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Seattle Mayor Mike McGinn and Interim Superintendent Susan Enfield will participate in a panel discussion Thursday evening about the role of arts in public education.

The 6:30 p.m. panel, at Seattle University’s Pigott Auditorium, 1017 E. Marion St., is part of an effort to create a more accessible and comprehensive K-12 visual- and performing-arts plan for Seattle Public Schools.  The effort is supported by a grant from the Wallace Foundation.

Participating in the discussion with the officials will be a current Ballard High School student, a 2011 Nova High School graduate and a 2010 Ballard graduate.

“Arts are a core part of a quality education, yet access to arts education varies widely in Seattle Public Schools. We are working to change that.” McGinn said in a news release announcing the event. “Training and participation in the arts helps keep students in school and engages and motivates them to learn in all subject areas.”