SM East art department nominated for ArtsKC Education Award

SM East art teachers and students take part in an excursion on the Missouri River as part of the school's Creative Co/Lab program.
SM East art teachers and students take part in an excursion on the Missouri River as part of the school’s Creative Co/Lab program.

Later this month, SM East art teachers and students will stand as one of three finalists for the annual Education Award presented by ArtsKC, the metro area’s regional arts council.

Art teacher Adam Finkelston, the school’s visual arts department coordinator, found out that SM East was a finalist along with Blue Springs and Liberty Public Schools earlier this month. Finkelston said the nomination is a recognition of the students’ great work as well as the department’s use of some unorthodox learning opportunities. For example, SM East students participate in a program called Creative Co/Lab, in which they make field excursions to come up with ideas for combining art and science with Kansas City as a backdrop.

“We hope that our Creative Co/Lab program, and really everything we do in all of our arts classes at East, shows students how artists participate in the community and are a huge part of what makes a city viable economically as well as contributing to a rich quality of life,” Finkelston said.

The ArtsKC Awards Luncheon, which attracts more than 600 leaders from throughout the KC area, will be Thursday, Feb. 25.