I spent the past 10 years touring the state of Arizona working for the Arizona Commission on the Arts.
Along the way, I saw quality arts education partnerships in action from county attorney’s offices collaborating with urban elementary schools to create murals with an anti-drug message, to rural school districts working in tandem with presenting organizations to provide live theatre to students.
I met partners who brought a unique contribution to the table and partners vested in ensuring their programs were of quality.
However, I also encountered estranged, forced, and tired partnerships that were no longer contributing quality experiences to students.
I’ve also made a career change. In my new role as the education director of outreach for the Mesa Arts Center, I’m charged with providing authentic arts experiences and finding unique, quality partners to deepen the impact of arts education in our community.
While I had numerous examples in the field to draw from, like many colleagues, I found there was never one program I could model from or one solution to “how do we make this work?” Each community, art center, school, teacher, and artist had their own unique contribution and impact to make. Read the rest of this entry »