Preparing for the Program

After a contract is signed, Cultural Arts Representatives continue to facilitate activities related to planning and promotion of the program. 

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.

If an event will include students with special needs, advise the artist in advance so that he/she can plan appropriately.

Review Technical and Space Needs

Check the artist’s technical requirements (e.g. microphone, electricity, bottled water) and confirm the items are available and reserved.  Also confirm that staff members who know how to operate equipment are available and scheduled to help on the program day. Make the sure physical space (e.g. gym or cafeteria) is set up and reserved for program.


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, teacher guides, 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 to the school’s Cultural Arts Representative.  Cultural Arts Representatives are then responsible for distributing educational materials to school faculty prior to the artist’s arrival.

Confirm Details with Artist

Confirm previously agreed upon details with the artist.  Send a welcome email to the artist specifying and confirming logistical arrangements of the program.  See example email.