Arts education organizations and professionals (otherwise known as teaching artists and consultants) are no strangers to the repercussions of budget cuts, financial meltdowns, and the continued sluggish economic climate.
However, in true “arts ed” fashion, the field is slowly boasting several small success stories that offer a model for sustainability. Many administratively-savvy folks around the country are proving that smaller cultural organizations can still compete with the best of the larger, more visible organizations. In part two of our blog discussion (I’m working with fellow Arts Education Council Member Jessica Wilt) we’ll highlight several.
These success stories can however be few and far between. When will the old ways of doing business be a means to an end?
Some teaching artists and organizations haven’t quite made the effort to learn from others’ successes on how to adapt to the “new reality” or more importantly—learn from failures.
How can we prevent playing a continuous game of arts education Russian roulette?
Hopefully by opening up the topic for discussion and discovering answers through comments and feedback to the question below, we can begin to explore a personal approach to balancing what are probably the three most important ingredients for success in arts education (or in life, for that matter):
In trying to keep up with for-profit ‘heavy-hitters’ that arguably boast of greater resources than the average nonprofit, from which of the three areas (quality, engagement, and partnerships), if at all, do you find yourself most cutting corners?
Certainly, being able to document the quality of student engagement is necessary for the success of any partnership, whether it be a partnership based on finances, services or common interests. That said, because so many organizations are in survival mode, we often tend to succumb to the demands, requirements, and (yes) whims of the most powerful of the partners—usually not us.
We hope this blog salon not only serves to deconstruct the power of these three elements, but more importantly, that it serves as a catalyst for positive conversation at the organizational and personal level.
Utilize the comments section below to respond to our question…