We all learn best when we can expect what is going to happen, what we will do, and what is the point. When armed with this knowledge before a program begins, students can more easily focus on content and contextualize what is happening—thus better enabling the program to meet the outcomes you anticipate. Pertinent information to share includes the artist’s name, art form, program format, what students will do, how they should behave, and why they are participating. Even if classroom teachers provide expectations, it doesn’t hurt to repeat and reinforce them. While all this information is important to convey, remember to keep it succinct and brief!
1. Artist/group (name and a couple of interesting highlights about the artist’s background)
2. Type of art (dance, music, storytelling, theatre, etc.)
3. Format of program
- Performance: an artist will demonstrate art form and/or topic; Q&A at end (if planned)
- Workshop: students will work on art alongside the artist
- Residency: students will see the artist for several days (i.e. 3 days, 5 days) and the artist will help them produce a work of art such as dance, play, written piece
4. How they will participate in the program, e.g.:
- Listen to the performer
- Watch a dance, play, etc.
- Create art (i.e. music, dance, visual art) with the performer
5. Appropriate behavior, e.g.:
- Respect artist through quiet listening
- Respect each other through encouragement, not talking over each other, etc.
- Remain seated unless instructed by the artist
6. Purpose of the program, e.g.:
- Opportunity to meet a professional artist, see artist in action, and ask questions
- Learn about an art form that might be completely new to students
- Reflect on a topic students have studied, or introduce a topic students will study later
- Expand vocabulary or hone descriptive writing skills
7. Don’t forget to say that the program is made possible by support from the United Arts Council of Raleigh & Wake County! Grassroots marketing is one the best methods for raising awareness and increasing funding. A reference to the United Arts Council can help teachers and administrators connect the school’s cultural arts programming to this organization. Please mention United Arts along with other entities that make possible your school’s cultural arts programming.