ACHF Arts Education
The quantity and types of arts learning opportunities in the state, and the organizations or venues that offer them increases. 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.
1. We were able to bring six taiko drumming residencies to five schools and one assisted living center. These six residencies brought unique arts learning programming to 1,575 people in the state of Minnesota. To our knowledge, Mu Performing Arts is the only organization in Minnesota offering residencies in the Japanese taiko drumming style known as kumi-daiko. 2. At the end of each residency, an evaluation form is sent to school/partner staff and/or teachers, who are asked to rate the residency and provide comments on positive aspects and suggestions for improvement. In addition, our teaching artists are asked for their feedback to determine areas for improvement and success stories. 3. We contacted seven organizations prior to applying for the grant - six schools and one assisted living facility. Five of the groups were longstanding or strong new partners to our taiko programs, one was a former partner who had not been able to bring Mu Daiko back to their school in recent years, and one was a new partner looking for arts programming. Of these, the five longstanding/strong new partners committed to the project, while the other two were not able to commit due to lack of school staff support. However, we were able to create a new partnership through Project SUCCESS with Northeast Middle School and hope to return again in the future. 2: 1. Real and perceived barriers to arts participation were overcome through this project and 1,575 Minnesotans were exposed to a valuable arts learning experience. 2. Through discussions with residency partners and teaching artist feedback, we identified barriers and evaluated success in mitigating them. 3. Real barriers included special needs (cognitive and physical), barriers, and financial barriers. Perceived barriers included perception vs. reality of what participants were able to accomplish from both partner staff and participants themselves. These were identified by Mu leadership staff, teaching artists, and partner staff such as Project SUCCESS facilitators or teachers. 4. Strategies were developed by Mu leadership staff. Rick Shiomi, Mu's Artistic Director, has over 20 years of experience in the arts and arts learning. Iris Shiraishi has a background in music therapy and over 15 years of experience as a teaching artist. 5. To mitigate special needs barriers, modifications were made to best accommodate participants' needs. At Lyngblomsten, the teaching artist customized drum angles and modified lesson plans. At Northeast Middle School, lesson pace was modified and perceived barriers were eliminated by encouraging students to be successful at their own pace.