Washington State Arts Commission (ArtsWA) this week has announced the launch of Creative Start, Washington’s first statewide arts integration program. The goal is to support arts integration methods and professional learning in Pre-K through 3rd-grade classrooms.

Creative Start is an innovative Arts in Education (AIE) program designed to bridge the opportunity gap by implementing culturally responsive arts integration practices in early learning communities across the state. Creative Start programs and grants support a diversity of early learning educators, teacher-leaders, teaching artists, and community members.

“We are so thrilled to bridge the work of early education and arts education leadership in Washington”, said Karen Hanan, ArtsWA Executive Director, “At the request of the State legislature we are building capacity to innovate and collaborate with school communities. As we work together to close the opportunity gap, I hope this work inspires teachers, leaders, families, and students to enjoy learning together.”

Creative Start grants and programs support three primary goals:

  1. Support creative, academic, and social emotional learning to close the opportunity gap for Washington’s youngest learners.
  2. Foster statewide teacher-leadership in culturally responsive arts integration.
  3. Develop statewide capacity to offer high-quality professional learning.

The Creative Start program is opening with two new grant opportunities for the current and next fiscal year:

Creative Start FY20-21 Site Grants
Grant Funding Range $2,000 – $6,000
This new grant program supports culturally responsive professional learning and site-based workshops for schools ready to adopt an early learning arts integration plan. These sites will receive support toward becoming regional leaders in culturally responsive arts integration.
Applications open on February 21, 2020 and close on March 20, 2020.

Creative Start FY21 Regional Grants – opening soon
Grant Funding Range $10,000 – $30,000
This grant supports regional partnerships between Educational Service Districts (ESD), districts, schools, teacher-leaders, and community members that expand comprehensive arts integration strategies in Pre-K through 3rd grade classrooms. These programs work towards sustainable, community-based, and culturally responsive arts integration plans for communities within a specific ESD region.
Applications open on March 16, 2020 and close on April 27, 2020.

For more information, visit the Creative Start website: https://www.arts.wa.gov/creative-start/