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Teaching from Contemporary Asian Art: Student-Centered Engagement Strategies


What does an image tell us about the artist’s point of view? How do contemporary Asian artists integrate cultural histories into their practices? How can educators encourage students to share their perspectives, as well as connect art to issues that affect their families and communities?

In partnership with the Seattle Art Museum (SAM), this virtual workshop focused on facilitation skills to deepen student connection to contemporary Asian artists, their work, and their stories. Participants learned how close-looking strategies foster an inclusive space for students to share their ideas. In conjunction, SAM and EARC educators introduced works of contemporary Asian art that explore relevant themes of protest, migration, and identity. In small groups, participants practiced these skills together and collaborated on classroom applications.

Featured in the Seattle Asian Art Museum’s Be/longing exhibition, the highlighted artworks can be integrated in Social Studies, Visual Art, English Language Arts, and a range of other curricula across grade levels. This program was designed for K–12 classroom teachers as an introduction to using art in the classroom. 

This workshop was sponsored by the East Asia Resource Center (EARC) in the Henry M. Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington with funding from a Freeman Foundation grant in support of the National Consortium for Teaching about Asia (NCTA), and by the Seattle Art Museum (SAM).


August 6, 2020, 2:00 – 4:00 PM (Pacific Time)

This is a virtual program – instructions on how to join this meeting on Zoom were sent the day before the event.

Program Leaders

Anna Allegro, Senior Manager of School and Educator Programs at SAM.

Melanie King, Interim Associate Dean of Arts, Humanities, and Social Sciences at South Seattle College.

Yaoyao Liu, Museum Educator, Seattle Asian Art Museum at SAM.


  • Online resources
  • 2 free Washington State OSPI clock hours