On May 26, 2017, the Oregon Arts Commission convened 15 participants from across the state of Oregon to participate in a round table as part of the National Endowment for the Arts’ Creativity Connects initiative. Participants gathered at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Southeast Portland to explore the connections between creativity and industry for K-12 students. The vision was to gather community leaders from diverse fields, backgrounds and regions, letting it be a new type of conversation with people who are not ordinarily part of these conversations.
The Oregon Arts Commission funded the Connecting Students to the World of Work (WoW) grants to support projects that offer engagement in the professional elements of an artistic career field for underserved students. Through an emphasis on the practical application of knowledge in the workforce, WoW projects contributed to sequential learning for students to build creative and technical skills in the arts. This report summarizes the evaluation results of all eleven projects, revealing that underserved students showed increased motivation and appreciation for arts education after participation.