Adding Drama to Every School Day: Partnership to Embed Theatre in School
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Type of Work89 p.
ProgramMA in Arts Administration
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Arts administration -- Theses.
Theater -- Public schools.
Art -- Study and teaching -- Public schools.
Public schools -- Curriculum evaluation.
A growing field of research shows that arts in schools have positive impacts on students, teachers, the whole school environment, and even extend to families and the community. The National Endowment for the Arts has also documented that childhood arts education is a leading contributor to a young person’s propensity for future attendance and participation in the arts. Yet, trend data shows that arts education is declining in public schools. Both school systems and arts organizations have a vested interest in young people receiving a well-rounded education which includes the arts. Both face challenges and possess unique strengths in facing the challenges. This paper explores the potential benefits of combining those strengths and questions how to do so in a deeper, more long-lasting way than existing partnerships. One alternative is considered: a partnership of a theatre for young audiences company embedded within a school system would produce a hybrid teacher-artist model, improving arts education while building current and future audiences for theatre. There are many ways to deliver arts education in public schools, and many ways to do so in partnership with arts organizations. This paper does not examine feasibility, but demonstrates that arts education would be improved through an embedded partnership by delivering theatre education with quality, equity and longevity. It also demonstrates a critical need for more attention, exploration and testing of how schools and arts organizations can create deeply collaborative partnerships, to permanently embed theatre, or any of the arts, in schools.