When Artists Go to School: Effective Teacher-Artist Partnerships in K-12 Schools

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A Discussion Paper with Recommendations commissioned by the Saskatchewan Arts Alliance.

When Artists Go to School

Increasingly, artists and the cultural community are participating in the formal arts education of students through programs or agreements such as Creative Partnerships in the UK, Artists in Schools in Malaysia, Artists in Education in New Zealand, the Arts and Education Charter in Ireland, The Cultural Rucksack in Norway, Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education, and Artists in Schools (formerly ArtsSmarts) in Saskatchewan. There are a range of ways for artists to work with school students and teachers, including artist visits, workshops, performances and field trips to spaces such as professional galleries, but the focus of this paper is on co-designed teacher-artist partnership projects that take place primarily in the classroom over a period of time. The working relationship between teachers and artists has been identified as a key factor in achieving long-term impact, but questions remain about what an effective partnership entails, and what can be built into such programs to encourage effective working partnerships.