Our two core principles this year are principles which have been central to all five years of our Fishtrap Story Lab program:
-Create a shared vision for arts education programming through an inclusive and ongoing planning process.
-Engage and support experienced and skilled arts educators, including teaching artists, arts specialists, artists in residence and classroom teachers.
As we set out on our way this school year, our goal was to offer arts education through Fishtrap Story Lab to every school and grade level in the county. As the school year winds down, thanks to two amazing educators we brought on board (contracted), and also reviving our Writer-In-Residence program, we have reached and provided high quality arts programming to every single K-12 classroom in our three different school districts and organizations in the county except for two grade levels in one particular school district.
Our partnership with Building Healthy Families also continued to grow with weekly classes for the Alt-Ed program in the county, as well as an after school program in Wallowa we were present at every week.
All the progress we made this year was due in part to our two core principles. The past few years we have included area teachers, school administrators, and community partners into our programming. As Fishtrap has continued to strengthen administratively each year, so too have our partnerships.
We have also come to think of the logic model as something that is constantly in a state of movement. Some months we might be supporting in an area while others, thriving. Weeks where a certain aspect or principle is on the back burner are ok! In the juggling of programs, projects, and collaborations, each has its own life cycle throughout the school year (as does the school year itself). Taking advantage of these inherent rhythms has brought us closer, more often, to our principles and each other.
Our advice we would give to other arts education programs that want to build program quality, equity and sustainability, are the same from the beginning: strong partnerships and relationships are what move us forward as we continue to evolve.