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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 2019-2020 school year is provided by The Foster Foundation, The Freeman Foundation, Nordstrom, and Wells Fargo. 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

Education Resource Cent​er
Email us or call 206.654.3186​​

Educator Programs
Email us or call 206.332.1327

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. Through free tours for all public schools and bus subsidies for Title 1 Schools we aim to ensure that cost is never a barrier to an authentic art experience.

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

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

Guided Tours & Art Workshops

Guided Tours & Art Workshops

SAM now offers free tours to all public schools! This initiative deepens SAM's ongoing commitment to equitable art access. We also continue to offer bus subsidies for Title 1 schools. 

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


BUS Subsidies

Subsidized School Programs

SAM wants all students and educators to experience creative learning opportunities, regardless of barriers of transportation. We provide bus subsidies for schools with 40% or more students on free or reduced-price lunch programs.

For inquiries regarding bus subsidies in the 2019–2020 school year, please email SAM’s School Tours Coordinator or call 206.654.3183.


Seattle Art Museum

Flesh and Blood: Italian Masterpieces from the Capodimonte
Grades 5–12

Families from Around the World
Grades K–2

Artistic Elements
Grades K–4

Artistic Choices
Grades 5–12

Living Histories: Northwest Coast Native American Art
Grades 3–7

Art of Symmetry
Grades K–4

Perspective in Art
Grades 5–12

Olympic Sculpture Park

Drawing from Nature
Grades K–12

Seattle Asian Art Museum

(Tours begin March 2020)

Stories of Asian Art
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

    Partner schools receive individualized resources designed to foster curiosity, provide professional development for educators, and expand entry points for the school community to grow and learn together. Partnership opportunities may include curricula and resources, professional development for a teaching team or the entire staff, and field trips to one of our three museum sites.

    SAM’s programs and resources focus on inquiry-based observation and art-making and are designed to support K–12 learning across the curriculum. Equity is at the heart of what we do and we provide visual art based lessons that celebrate student voices, while supporting cultural understanding and social justice.

    Let us know how we can support you and your students. 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.

    Since the 2000s, SAM has partnered with schools around Seattle to develop arts-integrated lessons for teachers across subject areas. From projects focused on racial equity and environmental justice to Shakespeare, SAM has worked with staff and students to provide arts instruction for hundreds of K–12 students.

    Recent SPS School Partnerships include

    John Muir Elementary School

    Orca K-8 School

    Chief Sealth International High School

    The Creative Advantage
    Through a citywide partnership led by Seattle Public Schools and the Seattle Office of Arts & Culture, the 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.

    SAM has additionally provided resources, programming, and learning experiences for teachers and students at one of three museum locations and in the classroom through The Creative Advantage Pathways. For more information, visit Creative Advantage Seattle.

    Highline School District

    SAM is proud to partner with the Highline School District to support student learning across grade levels. From specialized field trips for all second graders to Career Day Exploratory Field Trips, SAM is dedicated to fostering creativity, curiosity, and critical thinking skills for all K-12 students.

    Since the 2000s, SAM has partnered with schools throughout Highline to create arts-integrated lessons for teachers across subject areas. Stemming from school partnerships, SAM has expanded to work with the Highline Community to provide multi-lingual resources, free museum passes to all students, families, and staff members, and busses for families to attend community programming at SAM.

    Recent HPS School Partnerships include

    Beverly Park Elementary School

    Cedarhurst Elementary School

    Evergreen High School

    Hazel Valley Elementary School

    Madrona Elementary School

    Midway Elementary School

    Southern Heights Elementary School

    White Center Heights Elementary School

    Drawing from Nature

    Beginning in 2016, SAM created an annual program for all second graders throughout the Highline School District to receive an in-depth exploratory arts program. Working with teacher advisors, this program targets the social, emotional, and developmental stages of students while giving them a first-hand experience with art. Teachers receive arts-integration professional development with correlating state and national standards, and strategies to incorporate pre- and post-visit lesson plans into their curriculum. This program is free and includes subsided bussing for all schools.

    The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.