Art in the Schools


SJIMA and the San Juan Island School District (SJISD) have partnered since 2010 to build a community based program to provide art education for our youth. We are working together toward a common goal: to establish and sustain a visual arts education program of excellence, ensuring that every school-aged child, regardless of economic means and developmental ability, benefits from art instruction as an integral part of their basic public school education.

Our project has three basic components:

  • At the Middle School Level: Re-establish two periods of daily Visual Arts Instruction for grades six, seven and eight.
  • At the Elementary School Level: A collaborative Art Enrichment program has been implemented to augment and enrich the core curriculum and align with the Washington State Essential Academic Learning Requirements. The program consists of residencies in each class with teaching artists from our community.
  • At the Community Level: Community awareness and support has increased dramatically. During 2012 we held 10 public events/displays reaching at least 1,200 parents and community members. These included the annual Art Walk About event and a special Art Enrichment Program Exhibition at FHES. Student artwork was exhibited extensively in the FHES and FHMS libraries and hallways, at San Juan Fitness Center, the Islands Museum of Art, and in the San Juan Island Public Library. Fourteen K-8 grade students worked on painting the background and props for the Fall Community play “Oh No! Granny’s Got the Remote” and the FHMS Spring play “Charlotte’s Web.” Fall trimester 8th grade art students participated in the Soroptomist’s Logo design competition and spring trimester students designed the cover of the 8th grade promotion program. Throughout the year, 317 students and parents participated in walking field trips to the local SJIMA museum and galleries to see exhibitions and watch local and visiting artists create artwork and discuss their inspiration and process.

The Art in the Schools project is supported by the SJIMA through donations and grants. We wish to thank the following organizations for their generous support:

  • Washington State Arts Commission
  • San Juan Community Foundation
  • The Women’s Fund of the SJICF
  • San Juan Public Schools Foundation
  • Private donors – like you!

Ongoing research on the arts and cognition demonstrates a correlation between training in the arts and improved academic performance, which emphasizes the importance of the arts as core discipline and provides solid reasons for the College Board to become a strong advocate for the arts becoming an integral part of the core curriculum.

-National Task Force on Arts in Education College Board report, 2009.