Arts-Rich Ecosystem: Five Constituencies
For a campus to provide an Arts-Rich Education, it must cultivate a healthy Arts-Rich Ecosystem of support that includes five discrete constituencies—Fine Arts Teachers, Foundation Teachers, Campus Leaders, District Support, and Arts Organizations and Teaching Artists. Each group provides unique expertise and fills distinct roles in support of an Arts-Rich Campus. When all stakeholders coordinate their work, the quality of the fine arts education is amplified.
Each of the five constituencies bring a unique set of expertise to their role within the Arts-Rich Ecosystem that makes them indispensable. Although specific individuals will surely possess additional expertise beyond those listed, each constituency can generally be assumed to have a primary focus on the following areas.
There are two groups within the ecosystem, those with direct connection with students (Fine Arts Teachers, Foundation Teachers, and Arts Organizations and Teaching Artists) and those who provide administrative and systemic support to the others (Campus Leaders and District Support).
Fine Arts Teachers
Certified, full-time, fine arts teachers are the arts leaders on their campus. They hold a unique position as one of the few teachers who regularly work with every student as they progress through each grade. They have a unique role within all three components of an Arts-Rich Education:
- They provide high-quality, standards-based instruction by combining their expertise in their arts discipline with a deep understanding of pedagogy.
- They maximize the educational potential of arts-integrated learning in both the foundation and fine arts classrooms in tandem with their fellow foundation teachers.
- They ensure that arts experiences are maximized for their fullest educational potential.
Their leadership and expertise make them indispensable in the creation and maintenance of partnerships with outside arts organizations, fostering the sense of community within the campus and the surrounding neighborhood, and lead campus beautification efforts.
Base Expertise: Fine Arts Expertise, Pedagogy, and Knowledge of Individual Students
Foundation teachers play a critical role in permeating a child's world with the arts, especially through their use of arts integration by making connections between the fine arts and their curriculum. By welcoming fine arts into their daily routines, these teachers provide countless creative opportunities for students that increase the impact of a strong campus fine arts department. Although some foundation teachers may fear they lack the artistic ability to contribute to an arts-rich education, their engagement in the fine arts is crucial in demonstrating the interconnectedness between subjects and modeling life-long learning for our students.
Base Expertise: Foundation Expertise, Pedagogy, and Knowledge of Individual Students
Arts Organizations and Teaching Artists
Arts Organizations and Teaching Artists provide specialized knowledge and resources to supplement the fine arts foundation on a campus. They support all three components of an Arts-Rich Education and provide opportunities for a campus to expand its educational opportunities beyond its normal reach. No two arts organizations are alike, they collectively provide a broad range of support in and out of regular school hours, on and off campus, for students and teachers, and in the form of a single event, an extended series of events, or multi-year embedded strategic partnerships.
Base Expertise: Fine Arts Expertise and Pedagogy
Campus Leaders provide the strategic direction to ensure that the fine arts align with the campus goals and are responsible for using the arts to engage the broader community. Understanding how to maximize the value of an arts-rich culture and knowing how to foster the infrastructure to support it rests with all campus leaders—including principals, assistant principals, deans, instructional and magnet coordinators, counselors, wraparound services professionals, and other administrative staff.
Base Expertise: Campus Vision and Pedagogy
The HISD Fine Arts Department provides fine arts expertise, establishes shared values, and collects district-wide data all in support of the creation and continued growth of Arts-Rich Campuses throughout the district. In a district as large and diverse as HISD, the Fine Arts Department supports and coordinates matters pertaining to the Fine Arts at all levels within the district and participates in collective-impact efforts in the community.
Base Expertise: District Fine Arts Vision, Fine Arts Expertise, and Pedagogy