Tacoma SOTA to receive Kennedy Center arts education award

Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA) will receive a national arts education Kennedy Center award Friday during an all-school assembly at Urban Grace Church in downtown Tacoma.

The award will be presented by ArtsEd Washington executive director Una McAlinden.

SOTA was one of three Washington state schools awarded with an inaugural state Schools of Excellence in Arts Education Award. The state awards program is facilitated through ArtsEd Washington in partnership with Association of Washington School Principals. SOTA — along with Carnation Elementary and Elk Plain School of Choice — was submitted for consideration to the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts Schools of Distinction in Arts Education Awards. The awards recognize outstanding curriculum that is infused with the arts and includes project-based lessons linking classroom activities to the world at-large.

SOTA is a small school that offers a creative path of learning, which emphasizes human expression through the visual and performing arts as central elements in academic achievement and lifelong endeavors. The school addresses contemporary issues for today’s youth, by fostering relevant education and learning objectives through student-centered learning topics.

Curriculum is delivered through project-based experiences that link classroom activities to the world at large. It is located in the city’s urban core amongst its cultural institutions. SOTA is an arts focused high school program that includes a full selection of visual and performing arts as part of the academic day.

Students typically take eight classes that include all classes necessary to graduate from high school and begin college. Students enter as sophomores and choose one of nine art majors (dance, theater, vocal music, traditional music, alternative music, audio recording and songwriting, painting and drawing, graphics, photography, and video) around which academic studies focus.

For more information and to read the full school submissions of Washington state winners, visit http://www.artsedwashington.org .