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The Arts In Every Classroom: A Video Library K-5

Working With Local Artists Activities and Discussion

At P.S. 156 in Brooklyn, New York, visiting dance artist Ca

Suggested Activities and Discussion

Consider the following additional questions for reflection:

  • What would your priorities be when working with an outside artist?
  • In what ways could local artists help deepen your students’ understanding of their own cultural histories and connect them to other cultures?
  • How can a writing program with a local artist strengthen mandated, standards-based content in your class?
  • What goals would you set for your first year of working with a local artist? For your second year? For five years down the line?
  • How would you encourage students to ask an outside artist questions that could enhance their learning?

Improving Practice
Here are some additional ways you can build on the ideas in this program in a variety of school and community settings:

Professional Development for Teachers

  • Plan a joint training session with current or future collaborators. Identify the skills that would be necessary to work in each other’s environment and plan a mentoring or other system for sharing these.
  • Take a course in drawing, movement, or another art form at a local arts organization. If you don’t have time for a whole course, try volunteering for an hour or two a month. Learn first-hand how the group operates, what resources they have to offer, and how you might bring these into your school.

Curriculum-Planning Sessions

  • Brainstorm possible collaborators in your community for an upcoming unit of study. How might each enhance the learning experience? Consider the benefits of working with collaborators from more than one art form.

Parent-Teacher Meetings

  • Ask parents for their ideas for potential collaborators. Ask if any parents have contacts with community resources that might work with the school on an arts-based project.

Community Collaboration

  • Become acquainted with community foundations and other organizations in your area that might fund a collaboration with a local arts organization. Learn their requirements for funding and consider what it would take for your school or project to qualify.
  • Invite representatives from one or more arts organizations to your school. Share your curriculum plans and ask your visitors to identify possible opportunities for collaboration.