Proposition 1–Access for All is on the August ballot and it could have big implications for SAM. If you’re just becoming familiar with what Access for All is, here’s the proposition in a nut shell: If approved by voters, the measure will provide increased funding for arts, science, and heritage organizations in our communities—expanding access to arts and music in our public schools, and to diverse cultural experiences throughout King County. You can find more in-depth information on the Access for All website.
In line with our mission to connect people with art, Access for All funding for SAM will help support educational programming and museum visits for school children from around the county. It would also allow us to offer free or reduced-cost museum admission for more lower-income families and seniors.
With Access for All funding, SAM could
- Provide more free admission opportunities for all King County residents
- Increase the number of free and reduced-cost educational programs
- Make all museum tours free for King County public schools, students, and educators
- Greatly expand bus subsidies for King County public schools visiting SAM
- Advance the museum’s equity initiatives, including expansion of its work with under-resourced communities
- Amplify SAM’s impact beyond its walls through increased partnerships and collaborations with other King County cultural organizations
The deadline to vote is August 1 and you should get your ballot in the mail on July 12. Please consider voting yes for Access for All. But don’t take it from us—our community partners feel strongly about Prop. 1–Access for All passing as well and below you can hear from two of them.
“When we began our partnership with SAM over four years ago, we were responding to the families in our schools who had shared their interest in the arts. Over the years, parent voices and staff and student engagement has helped increase the value of the arts in our school community. Enrichment opportunities, such as the arts, has helped to highlight the artistic strengths and perspectives of our students.”
– Rebekah Kim, Elementary Principal
“Our staff, many of whom had never been to the Seattle Art Museum, witnessed the empowerment and beauty of Kehinde Wiley: A New Republic in 2016 and, perhaps for the first time, experienced the importance of sharing this opportunity of art viewing with our students. SAM made it possible for our students to attend the Kehinde Wiley exhibition and the students stood in silence—in awe—at identifying with Wiley’s visions of hope. In 2017 this connection was deepened even further with Jacob Lawrence: The Migration Series. Every student in our school experienced the exhibition at Seattle Art Museum. The art of Jacob Lawrence gave many of our students a deep connection to their own stories, their own migrations, and their own way to create the next panel in the Great Migration story. As a long time educator, I am privy to what some call the opportunity gap but I prefer the term of privilege gap. In our wonderful city of creative dreamers, thinkers, and doers, arts education has long been used as a golden carrot rewarded to those with access. Students receiving education in what is referred to as lower performing schools have experienced a severe lack of opportunities to even the basic right of an imagination. Without fostering possibilities through imagination, how can we even begin to address equity issues? Seattle should be leading the way for all our students to see themselves as the next generation of creative dreamers, thinkers, and doers. Creating opportunities for hope is core to my mission as an arts educator. This is an impossible task without the help and support of our community partners and all our students deserve equal access to dreaming of creating their own realities.”
– Julie Trout, Teacher, Seattle Schools
And if hearing from the teachers and principals who value SAM as a crucial resource for arts education isn’t enough to make you want to vote yes, here’s Bill Nye The Science Guy for Prop. 1–Access for All!
Tell us what SAM means to you and your community and how Prop. 1–Access for All could positively impact the future of access to arts in the comments!