A How-to Guide for Arts & Education Projects

Arts is... a question mark in the minds of those who want to know what's happening.
- Aaron Howard

A question mark is perhaps the perfect place to start. The question frames the answers. So we'll begin, as you might, by asking the right questions.

  • What would an arts and education partnership look like?
  • What might it achieve?
  • What will it take to make it worthwhile? and the bigger question…
  • Why partner at all?

To propose that exciting, challenging, high quality and contemporary artistic work is being produced in our schools might be preaching to the converted. Many of you would respond: Of course it is. To propose that deep and powerful learning is possible through the arts across multiple learning areas in the curriculum - might be more evangelical. "Yes," the cautious response might be "but how?..."

This guide was developed to help you answer that question, and poses others to guide you towards your own arts and education partnership project.

The projects described in this guide demonstrate vast diversity in their mode of collaboration, project design and outcomes. Although there is no formula for success, evaluation and research both in Australia and overseas demonstrates that successful projects do have qualities in common - a set of behaviours and approaches that light a fire under the arts and learning crucible.

How to use this guide

This resource is for both practitioners - teachers, artists, principals and arts managers - and those who interact with the arts or education sectors - policy makers, curriculum designers and tertiary educators.

The guide includes:

  • Planning - A practical section on how to build successful partnerships. This section includes downloadable planning tools such as checklists, activities and sample documents such as budgets and example curriculum plans.
  • Projects - Case studies of successful partnership projects. Film clips of the case studies include interviews, footage of workshops in progress and performance and exhibition outcomes. Each case study also includes a 'Challenges & Strategies' worksheet to help you understand the projects in more detail
  • Induction - An online induction to the Creative Learning Partnerships program for creative partners about to commence projects.

This guide is a resource for teams at all stages of the partnership journey and can be used:

  • To help identify your organisation's (or your personal) need, intentions and capacity for a partnership project
  • To stimulate ideas for what might be possible for your school or arts organisation
  • As a checklist during to assess the strengths and weaknesses of your partnership project
  • As a stimulus for discussion, or to help build a case for a future partnership project

The projects featured in this guide were funded through Creative Victoria's Education Partnerships programs: Extended School Residencies (jointly funded with the Australia Council for the Arts), Artists in Schools and Creative Learning Partnerships (co-funded by the Department for Education and Training and managed by Creative Victoria).