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Schools & Educators​​​


What can art show students about the world?
Explore the answers with SAM.

SAM provides creative learning opportunities for students and educators that ignite curiosity, foster critical thinking, and develop environments that are rigorous, inclusive, and collaborative.

Aligned with State and Common Core Standards, SAM’s resources and experiences contribute to building a community of lifelong learners. Every learning opportunity can be customized to meet the needs of each student, school, educator, or community.

Free and discounted passes may be available for community organizations or colleges and universities.

Support for K-12 programs during the 2018–2019 school year is provided by The Foster Foundation, The Freeman Foundation, Nordstrom, Seattle Art Museum Supporters (SAMS), and Sound Credit Union. Support for programming with Highline Public Schools is provided by the BNSF Railway Foundation, and Robert Chinn Foundation. Partial, sustained support for SAM’s K–12 programs is provided by an endowment established in 1999 by a National Endowment for the Humanities challenge grant and the generous contributions of matching donors, including the Ann P. Wyckoff Education Endowment. The William Randolph Hearst Endowed Fund for Education Programs at the Seattle Art Museum has supported SAM K–12 programs since 1994.

Contact Us

School & Educator Programs/Tours Department
Email us or call 206.654.3183

Educator Programs/Education Resource Cent​er
Email us or call 206.654.3186​​

SAMnews for Schools & Educators

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Art Goes To School

SAM offers programs, both at the museum’s three sites and in the classroom, designed to engage students of all ages in deep looking, critical thinking, and creative art making.

Thank you so much for a wonderful day! This was truly one of the most organized and age-appropriate fields trips I have ever taken my class on. I hope I can do it again next year.

–Elementary School Teacher

These inspiring, adaptable programs build direct connections between works of art, classroom curriculum, and students’ own experiences and backgrounds.

Guided Tours & Art Workshops

Guided Tours & Art Workshops

SAM’s school tours are image-focused and inquiry-based experiences for K–12 students. Led by trained guides, they encourage students to look closely, share personal perspectives, and build connections to their own lives and learning. Art workshops give students an opportunity to get creative and work in our art studio alongside professional Teaching Artists.

Learn More

Self-Guided Visits

Self-Guided Visits

Self-guided visits are for educators who wish to customize their museum experience by leading their own tours through the galleries. Available at all three SAM sites, all self-guided visit groups must register with the museum in advance.

Learn More


Art Goes To School

School Programs

Led by SAM Teaching Artists, Art Goes to School engages students in interactive art-making workshops that can be held in conjunction with a museum visit or as a stand-alone creative experience in your classroom. Contact the School Tours Coordinator for requests more than 20 miles away from the museum.

Learn More


Subsidized School Programs

Subsidized School Programs

SAM wants all students and educators to experience creative learning opportunities, regardless of barriers of cost of transportation. All programs are half-price for schools with 40% or more students on free or reduced-price lunch programs. These schools also qualify for partial bus transportation reimbursement.

For inquiries regarding subsidized visits in the 2018–2019 school year, please email SAM’s School Tours Coordinator or call 206.654.3183.


Seattle Art Museum

Peacock in the Desert: The Royal Arts of Jodhpur, India
Grades K–12

Jeffrey Gibson: Like a Hammer
Grades K–12

Artistic Choices
Grades 5–12

Artistic Elements
Grades K–4

Families from Around the World
Grades K–3

Living Histories: Northwest Native American Art
Grades 3–7

STEAM: Perspective
Grades 5–12

STEAM: Symmetry
Grades K–4

Olympic Sculpture Park

Drawing from Nature
Grades K–12

Book N​​ow​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​

Educator Programs

Educator Programs

Educators are at the center of learning and your significant contributions have profound effects on the learning of your students. SAM’s Educator Programs provide teachers with rich opportunities to relate the arts directly to your own lives and the lives of your students.

It has been a while since I really spent time to absorb, interpret, and discuss works of art, and I got so much out of bouncing ideas off of fellow educators. This workshop definitely got me thinking about ways of seeing and guiding that inquiry with students.

Middle School Educator

Email us to learn more.

Educator Workshops & Institutes

Educator Workshops & Institutes

SAM’s professional development workshops offer K–12 educators and administrators techniques and ideas for integrating popular culture, art, and cultural objects into classroom learning. Educators from all subject areas will gain strategies for connecting with SAM’s global collection, special exhibitions, and contemporary world issues.

All workshops include free resources and Washington State clock hours.

Teacher In-Service Training

Teacher In-Service Training

SAM offers customized trainings for groups of educators, held either at the museum or off-site. Workshops include topics such as 21st-century skills, art integration, and cultural competency.

Educator Previews

Educator Previews

SAM celebrates educators! Join us for live music, curator talks, docent tours, art-making activities, and free resources at these exhibition sneak-peaks.​​​​​​​​​


    The Ann P. Wyckoff Teacher Resource Center

    The Ann P. Wyckoff Education Resource Center (ERC), formerly known as the Teacher Resource Center (TRC), has moved to an expanded space at the Seattle Art Museum and is now open!

    We'll continue to be a free lending library for educators with robust teaching toolkits and over 4,000 resources related to SAM’s global collections.

    Learn More​​​


    ​​SAM is expanding the role of cultural institutions in K–12 education through advocacy, collaboration, and the development of innovative partnerships and programs. See this work in action and learn how to become a collaborative partner with SAM.

    Collaborative Partner Schools

    Collaborative Partner Schools

    Collaborative Partner Schools receive individual resources designed to foster deeper student learning, create and provide professional development for educators, and expand school culture. For information about partnering with SAM, email us.

    Seattle Public School District

    SAM is committed to partnering with all Seattle Public Schools based on the needs of each school. From subsidized field trips to customized teacher professional development to translation services, SAM strives to be ​accessible for​ all SPS students and families.

    Creative Advantage
    Through a citywide partnership led by Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, Creative Advantage’s goal is to make quality arts education accessible to every student in SPS, with a focus on lower-income communities and communities of color that have been shown to have less access to arts-learning opportunities. SAM is proud to partner with this initiative to provide professional development training and resources for schools and community organizations. For more information, visit Creative Advantage Seattle.

    Chief Sealth International High School
    Since 2009, SAM has partnered with Chief Sealth International High School to develop arts-integrated lessons for teachers across subject areas. From projects focused on environmental justice to Shakespeare, SAM has worked with teachers to provide arts instruction for hundreds of students.

    Highline School District

    SAM is proud to partner with the Highline School District to support student learning both during the school day and in summer sessions.

    Arts & Academics Academy
    The Arts & Academics Academy is a small arts-focused high school located on the Evergreen Campus. Working with school staff, SAM developed a multi-year arts integration partnership designed to support and train teachers to teach in and through the arts. The model includes whole school and individual teacher training, direct services for students, career and college readiness support, and museum resources.

    Midway Elementary
    Through teacher training and custom curriculum development, SAM is providing arts-learning experiences for all Midway Elementary students and teachers. As one example of this partnership, for the fall 2013 Peru: Kingdoms of the Sun and the Moon exhibition, SAM provided two teacher-​​training sessions, developed an in-classroom lesson for all students, provided free busing and school tours to view the exhibition, and coordinated a family day for students to return to the museum with their parents.

    Building a Community of Thinkers

    Building A Community of Thinkers

    Building a Community of Thinkers is a professional learning community for educational leaders at arts, cultural, and community-based organizations in the Puget Sound area. The Building a Community of Thinkers cohort cultivates a robust group of reflective practitioners that improve student learning, cultivate leadership in the field, and contribute to healthy communities.

    For more information about participation and upcoming events, email us.​​​​​​​