Photo by Katherine Kimball

Wasn’t Hood River gorgeous this August? We all enjoyed seeing everyone, and are still positively stunned at how much tough work was accomplished at the rendezvous. Here’s a synopsis, in case you’ve already forgotten:

  • You reflected on the Studio to School principles and discussed how the principles can help you going forward in planning and implementing arts education programming.
  • You worked through some BIG thinking about your projects and their future, guided by Steve Patty of Dialogues in Action (tools from Steve are here). You developed intended impacts, best means, and actions – focusing on the most core elements of arts education (that which should be prioritized for sustainability).
  • You took the work done with Steve and translated it into logic model format, getting more detailed and specific about those intended impacts (outcomes) and actions (activities). (More logic modeling resources here)
  • And you did another round of project evaluation planning, determining how you can and will measure progress towards the desired impacts/outcomes (project evaluation planning worksheets here).
  • And of course we talked, ate, enjoyed and made art together. img_0777img_0774img_0775img_0750

Your reflections: At the end of the rendezvous, you responded to several questions; a sampling of your responses are below.

  • What are you taking away from this rendezvous as a priority when planning for the future of arts education in your community?
    • The depth of resources available in our cohort to draw on.
    • To get to the “heart” of programming to understand more deeply why we are offering the programs.
    • Strengthen relationships to ensure sustainability
    • The continued need to grow our programs and look deeper at why we are doing this.
    • That we are on track. That we have the implementation we need to move forward with creating logic models and evaluation of our programs.
    • The need to step back and re-examine what’s “under the water”. This is extremely important to rethink how and what we communicate to our stakeholders.
    • We need to collaborate with our school, and combine common goals. And to adapt to changing needs of the school.
  • What is the most important thing you have learned at the rendezvous about your resource needs for arts education in your community?
    • Actually getting to specifics about needs and writing them down gives us a direction for planning for the future.
    • We need to spend more time thinking about the impact and potential outcomes of every action that we take. More teachers on board!
    • We got a chance to identify what our new resources are and how to best utilize everyone on our team.
    • We continue to need stuff… instruments, etc. However, we need to use some resources educating our community about what we have going on.
    • Our need is thoughtful and non-“invasive” access to teacher time. Will be working with schools to identify existing school structure to facilitate this.
    • That [we] actually don’t need as much financial resource from OCF as originally projected.
    • Clarifying the WHY is super valuable for training and supporting teachers in Arts Integration.
    • I believe time is the most needed resource.
  • Name something you learned at this rendezvous about a Studio to School project other than your own.  Have you identified any sources of support or inspiration? Any new ideas for fundraising in particular?
    • Several good ideas came up for fundraising.
    • I was inspired by the degree to which different levels of school administrators were flexible and cooperative with their school schedule planning to enable all to achieve their core outcomes. Like the idea of being more public about grant activities and achievements in new venues AND asking for volunteer participation and financial support.
    • I learned that others are struggling with same issues as far as working with the non-profit. I didn’t even realize this until today.
    • Adding a performing or visual art element to already existing school events. Have our photography students display work at sporting events. Choir students sing national anthem. Band play for elementary school, sporting events, community events as well.
    • We learned more about including parents and doing fundraisers with already built-in programs.
    • Other teams are trying to figure out how to measure student experience. Leveraging our resources for fundraising, i.e. we have a space/gym.
    • You have to believe, not just know. Bleu cheese & pears are awesome on a pizza.

Oregon Community Foundation Studio to Schools meeting in Hood River, OR

Oregon Community Foundation Studio to Schools meeting in Hood River, OR

Oregon Community Foundation Studio to Schools meeting in Hood River, OROregon Community Foundation Studio to Schools meeting in Hood River, OR

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our reflections: Here are just a few of our thoughts following the convening!

  • What an amazing group of people who care about arts education and the students who all deserve to experience it. Every time we leave a rendezvous it is with a happy sigh that there are so many smart, passionate, kind, and talented project team members. We enjoy spending time with all of you!
  • All of the project teams worked hard and grappled with abstract ideas and frameworks – including the iceberg model and logic modeling – to help articulate what you want programming to look like. We know this wasn’t easy work! We’ll be following up with additional resources and feedback on this work in hopes of supporting your continued planning for renewal specifically, and for sustaining arts education more broadly.
  • Identifying the critical components of arts education programming – those that can and should be sustained – is trickier for some projects than others. Figuring out how best to focus and what is possible will be critical as we move towards the renewal deadline in February.
  • There is never enough time for teams to interact with one another, and a continued desire for job-alikes to connect (e.g. school administrators with one another).
  • As always happens when we see everyone at a rendezvous, we were reminded that projects are not all in the same stage of development (this often depends on what was in place prior to the Studio to School Initiative), or experiencing the same amount of stability, though most if not all have grappled with some change in just the first couple of years of this Initiative (e.g. leadership turnover, school changes).

What else? Do you have ongoing questions about the work we did or started at the rendezvous? Reflections to share? Comment below!