Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and ArtsWA Partner to Form Washington State Wolf Trap | Wolf Trap
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Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts and ArtsWA Partner to Form Washington State Wolf Trap

New Wolf Trap Affiliate Will Work with Local School Districts to Bring Arts-Based Learning to Early Childhood Classrooms Throughout Washington State

Olympia, WA and Vienna, VA (Oct. 24, 2023) – Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts and ArtsWA, the Washington State Arts Commission, have announced a partnership that will bring Wolf Trap’s customizable arts-based teaching and learning programs to early childhood classrooms in Washington State. The partnership creates Washington State Wolf Trap, Wolf Trap’s newest addition to a growing network of 26 affiliates across the United States and Singapore.

Wolf Trap and its affiliates work collaboratively with schools to deliver vital virtual and in-person classroom residencies, professional development workshops for teachers, and family workshops that serve the unique needs of their communities. The affiliate program is operated under Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, a program of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts based in Vienna, VA. Through Wolf Trap’s education programs, including the work of the Institute and its affiliates, Wolf Trap serves nearly 100,000 children, families, and educators each year.

Washington State Wolf Trap will deliver services in Educational Service District 123 (Pasco, WA) immediately and will branch out to surrounding communities in eastern Washington in successive academic years. The new affiliate’s work in the early childhood space will complement ArtsWA’s support of high quality, standards-based arts education throughout the state.

The Arts Commission was created with the mission to nurture and support the role of the arts in the lives of all Washingtonians,” said Karen Hanan, Executive Director, ArtsWA. “We believe that the arts foster our children’s success in school. Through our partnership with Wolf Trap, we’ll be able to provide our teachers with the type of professional development they need to facilitate more meaningful learning experiences for children, through the arts.”

Washington State Wolf Trap programs will be designed for children in preschool and kindergarten and their educators. Programs will introduce arts-based lessons that illustrate key curricular concepts such as literacy and social-emotional learning, incorporating song, movement, imaginative play, and musical instruments, to equip teachers with skills to infuse active learning through the arts in their instruction with every classroom of children they teach.

“We’re excited to be able to expand our work in the United States through this new partnership with ArtsWA,” said Akua Kouyate-Tate, Vice President of Education at Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts. “ArtsWA plays a pivotal role throughout the state in advancing the role of the arts in the lives of its individuals and communities. We are excited to help them build strong relationships with educators in the early childhood community, and create opportunities for families to interact with one another and prosper, through joyful, active learning.”

Through professional teaching artists trained in the Wolf Trap model, Wolf Trap Institute delivers customized, in-class professional development to early childhood educators using proven, arts-based strategies that reach across curricula and support development in key areas like language, literacy, math, science, and social-emotional development. Teaching artists engage in multi-day residencies, during which they meet one-on-one with teachers to create custom lesson plans that align with their curriculum objectives. During these residencies teaching artists work in the classroom alongside the teacher to engage students in arts-based learning experiences, slowly allowing the teacher to lead the lesson using these strategies.

For more information about Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, visit www.wolftrap.org/education.

For more information about ArtsWA, visit arts.wa.gov.


Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, produces and presents a full range of performance and education programs in the Greater Washington area, as well as nationally. Wolf Trap features three performance venues: the outdoor Filene Center and Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, both located at Wolf Trap National Park for the Performing Arts, and The Barns at Wolf Trap, located down the road from the national park and adjacent to the Center for Education at Wolf Trap. The 7,028-seat Filene Center is operated in partnership with the National Park Service and annually showcases an extensive array of diverse artists, ranging from pop, country, folk, and blues to classical music, dance, and theatre, as well as multimedia presentations, from May through September. The Barns at Wolf Trap is operated by the Wolf Trap Foundation year-round, and during the summer months is home to the Grammy-nominated Wolf Trap Opera, one of America’s outstanding resident ensemble programs for early career opera singers. Wolf Trap’s education programs include the nationally acclaimed Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, Children’s Theatre-in-the-Woods, a diverse array of arts education classes, grants, and a nationally recognized internship program.

About ArtsWA

ArtsWA is the Washington State Arts Commission, a state government agency established in 1961. ArtsWA works to be a catalyst for the arts, advancing the role of the arts in the lives of individuals and communities throughout the state. Programs include Art in Public Places, Arts in Education, Grants to Organizations, and other special projects. For more information, visit arts.wa.gov.

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Media Information

Liz Nickless, Assistant Director, Education Communications & Strategy
Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
571.585.2512, lizn@wolftrap.org 

Michael Wallenfels, Communications Manager
ArtsWA, Washington State Arts Commission
360.252.9831, michael.wallenfels@arts.wa.gov