In 1999, Arts Impact was launched in partnership with the Cultural Council of Greater Tacoma, Tacoma Art Museum, and the Broadway Center for the Performing Arts to provide professional learning in the arts for Pierce County, Washington teachers.
In 2002, Arts Impact joined Puget Sound Educational Service District (PSESD) and expanded its reach to include King County. Partners now also include Pacific Northwest Ballet, Seattle Art Museum, Seattle Children’s Theatre, Meany Center for the Performing Arts (formerly University of Washington World Series), Book-it Repertory Theatre, and Children’s Museum of Tacoma.
In 2009-2010, Washington State began requiring students to meet Essential Academic Learning Requirements in the Arts, making Arts Impact even more vital for teachers.
Over the past 16 years 1,061 teachers, from 121 schools and 21 districts have completed Arts Impact reaching more than 110,000 students.
Arts Impact is the recipient of seven U.S. Department of Education grants to research the impact of arts-infused learning on student achievement and to develop and disseminate best practices in arts education. Findings from these practices have made valuable contributions to the field of arts education and professional development. Arts Impact is also featured in a case study by the U.S. Department of Education of programs with promising practices for replication in other sites.
Arts Impact has successfully replicated its professional learning program in areas outside of the local Puget Sound Region including Bellingham, Spokane, Wenatche, Yakima, and Riverview school District, just east of Seattle.