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Working Together

A Case Study of a National Arts Education Partnership


Bernard W. Andrews

Partnerships among a variety of institutions – for profit, not-for-profit, and non-profit – are a relatively recent organizational development. Such partnerships link businesses, government, and social agencies. The primary reason for these relationships is to achieve goals sooner and more efficiently by building on the resources and expertise of each partner. In arts education, schools, arts organizations, cultural institutions, government agencies, and universities have engaged in joint ventures to improve the teaching and learning of the arts disciplines in their schools and in their communities. These partnerships have been particularly beneficial for teachers, many of whom have limited background in the arts but are expected to teach them in their classrooms. Arts partnerships initially focused on the goals of the participating organizations; that is, to develop artistic skills, to build future audiences, and/or to encourage young people to consider an artistic career. More recently, partnerships focus on educational goals rather than solely artistic ones. Despite the challenges and complexities of arts education partnerships, most partners believe that the benefits to students, teachers and the community outweigh the disadvantages and consequently, as the research in Working Together demonstrates, they are willing to justify the time, energy, and expense involved to improve the quality of arts education.


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Appendix 1: in-depth interview data patterns Partnerships Note: The following section details the tree node data links generated from the in-depth interviews with artists, teachers, and project coordinators. For the com- plete corpus of responses, please refer to ArtsSmarts Evaluation Results, Year 2: Addendum. Please note that where two individuals are listed, the individual in italics provided the response. Nature of Collaboration Tree Node (Q1) Artists [Q1] How did you work together with the teacher(s) to organize the classroom learning? Helga Bloch: I looked for possible curricular tie-ins, and how to work with difficult (specially challenged) children. 106 a case study of a national arts education partnership Pierre Honegger and Henrietta Honegger: The teachers had our teacher’s guide and they figured out what activities to do from our program. We devel- oped a program based on the curriculum titled Medieval Celebration. Teach- ers asked us to put together a project that they could use as a theme unit. Santas de Falla: I met the teacher before going to the classroom to help me because they know the kids better than me. I explained what I am going to do with the kids and they help me … I try to make sure the kids can do this and if not, I try to make it easy. Nerene Ives and Lesley Wolf: One of the first things we did was request a meeting with the teachers to obtain their input so that we could know what to bring to the class....

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