Preparing for the Program

After a contract is signed, Cultural Arts Representatives continue to facilitate elements related to planning, implementation, and promotion of programs.

The most successful programs take time and lots of communication. Coordinating regular updates between artists, administrators, and teachers is the most effective way for Cultural Arts Representatives to keep programs on track.

Planning Meeting for Residency/Workshop
Residency and workshop programs require a planning session with the artist and at least one teacher from the participating grade level(s). It is vitally important to the success of a program to complete such a meeting.  Depending on the program needs, the planning session can involve face-to-face meeting(s), email correspondence, phone conversation(s), or a combination of the above.  The artist and teacher(s) should discuss and define in writing:

  • Program goals & outcomes: e.g., what is the big idea; how will students benefit from the program; what are the expected changes in skills, attitudes, behaviors, knowledge?
  • Program activities: e.g., what will students do; what will student participation look like?
  • Classroom management: e.g., how are expectations of students conveyed; what school-wide or classroom-specific mechanisms for behavior management can the artist implement?

Even if a school has worked with an artist in the past, planning is important because new teachers, students, curriculum standards, and/or a new program may impact success.

Review Technical and Space Needs
As a program start date approaches, the Cultural Arts Representatives should verify the artist’s space and technical requirements can be met. Such details can be found on each artists directory page. Additionally, Cultural Arts Representatives should confirm staff members who know how to operate equipment are available and scheduled to help on the program day.

Many programs, especially visual art programs, require a school to provide supplies or pay an additional fee to the artist for supplies.  It is the responsibility of the artist and the school equally to negotiate the terms of this obligation prior to the program.

Educational Materials
Artists prepare educational materials such as lesson plans and/or study guides to help teachers prepare for an artist visit. At least two weeks before the United Arts-supported program, the artist is responsible for forwarding one copy of his/her educational materials. Cultural Arts Representatives are then responsible for distributing educational materials to school faculty prior to the artist’s arrival.

Confirm Details with Artist
One week before the program start date Cultural Arts Representatives should confirm previously agreed upon details with the artist and the school. If one has not already been forwarded, now is the time to send a welcome email to the artist. Logistical details such as parking and arrival procedures for the program should be included.  See example email.