MVSD Partners with Methow Arts to Expand Art Instruction in Grades K-6

Methow Valley School District, in partnership with Methow Arts Alliance, is pleased to announce that Youth Arts Initiative Project (YAI) continues in its third year in the Methow Valley this fall, serving all enrolled Methow Valley K-6 students.

Icicle Fund - Methow ArtsThanks to a grant from Icicle Fund and funding and support from the Methow Valley School District, Methow Arts will implement the Youth Arts Initiative program (YAI) this fall for students in grades K-6 in the Methow Valley Elementary School.

The initiative is a three-year pilot grant that has a goal of increasing the dosage of high quality arts education. The program focuses specifically on sequential art learning in the principles and elements of art for early grade levels, establishing a foundation in the arts for later years.

The grant acts as a pilot program to be monitored, tested, and adapted, and aims to assist other organizations across NCW in establishing successful partnerships with school districts and arts education program development and implementation after completion of the project. None of the schools reached through this grant has a designated art teacher.

For more information about the YAI Project, partnership between the MVSD and Methow Arts, and/or how you can support the Arts, please Contact Amanda Jackson Mott, Methow Arts Executive Director at:

Meet the YAI Art Instructors

Bethany Wray, YAI Instructor, Grades K-3
Bethany Wray“I see the goal for the Youth Arts Initiative program as utilizing the elements and principles of art to not only introduce children to the building blocks of making art, but also to get them excited about art and its importance within culture,” says Bethany. “My biggest hope is that YAI prepares and equips children for a lifelong love of art and to provide a space and tools for them to express their own unique views and experiences.”

Bethany Wray continues to teach grades K-3 in the Methow Valley’s YAI program. Bethany began teaching the YAI program in Omak in 2019, then moved to Methow Valley Elementary in 2020, delivering a diverse and engaging YAI program throughout the school year. Bethany graduated from Biola University with a BFA in Painting and Otis College of Art and Design with a MFA. Her work has been shown in various locations including Los Angeles and New York.
Bethany works with classroom teachers in grades K-3 to develop learners who understand the critical concepts commonly associated with the International Baccalaureate “Design Cycle” through the integration of the arts in grades K-3.
In their weekly sessions, students learn about other artists in history and create art using the principles and elements of art they observe in these artists’ work, such as learning about color through artist Alma Thomas, exploring texture through artist Romare Bearden, and creating patterns through artist Kehinde Wiley.
Christa Culbert, YAI Instructor, Grades 4-6
Christa CulbertChrista Culbert instructs grades 4-6 in the YAI expansion at Methow Valley Elementary School. Christa loves animals, sailboats, trail runs, mountain bikes, ice cream, artwork, and her dog, Uisce (“Ish-ca”). She got her BFA in painting and drawing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and first came to the Methow Valley to work for Northwest Outward Bound School in Mazama.

As a teaching artist with Methow Arts’ Artist-in-Residence program, Christa taught art extensively throughout Okanogan County elementary schools, including Omak, Okanogan, Brewster, and the Methow Valley. When she’s not teaching art, Christa works as a horse trainer and professional artist.


Spring Break: Monday, April 3rd - Friday, April 7th - All MVSD schools and the district office will be closed to the public.