Viking Ship Sails Through South Seattle Raising Funds for Rainier Beach High’s Art Program

By Gian Rosario

After receiving a donated boat earlier this summer, Rainier Beach International Baccalaureate (IB) Art students Naj Ali, Scarlett Nguyen, Arianne Rosario and others, spent hours hammering, painting, and sawing to transform it into the “Viking Plunder” vessel.

Utilizing the Plunder as a fundraising tool, their idea is to tour the ship around the South Seattle community filling the boat’s treasure chests with community donations in order to fund next year’s art program.  

A volunteer paints the Viking Plunder’s masthead. [Photo: Gian Rosario]
The Idea came from Cindi Laws, The BAAMFest event Coordinator. The boats first stop was BAAMFest, where the Viking Vessel collected its first plunder. The event coordinator and Organization Rainier Beach Merchants Association invested hundreds of dollars for the Viking Vessel to be constructed. It is to show their commitment to students education and Rainier Beach High School.

“Every child is an artist the problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up,” Ali said, quoting the iconic painter Pablo Picasso. The impending senior added, “It’s unfair that our Building Leadership Team is putting all our efforts in sports to keep students interested in coming to school. But what about other students who are interested in the Arts? Music? Theatre?”   

Naj Ali plans on running for Student Class President to work with the high school’s administration in pressing the issue forward. “We have to take matters into our own hands,” said Ali. 

Naj Ali with the ship’s masthead. [Photo: Gian Rosario]
Rainier Beach High School’s International Baccalaureate Program is a resounding success. But with the Seattle School District’s budget cut, Rainier Beach’s administration made the decision, to cut the school’s art program – even though IB Art is a requirement for current IB Art students to graduate.  The decision continues not to sit well with many parents and students.

Rainier Beach students pose after adding a fresh coat of paint to the Viking Plunder [Photo: Gian Rosario]
The school’s previous art teacher left the position for personal reasons at the end of the school year, with administration choosing not to hire a replacement. 

Unless funds are raised, RBHS students will be without an arts teacher when the new school year commences in September.

Gian Rosario is a Rainier Beach High School student

2 thoughts on “Viking Ship Sails Through South Seattle Raising Funds for Rainier Beach High’s Art Program”

  1. I am baffled why RBHS students are the ones doing most of the heavy lifting for their school (along with Board director Betty Patu). Where are the principal and senior SPS staff?

    Oh right, figuring out how to get a new high school downtown.