For Teachers, Principals and Schools

Consider your priorities when looking for an artist - do you want someone with links to the local area? Who works in a particular artform? Or who is exploring subject matter that could connect with your group of students?

To get the best artistic and educational outcomes for all involved, Creative Victoria recommends you partner with a practicing professional artist. Local galleries, arts advocacy groups, local councils and parents may provide links to possible artists.

Once you have identified and made contact with an artist, some good questions to ask are:

  • Why do you want to work with a school?
  • Have you had experience working with groups like this?
  • Can you tell us a bit about your training or learning experiences as an artist?
  • Could you show us some examples or reviews of your work?
  • Please describe your artistic process?
  • What activities and processes might you offer to students and teachers?
  • What challenges have you faced working in collaboration with others or when working with young people?
  • Do you have, or can you obtain a Working with Children Check?
It's the best thing I have ever done as a teacher. The final product was great, the process was just fantastic, the kids learnt so much right across the curriculum.
- Brian, teacher

For Artists and Arts Organisations

An artist or arts organisation can make a direct approach to a school to gauge interest in participating in a project together. It is suggested that the artist make an appointment with the school principal or curriculum coordinator. It is worth remembering that schools are very busy places and that  the demands on principals and teachers are high.

Consider how the school's needs and strategic priorities might compliment your practice and interests. Is strengthening the arts curriculum a priority? Is the school hoping to engage families more strongly in school life? If you can identify how a collaborative partnership might work both for the school  and for you/your arts organisation, it can be easier to create some shared goals.

Once you are able to meet, some good questions to ask principals and teachers are:

  • What are you hoping to achieve through a partnership?
  • What level of support for a project can the school commit to?
  • Is there flexibility around the curriculum and timetable to accommodate a project?
  • Who might coordinate the project from the school's end?
  • How many students might be involved?
  • Has this school worked with professional artists before?
Teachers are very important to have on-side. The school staff were terrific and very supportive. I have learnt that projects like this aren't always about the outcome but more about the journey.
- Bridget, artist

Planning Tools

Sometimes it can seem that teachers and artists speak a different language, to ensure you're on the same page, download these planning tools:

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Your concept - an artistic framework