Professional Development

Public Art Boot Camp

Public Art staff Marcia Iwasaki shows a boot camp attendee examples of work in the public realm; Photo: Naomi Ishisaka

With a mission to broaden the field of professional public artists to include better representation from emerging artists and artists from historically under-represented communities and communities of color, the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture offered Public Art Boot Camp in Spring 2015. An intensive free two-day basic training in public artwork, Public Art Boot Camp, provided a boost to artists ready to translate their studio or gallery experience into the public realm. Through a competitive process, 30 artists were selected to participate. They attended workshops featuring topics such as finding opportunities, selection processes, contracts, working with design professionals, approvals, fabrication, installation and more. Participants were included in an invitational opportunity to create temporary artworks for “Art Interruptions: Central Area Neighborhood Greenway” and “Seattle Center Sculpture Walk”. Following Public Art Boot Camp, 14 of the 30 participating artists received their first public project commissions through our office or other organizations. The program went on to garner national recognition from Americans for the Arts Public Art Network's 2015 Year in Review.


Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT) attendees get ready to hear from nonprofit expert Vu Le at the Northwest African American Museum; Photo: Sunny Martini

In 2015 we launched the Seattle Arts Leadership Team (SALT) to provide a flexible and creative professional development program for artists and arts administrators. In the first year of the program SALT hosted a networking event, speaker series, and a book club. SALT combines the need for on-going professional development with the creativity of the sector by bringing interesting, challenging and thought-provoking workshops, networking and training to the Seattle’s arts ecology. Events are free and open to anybody who wishes to join. Sign up for updates about upcoming programs here.

Networking and meeting new people is part of the SALT initiative; Photo: Sunny Martini

Elisheba Johnson joins the Emerging Leaders Network

We were proud to announce that Elisheba Johnson was elected to the Emerging Leaders Network advisory council of Americans for the Arts, the leading organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America in 2015. In her role, she advises Americans for the Arts' staff on developing programs and services that will build a deeper connection to the field and the network membership. In the Emerging Leaders Network, Johnson will work with fellow arts leaders to assist in developing programs and resources to promote professional development and networking opportunities for emerging arts professionals nationwide. Johnson serves as a public art project manager for the Office of Arts & Culture, as well as a project manager for the newly created Seattle Arts Leadership Team (S.A.L.T.) program.

Lara Davis Named National Emerging Leader

Americans for the Arts, the nation's leading nonprofit organization for advancing the arts and arts education in America, announced that Lara Davis, Seattle Office of Arts & Culture's Arts Education Manager as winner of the American Express Emerging Leaders Award. The Award recognizes an exceptional new and/or young arts professional for their exemplary leadership, deep engagement with community, and strong commitment to advancing the arts. Davis leads the City’s branch of the Creative Advantage program, a partnership between City of Seattle, Seattle Public Schools, The Seattle Foundation, and local community arts organizations. The goal of the Creative Advantage is to address the systemic barriers to student access to arts and ensure that every student has arts integrated into their education, starting in kindergarten. The long term goal is that by 2020, all Seattle students will have access to a continuum of arts learning opportunities.

Lara Davis has been active in youth development and community arts education for more than a decade. She has served as a Seattle Arts Commissioner and as program director for Arts Corps, an award-winning, Seattle-based youth arts organization. Davis serves on the National Advisory Committee for the Teaching Artists Guild, and facilitates equity and racial justice trainings for teaching artists, educators, and organizations, presenting locally and at national conferences.

Continue on to 2015 Mayor's Arts Award