Celebrating Arts in Our Schools Month

Celebrating Arts in Our Schools Month
Shawnee Mission School District

The month of March recognizes the arts in our schools. It is the time we all celebrate Music in Our Schools, Theatre Educator Month and Youth Art Month.  We give a round of applause to all who inspire the arts in our Shawnee Mission School District (SMSD) schools and share ways our community can experience SMSD student art. 

Music in Our Schools Month and Theatre Educator Month

The theme of the national recognition of Music In Our Schools Month (MIOSM) is “Music: The Sound of My Heart.” The theme encourages students and staff to reflect on the role of music education.

“Our Music and Theatre staff are amazing,” Bill Thomas, SMSD performing arts coordinator and SM West director of bands exclaims.“ They are inspired and engaged to help our students learn to become creative, refined, well-rounded performers.”

Thomas reflected and looked to the future of SMSD performing arts.

“Our Performing Arts teachers were inspiring and continued producing concerts and theatrical events throughout the pandemic,” he shared.  “It is exciting to see students eager to be back in-person, with parents and community members equally excited and supportive.”

Shawnee Mission will be the first district in the state of Kansas to unveil a course in Music Technology in the 2022-23 school year, Thomas added. The course will teach music creation and audio editing using student laptops. Students will learn to create music through looping and beat creation, learn to podcast, and how to record live music events as well as creating and editing music to serve as a backdrop to movies, news casts and animated cartoons.  

Youth Art Month

Youth Art Month is a celebration of the visual arts. The Council for Art Education’s theme this year is “Art Connects Us”.

The arts are “an integral part of our culture, our history, and our society,” Megan Ellis, visual arts coordinator and Lenexa Hills Elementary art teacher shared. “Art is all around us, influencing every aspect of our lives, more so than we realize. Even our students who never pick up a paint brush or poke a block of clay again after they leave us will be positively influenced by the creative problem-solving skills and perspectives they developed in their years in art in SMSD!”

Enjoy SMSD Student Art!

SMSD students will be represented, with over 30 pieces of student artwork in the Youth Art Month state-wide art display at the Capitol in Topeka through the month of March. 

The Research and Development (R&D) Forum is a major highlight and point of pride in the art department each year. “I know there is a lot of excitement this year because we will be returning to in-person,” Ellis shared. “Veteran teachers are looking forward to this again and our newer teachers who have never experienced the magic of R&D are getting excited to showcase student art.”

Student art can be submitted to the R&D Forum Here

For the R&D Open House Schedule, click here

Click here to view the district Performing Arts Calendar

Click here to view the newest Districtwide Quarterly Art Show This show features work created by students in Pre-K through 12th grade during the second quarter of this school year.