Jarom A Pratt

“Gradient Mountainscape” | WASA AwardRichland High School Teacher: Robert McMinnRichland School DistrictESD 123

We Need to Do Better

Niko Shawn Renee Looper

“We Need to Do Better” | WEA AwardCentral Valley High School Teacher: Rebekah Wilkins-PepitonCentral Valley School DistrictESD 101

Fiery Woman

Hannah R Bomgardner

“Fiery Woman” | WSSDA AwardCedarcrest High School Teacher: Andrea DescheemaekerRiverview School DistrictESD 121

Every Drop Counts

Justin Davis Berger

“Every Drop Counts” | Honorable MentionAwardEisenhower High SchoolTeacher: Lance JohnsonYakima School DistrictESD 105

Fallen Tree

Courtney C Serres

“Fallen Tree” | Honorable MentionAwardBellevue High SchoolTeacher: Debby NixonBellevue School DistrictESD 121


Maya Jean Soliz Chermack

“Optimist” | Honorable MentionAwardOlympia High School Teacher: Joshua EversonOlympia School DistrictESD 113


Annalee Smith

“Animated Video” | Honorable Mention AwardMount Spokane High SchoolTeacher: Angelika Wilson-WippMead School District ESD 101


International Thespian Excellence Awards

Earlier in the academic school year over a thousand student Thespians from all over the State of Washington competed in the International Thespian Excellence Awards.

The International Thespian Excellence Awards, or Thespys for short, recognize the highest level of achievement in school theatre performance (acting, duo scenes, group scenes, solo musical, duet musical and group musical) and technical theatre (costume construction, costume design, short, animated, documentary film, lighting design, makeup design, scenic design, sound design, theatre marketing, and stage management). This educational program gives Thespians the opportunity to receive constructive feedback on prepared theatrical material and technical designs.

This year 225 students received Superior ratings, with 707 students receiving Excellent ratings.  In addition, 16 high schools in the state received Honor Troupe recognition.  The individual results can be viewed on the Washington State Thespians website

2019‒20 Reporting Requirements: The Arts, Educational Technology, Health & Physical Education, & Social Studies – SUSPENDED

The Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction (OSPI) is suspending the verification reports required for the Arts, Health and Physical Education, Social Studies (RCW 28A.230.095), and for Educational Technology (RCW 28A.655.075) for the 2019-20 school year.


Statewide Convenings

Your voice is important to the development of arts education in WA.  If you are interested in meeting with peers from across the state, The Arts office is convening groups over Zoom to address current and emerging issues with arts education. If you’d like to participate, please contact:  [email protected]

Statewide Advisory – This group will develop guidance to districts for the re-opening of schools specific to the arts. 

District Arts Administrators – This group is for those who have district level responsibilities for oversight of arts standards and assessment, professional development for the arts, and/or implementation of in-school arts education.  Currently, this group meets weekly for an hour.

Arts Educators – This group welcomes in-school arts educators who work directly with students.  The group spends some time in break out groups: dance, media, music, theatre and visual arts. Currently, this group meets monthly for an hour.



Ekphrastic is poetry inspired by art! To see what we mean, check out some of the winning poems in this year’s Ekphrastic below and beside each one, view the art piece that inspired it. Now you try! Check out all of the entries in this year’s art show here and get creative! For lesson plans and more information, click here.


I’m a little bit scared of these shadows in my soul
A little bit frightened by the pain I carry around with me A little bit horrified of the nightmares I’ve trapped inside A little bit terrified of the voices in my head A little bit petrified by the scars that mar my soul Just a little bit… piece by piece Until I am nothing but a thousand little bits Scattered in the wind Crashing to the floor A thousand little bits

Poetry by Victoria Hathaway inspired by artwork, “Desolate” by Liahna Shahbazi


As I sit and mourn the loss of those who I love Whose lifeless bodies once gave me some of my most cherished memories I wonder how I got here and will I ever get out Of this pit of depression Will I be able to laugh again Or feel anything remotely happy without them near me Will I be able to love someone else as much as I loved them So I sit with these questions racing through my brain And I say my final goodbyes

Poetry by Sarah Emery inspired by artwork, “Loss” by Daba Eugene Phillips

Autumn Season

I wanna be fast If I’m not first I’m last Six hundred horses stomp the ground Soaring in Circles till the sun goes down Twenty four hours or charging through the night Just to be stomped out in early light Being fast doesn’t make you fast Just make sure I’m not last         

Poetry by
Liam Porter
inspired by artwork
“Autumn Season” by Joshua Allen Farrar

O. Benson

2020 Washington State High School Photography Competition – Deadline June 30th 

Who may enter: Students in grades 9-12 currently enrolled in a public, private or alternative high school in Washington State. Students may enter up to ten images. The cost is $3 per entry.

If you plan to ship your entries it is recommended you do so no later than Friday, June 26th so they arrive in time for the deadline.Visit Kenmore Camera here for full details.

Artwork by O. Benson-Gregory, Lakeside H.S. Photography Competition 2
019 1st place – 


Nominations Open for Photography Education Awards – Deadline July 1

The Society for Photographic Education, a nonprofit dedicated to promoting an understanding of photography in all its forms and related media, is now accepting nominations for its Eligible nominees must be full-career educators who have made a significant contribution to the field of photographic education. The award will be presented at the SPE Annual Conference held next year in Denver, Colorado. 

Image: Society for Photographic Education, Off the Web, On the Wall 3

Grants for Arts Projects – Application Deadlines July 9, 2020

The National Endowment for the Arts grants support artistically excellent projects that celebrate creativity and cultural heritage, invite mutual respect for differing beliefs and values, and enrich humanity. Cost share/matching grants generally range from $10,000 to $100,000. A minimum cost share/match equal to the grant amount is required. For more information, click here


Early Learning Arts Integration grant  – Deadline September 18

The Creative Start Regional Grant Program seeks to close the opportunity gap by supporting and expanding regional and multi-regional arts integration efforts. The grant supports professional learning opportunities in arts integration for educators serving students in preschool through 3rd grade.  Grants up to $25,000 must include at least three school sites in one ArtsWA defined region. Grants up to $35,000 must include two ArtsWA defined regions. For more information and to apply, click here.

News to share?

If you have news that is of a statewide interest and you would like to it have considered for inclusion in this newsletter, please submit it by the 25th of the month prior to publication. Send your request to: [email protected]

Part of the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction’s (OSPI’s) mission is to provide resources to educators that support student success and the implementation of student learning standards. This list of resources is provided for informational purposes only. Districts interested in using any of the listed materials are encouraged to review titles first. Resources to support review of instructional materials are available at Course Design and Instructional Materials.

ALL STUDENTS PREPARED FOR POST-SECONDARY PATHWAYS, CAREERS, AND CIVIC ENGAGEMENT.Led by State Superintendent Chris Reykdal, OSPI oversees K-12 public education in Washington state. Our mission is to provide funding, resources, tools, data and technical assistance that enable educators to ensure students succeed in our public schools, are prepared to access post-secondary training and education, and are equipped to thrive in their careers and lives.

OSPI Old Capitol Building

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OSPI provides equal access to all programs and services without discrimination based on sex, race, creed, religion, color, national origin, age, honorably discharged veteran or military status, sexual orientation, gender expression, gender identity, disability, or the use of a trained dog guide or service animal by a person with a disability. Questions and complaints of alleged discrimination should be directed to the Equity and Civil Rights Director, P.O. Box 47200, Olympia, WA 98504-7200, 360-725-6162 (TTY: 360-664-3631), [email protected]