ACHF Arts Education
Arts learning opportunities are more accessible to Minnesota because barriers to participation have been identified and mitigated. More Minnesotans are engaged in arts learning opportunities. Quantitative data indicate that we met our objectives in terms of schools/students reached. Quantitative/qualitative surveys distributed to students, classroom teachers, and teaching artists tracked individual classroom goal attainment, as well as our overall success in meeting our project objectives. The analysis showed that the live performance greatly increased students’ interest in the dance forms and their enthusiasm about the learning experience. The workshops allowed students to develop a relationship with the artists prior to the performance, which mutually enhanced the students' interest in and understanding of the performance.
The project reached 518 students from eight schools. The program consisted of five free, one-hour distance learning workshops, and augmented our traditional distance learning experience by providing a student matinee performance at The Cowles Center and a post-performance workshop at no cost to schools through bus subsidies and free tickets. The pilot was built on the platform of our award-winning Distance Learning Program, which was designed to remove the barriers of time, cost, and distance to provide a sustained and engaging dance residency experience for Minnesota students through the use of state-of-the-art videoconferencing technology. While the program creates access for students to engage in arts learning directly with teaching artists, it does not address the potential to increase the impact of the learning experience through a traditional performance element. The pilot allowed us to offer a combined distance learning/live performance hybrid program to students at eight Minnesota schools at no cost. The pilot was developed by participating teaching artists and Cowles staff, with a call for interest survey distributed to Distance Learning Program partner schools. Project evaluation showed the strategies to be effective programmatically and in terms of mitigating barriers. 2: The participants were identified prior to the submission of the proposal to the Minnesota State Arts Board. Due to a scheduling conflict with the student matinee and Buffalo High School's testing dates, Buffalo High School dropped the program prior to the start date. We worked instead with Highland Senior High School, reaching eight Minnesota schools (518 students) with the arts learning project as defined in the proposal. We reached 518 more Minnesotans through the pilot project. The participants were selected through a call for interest survey developed and distributed by Cowles education staff to schools that are or have partnered with The Cowles Center for the Distance Learning Program. As background, priority registration for Distance Learning sessions is granted to schools with low-income/low-achievement rates, underserved schools, and schools with which we have successful ongoing partnerships. Each year we aim to work with five new low-income/low-achievement or underserved schools.