Proficiency in the Arts and Beyond

Arts Learning in Oregon

2011, 16 pages, Oregon Arts Commission, 775 Summer Street NE, Ste 200, Salem, Oregon, 97301, (503) 986-0082,

This monograph from the Oregon Arts Commission highlights Oregon‐based best practices and notable accomplishments in arts education, and profiles eight individuals and organizations making a positive impact in their educational community. Many of the organizations profiled are recipients of arts learning grants from the Arts Commission.

Proficiency in the Arts and Beyond: Arts Learning in Oregon showcases significant accomplishments across the state. Profiled are:

  • Portland Children’s Museum: The strategic partnership of children’s museum, charter school and research laboratory allows deep study of how children learn best, resulting in cutting‐edge creativity research.
  • Springfield Academy of Arts and Academics: Springfield’s only charter school focuses on proficiency‐based demonstrations of student knowledge, rather than only test scores or time spent in class, allowing students to express themselves through art, science, performance and language.
  • Nathaniel Dunaway: A senior at Crook County High School in Prineville discovers poetry and writing through the guidance of his theater arts teacher, sending him on to compete at the national Poetry Out Loud contest.
  • Ethos Music Center: With a commitment to bringing music education to rural communities, Ethos partners with Americorps volunteers to provide multi‐year teaching to some of Oregon’s most remote locations.
  • Beaverton Schools i3 Grant: An infusion of $4.8 million in federal funds over several years will assure that every third, fourth and fifth grader in the district receives arts‐based literacy curriculum with the assistance of community partner, Young Audiences.
  • W.L. Henry Elementary Future Field Guides: One principal’s interest in raising the profile of his school and engaging its community led to a year‐long partnership with the Jackson Bottom Wetlands in Hillsboro, and allowed fourth grade students the chance to explore natural habitats through visual art.
  • Architects in the Schools: A unique investment from architectural firms places professional practicing architects in elementary school classrooms to help students and teachers explore and better understand the built environment.
  • Connor Eifler: A promising young playwright, whose interest was fostered by many community arts resources, including Portland Center Stage’s Young Playwright’s workshops and JAW/WEST festival, Eifler plans to make the most of his college successes and pursue a career in the arts.


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