Our Arts Education Mission
Our commitment to the power of the arts in human lives is our core purpose and demands robust education and outreach programs as its practical expression.
The Vanishing of the Arts in Public Education
Funding for public school arts education has been eroding for decades and, in the wake of ongoing crises in state school-funding, is now in free-fall nationally. Our contemporary public education environment is judged increasingly by test-based metrics, and characterized as much by vocational as by humanistic priorities. In this context, the educational mission of arts organizations like Tateuchi Center is more important than ever.
Even as research has increasingly demonstrated the importance of the humanities in education – both intrinsically and as effective tools for teaching the “core curriculum” – funding for such programs has declined, and few teachers today are trained to bring the arts into the classroom. Nonprofit arts organizations need to fill this gap with effective programs. Our goal isn’t a nation of amateur actors or musicians, but the enlightened, creative, discerning citizenry that is critical to a pluralistic democracy in the context of a fiercely competitive, global economy. Creativity is the single, most valuable skill for the 21st Century, vital to software engineers and composers alike.
And students who participate in arts programs do better in life. Period.
Room to Learn and Create
Tateuchi Center will play a key role in the lives of young people and families by collaborating with schools, colleges, and youth organizations to offer unique, high-quality arts education and leadership development programs. The design of the facility was updated in 2015 to include a multipurpose Studio Theatre & Arts Education classroom, ideally suited to dance, theatre, and music instruction, and as a venue for master classes with the great touring artists who will perform in the concert hall. Additionally, Tateuchi Center will provide education programs for adults and special populations through community centers, senior centers, and other organizations. Tateuchi Center’s education programs will be both experiential and participatory, and will be based on needs and capabilities identified by community partners and social service nonprofits.
It Takes a Community, Working Together
Our plan will maximize resources by partnering with existing organizations wherever possible, serving needs and populations that have already been identified, and clients with whom our partner organizations have an established relationship. Partners may include both public and private K-12 schools, Boys and Girls Clubs, Youth Eastside Services, Bellevue Youth Theatre, Bellevue Youth Symphony Orchestra, Camp Korey, the King County Library, and others.
Tateuchi Center leaders have been nationally recognized for the creation and delivery of powerful programs for both students and teachers, from elementary through graduate school. Alone among Eastside cultural organizations, Tateuchi Center will have the ability to connect artists of international stature with local students, in an informal setting.
Great Teachers. Great Outcomes.
Imagine a class of fourth graders learning how to modulate individual and group contributions from jazz master, Wynton Marsalis. Or a history class learning from composer and violinist, Mark O’Connor, that the only thing every signer of the Declaration of Independence had in common was that they could all play a musical instrument. Joseph Shabalala, founder of Ladysmith Black Mambazo, may visit a high school glee club to demonstrate traditional African a capella singing. Bellevue College students will shadow backstage professionals to learn about professional possibilities they hadn’t imagined. A Shakespearean actor will help high schoolers learn how to make an effective presentation. A dancer from the Alvin Ailey Company will talk to young athletes about health, strength, and discipline. The possibilities are endless.