SMSD News: Celebrating the arts in the SMSD

The month of March provides multiple opportunities to recognize the importance of arts in our schools. It is Music in Our Schools Month, Theater Educator Month, and Youth Art Month. 

The Shawnee Mission School District appreciates all who inspire the arts in SMSD schools. There are numerous ways community members can see the creative work of SMSD students at home and onsite. Here are a few examples:

 State Youth Art Month Exhibit

Artwork by SMSD students is featured currently in a statewide art show. The exhibit is hosted by the Sabatini Gallery through Saturday, March 26, inside the Topeka Public Library, 1515 SW 10th Ave., Topeka, Kan. This exhibit features artwork from Pre-K-12 students from across the district. Click here to see a list of students and educators who are highlighted in this exhibit.

Districtwide quarterly art show The SMSD regularly features artwork created by students in Pre-K through 12th grade in a digital art show. This provides an opportunity to recognize the effort and achievement of SMSD students and educators. It also provides learning experiences for students who are sharing and displaying their work to an audience outside the classroom. Click here to view the most recent districtwide quarterly art show.

Research and Development Forum

This spring, our community is invited to the district’s 60th annual Research and Development Forum (R&D Forum). This event showcases student projects in science, art, and career and technical education. The community is invited to see this work at the following times:

Middle School and High School Art and All Grades Science Showcase:

Open House at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St.

3 to 5 p.m. on April 18-21, 2022

Elementary Art and Career and Technical Education Showcase:

Open House at the Center for Academic Achievement, 8200 W. 71st St.

3 to 5 p.m. on April 25-28 2022

Click here for more information about the R&D Forum.  

The Shawnee Mission School District appreciates the Regnier Family for 60 years of generous support for the R&D Forum.

Performing Arts Community members are able to enjoy concerts, plays, musicals, and other live events throughout the year. Click here to view the SMSD Performing Arts Calendar.

Reflections from SMSD Arts Educators

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

Thomas sees a bright future ahead for 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.”

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!”