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MEMBERCENTER

MEMBERCENTER

TÊTE-A-TÊTE
Integrated Arts Education Approaches
ARTS EDUCATION PROGRAMS have seen their share of the good, the bad, and the
ugly. A new trend is “coordinated delivery”—collaboration across communities for both shared delivery by arts specialists, teaching artists, and general classroom teachers and shared leadership among arts agencies, education agencies, parents, and businesses. Two leaders in arts education, Director of Arts for All Ayanna Hudson and Vice President of Big Thought Margie Reese, sat down with the Arts Education Council of Americans for the Arts during the Annual Convention to share what coordinated delivery looks like in their communities.

Question Corner
“Our agency is undertaking a number of public art projects. I need a contract that includes artists on design teams. I have utilized the Annotated Public Art Commission Agreement, but can you recommend other examples?”
—Lisa Tuttle, Public Art Education & Outreach Coordinator, Fulton County Arts & Culture, Atlanta, GA

“Check out the Public Art Network’s
Arts for All, Los Angeles County
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Both Organizations
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Big Thought, Dallas
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Letter of Agreement for Concept Consultancy and the Design Development Agreement on Americans for the Arts Members-Only website. While privatesector contracts break down projects into separate phases, these contracts often assume the artist will go from concept to fabrication onto installation. It’s difficult for city attorneys to review a series of different contracts.”
—Sarah Conley Odenkirk, Attorney, The Law Office of Sarah Conley Odenkirk, Studio City, CA

Focuses on infrastructure: trains district/community arts teams to develop a school district policy and plan for arts education. Improves the quality of teaching and learning: provides professional development for school district leaders, teachers, and artists and connects educators to effective tools, resources, and data. Shares the responsibility: distributes key pieces of the work to various organizations in the community.

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Started with data gathering: a needs assessment, neighborhood mapping, and asset gathering uncovered an uneven patchwork of arts instruction and helped each organization focus its efforts. Suggested having a managing partner or lead organization. Needed to keep bringing people into the tent: if enough stakeholders are involved, arts education becomes more embedded in the community and harder to cut.

Uses a triangle of resources: the city offers funding and facilities, the school district brings the students, and hundreds of arts organizations offer arts instruction. Focuses on high quality learning: offers residencies, field trips, in-school performances, afterschool and summer programs, and professional development for instructors. Addresses previous inequality: through its partnership with the Dallas Independent School District, all students have access to arts programs.

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“The quality of the artist selection panel is paramount to the outcome of the final project, which makes a selection criteria list important. For art and design teams, collaboration and commitment are critical. It also takes commitment from the client to ensure the process is working. The results of a great process and collaborative relationship are better with an Artist Consultancy Agreement. It’s worth it!”
—Norie Sato, Public Art Network Council member and artist, Seattle, WA

Although Big Thought and Arts for All offer different approaches, both leaders recommend focusing on both ends of the leadership spectrum, or as Margie calls it “your air game and your ground game,” and as Ayanna calls it, “grasstops and grassroots.” This top-to-bottom approach of coordinated delivery can allow communities to align resources, fill in gaps, strengthen arts education, and offer school districts some solutions during these austere times. For more information on these organizations and their arts education efforts, visit http://lacountyartsforall.org and www.bigthought.org.

www.AmericansForTheArts.org

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