By Tina LaPadula
The creative AThe dvantage Summer Institute returns to the Seattle Art Museum on Thursday, August 18 from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m This professional learning day is the creative kick-off for the 2022-23 school year and a time for teachers, teaching artists, community arts partners, arts administrators and education leaders to reconnect, be inspired and explore new collaborations.
The event features members of the Creative Advantage Community Arts Partner Roster and will include panels, workshops, networking, student performances, lunch and times. The event is FREE, but registration is required.
- The Arts Are The Way panel – moderated by Ashraf Hasham, Partnerships, Education + Grants Manager for the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture – will include:
- Workshops from all featured organizations highlighting 4 different artistic disciplines:
- Theater for personal + collective empowerment with Red Eagle Soaring (RES) is a workshop focused on personal and collective empowerment of our Red Eagle Soaring activities related to performing arts, the importance of bringing storytelling to the forefront of our holistic and educational growth mindset and this part to keep us alive all our lives. This workshop will be led by the RES Program Manager Nicole Suyama (Inupiaq) and RES Youth Olivia Vann and Sophia Vann (Native American) + Isaac Benally Brooks (So. Cheyenne/Dine’/Nakota).
- The Rhapsody Project is interactive layers of heritage The workshop provides participants with activities and tools that help people from diverse backgrounds explore the layers of their identity and become more firmly rooted in their status as cultural bearers. By sharing and discussing different elements that make up a person’s heritage — be it the ethnicity, the country or community we grew up in, or the traditions we wish to adopt — Participants celebrate or express themselves in musical and written formats.
- dance for everyone is a workshop that offers a lively exchange with Spectrum Dance Theater artists and teachers. Dance for All participants are open to movement enthusiasts of all ages and skill levels and will explore dance as a medium for self-expression and social connection. Drawing on the work of Spectrum Dance Theater and Donald Byrd, students will engage in a physical exploration of dance as an art form and as a social tool of citizenship.
- Lesson for artistic behavior (TAB) with the Seattle Art Museum is an art teaching philosophy in which students learn to think like artists. The TAB philosophy states that the child is the artist and the classroom is the artist’s studio. During this session, educators will discuss how to inspire and guide youth to connect with artworks in the galleries and develop their craft. This workshop will be moderated by Yaoyao Liu and teaching artist, Alice Betty.
A special thank you to Masao Yamada and the incredible young artists from Ground Zero (GZ) Radio, who will be on-site collaborating with The Creative Advantage on media coverage for the entire event.
Get to know the moderators
Russell Brooks (So. Cheyenne) is the general manager of Red Eagle Soaring in Seattle. Raised in Montana, Russell was a former radio disc jockey and filmmaker and co-founder/board member of the Olympia Film Collective. Russell also works with band promotion and booking, and arts and cultural space preservation. Russell is passionate about continuing to create opportunities for local artists and actors in the performing arts, as well as local storytellers, to unleash their creativity across multiple mediums, combining ways to tell their stories and finding the support needed to to bring their vision to a wider audience, as well as collaborating with artists in the larger community.
Nicole Suyama (Inupiaq) is the RES Program Manager and an alum of RES who has been with the organization since he was 11 years old. Nicole is a musician, actress, director, teaching artist and also the reigning World Karaoke Tour North American Champion.
Joe Seamons is a musician and teacher who co-founded The Rhapsody Project with Ben Hunter in 2013. By exploring his local heritage of folk music and lore of the Pacific Northwest and the turbulent history of prejudice it contains, Joe merged his work as a singer and teacher with his commitment to social justice. As a descendant of the Aurora Colony in Oregon, Joe continues to explore how his personal heritage connects him to the heritage of this region. By shedding light on the songs and stories that have survived, as well as those that have been forgotten or suppressed, Joe works with his partners in the Rhapsody Project to harness the power of roots music to bring empathy and justice create. When he’s not performing with Ben Hunter, Joe plays with his Portland-based band, Timberbound.
Stephanie Guland, originally from NYC, danced for Donald Byrd/The Group, Complexions on Broadway at Oprah Winfrey’s The colour purple as Dance Captain and Swing and for Disney’s The Lion King. Her performing background also includes music videos and commercial dance work, touring the US and Europe. She was Mr. Byrd’s rehearsal director for his company, his assistant on numerous projects for the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theater, and assisted with equity workshops for The colour purple on Broadway and White Noise. She works with youth and has taught for the Dance Theater of Harlem’s Dancing Through Barriers program, Disney’s Lion King Cub School, WRArts and Arts in Education. Before moving to Washington in 2020, she was a summer faculty member for the Joffrey Jazz and Contemporary program for five years and worked for the Bounce Summer Intensive in NYC. She was an associate dance professor at Long Island University in Brooklyn, NY for nine years and is an ACE-certified personal trainer with numerous certifications. Her passion project alongside her main project — to raise a beautiful child — is her fitness company Kick My Assets. She joined the School of Spectrum Dance Theater in 2021 as Principal.
Yaoyao Liu is Manager of School and Educational Programs at the Seattle Art Museum (SAM). She joined SAM in 2018 as a Museum Educator for the Seattle Asian Art Museum, creating resources and programs for students, educators, and families. Yaoyao received her BA in English with a minor in Asian Languages and Cultures from the University of Michigan and her MA in International Studies from the University of Washington. Outside of SAM, she serves as the Volunteer Manager for the Seattle Asian American Film Festival, encouraging young people’s participation in filmmaking and community building.
Alice Betty is a local artist associated with the Seattle Art Museum since 2008, teaching both pre-12th grade students and educators in the classroom, workshops, and special events. Born and raised in Seattle, she holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Drawing and Painting from the University of Washington. Her current Xerox collage based prints reflect her involvement in the punk and queer community over the past 20 years. As well as being artists and craftsmen, they are also 35mm projectionists and committed to the preservation of physical media through their work at the Scarecrow Video Archives.
Aaron Walker-Loud is an artist, band director, composer, producer and educator. He is the Founder and Director of Big World Breaks (BWB), a production company founded for performance, studio and education, sharing stages with Janelle Monae, Kool DJ Red Alert, Digable Planets, DJ Qbert, Macklemore, Reggie Watts and Saul has Williams and many more. BWB has also produced live show backing for various artists such as Grammy nominated singers Wayna and Rocky Dawuni, Sy Smith, Zo!, Dynamq, Choklate, Kimberly Nichole, Massive Monkees and Xperience. Aaron is a proud graduate of CD Music Factory: Washington Middle School Jazz Ensemble directed by Mr. Robert Knatt and Garfield High School Jazz Ensemble/Drumline directed by Mr. Clarence Acox. Walker-Loud began working with youth and families in 1999, eventually becoming education director for Seattle JazzED (2010-2016), teaching artists for the Arts Corps (since 2008), and drumline director for Washington Middle School (2008). -2016) and O’Dea High School (2012-2018). Most recently, Walker-Loud became a member of The Creative Advantage, co-founded 50 Next: Seattle Hip-Hop Worldwide in 2012, founded the award-winning cross-generational BWB Drumline in 2015, and was a co-curator The Legacy of Seattle Hip-Hop Exhibit at MOHAI (with over 31,000 attendees and 20 co-produced events) that won the 2016 American Association of State and Local History Leadership in History Award, “the most prestigious recognition of achievement in the preservation and interpretation of state and local history. ”