How can the professional growth of an arts education community be supported over time?
A longtime arts learning community has the challenge of sustaining itself. Keeping alive the initial waves of energy, and excitement requires new strategies. People know what to expect, because you provide dependable services. But it’s easy to get out of touch with changing needs. It may be time to reflect and ask, “Where do we go from here?” As the members of your arts learning community get smarter, it is time to address how their relationships and roles can evolve.
Such established arts learning communities often finds that growth beckons, especially when building on initial successes. Education, philanthropy, and government stakeholders often encourage expansion. But selecting the right direction for sustainable growth is difficult and often requires specific, defined, gradual steps. Expansion may lead you beyond the initial willing participants, towards insuring programming is equitably reaching all teachers and all students. Scaling up could mean connecting feeder schools, serving a whole district, or linking communities across the state or the nation.
Yet remember, progress doesn’t always mean breadth. Through a reflective approach, you will find the most effective way to sustain the work of the community.