Selecting Programs

As you begin the process of selecting a program, there are many things to consider. Follow these steps to ensure you book a program that works with your school's needs and schedule.

1. DETERMINE YOUR BUDGET

How much money is available to support cultural arts programming at your school?  The PTA or school administration can advise on the amount of funding allocated to arts programming.  To determine the total cultural arts budget, add the amount of grant funding you hope/expect to receive from United Arts.

2. IDENTIFY PROGRAMMING NEEDS

Collaborate with school faculty and administration to identify your school’s cultural arts programming needs.

Following are school staff who may assist in selecting the best programs and artists for your school:

  • Art Specialists (dance, drama, music, visual art)
  • Language Arts Teachers
  • Classroom Teachers
  • Magnet Coordinators
  • Guidance Counselors
  • Principal/Assistant Principal

Following are examples of programming needs:

  • A global studies school may seek programs with international focus, or internationals artists
  • A STEM school may seek programs that incorporate math or science
  • Programs relating to a theme-day (e.g. Health & Wellness with dance/movement programs)
  • Programs relating to a topic or skill identified for a particular grade (e.g. writing, anti-bullying)
  • Programs that expose students to something they would not otherwise experience
  • Programs that serve as an introduction or reinforcement of a curriculum unit

3. IDENTIFY SPECIFIC PROGRAMS & DATES

Identify potential programs and solicit feedback from faculty and administration. To establish buy-in, explain the program’s relevance to your school. Share links to individual program listings in the directory.

Identify potential dates for the program to occur.  Double-check the school calendar to avoid conflict with holidays, teacher workdays, exams, elections, standardized tests, field trips, etc.

4. NEGOTIATE TENTATIVE AGREEMENT WITH ARTISTS

When school staff approves the selected program(s), contact the artist(s) to set date(s) and time(s). Some Cultural Arts Representatives set tentative dates at the Booking Fair and confirm them later.

While artists may not increase fees that are posted in the directory, some may offer discounts when multiple performances are booked on a single day. You may wish to “block book” with other schools or local parks, recreation, and cultural resources departments. Although Cultural Arts Representatives may choose to collaborate and arrange multiple bookings, it is not their responsibility to organize other bookings if an artist wants to schedule more than one program in the area around the same time.