Many schools realize that visiting artists strengthen the education of students. A short exposure experience such as seeing a play or dance performance, listening to live music, or making art can contribute to a school wide project or specific curriculum. Missouri Arts Council’s School Touring Program funds 60% of the artistic fee to support these kinds of activities. To be eligible for the grant K-12 schools must contract with “School Touring Qualified” artists and/or performing arts groups.
To become School Touring Qualified, artists and arts organizations must apply and be selected. STQ artists are listed on the Missouri Arts Council website. Artists who contract with schools can recommend the grant opportunity to the school.
The Application Process
Artists may submit their complete application any time during the year. Upon receipt MAC staff will interview three of the references and this information will become part of the application. A MAC representative will observe and evaluate the artist’s performance or workshop, this also becomes part of the application. Once all materials have been collected the application will be provided to the Arts Education Panel which meets monthly. Using the application checklist Panelists will score and make recommendation to the MAC Executive Committee. Once approved the artist will be notified and if selected the MAC website will be updated to include information about the artist, performance or workshop, and other relevant details.
Performing and visual artists, or arts organizations, with interest in becoming School Touring Qualified (STQ) should attach the following information to an email with subject line “School Touring Qualified” to Julie Hale at firstname.lastname@example.org:
- Website Information – Provide short description to be posted on MAC website with: contact information, short description of the school program or workshop, appropriate student grade levels, list of equipment, facility and other needs, fee range, and information about how the artist will work with the school.
- Narrative – Not to exceed four double spaced, single sided pages, describing the artist or organization, types of programs/workshops offered, connections to specific elements of Fine Arts curriculum as well as other curriculum if appropriate, teaching strategies including time and classroom management, how activities are adapted for each grade level that is served, and how artist(s) work with school administration and teachers.
- Resume(s) for all artists under consideration.
- Study Guide that includes:
- information about the program/workshop,
- information about the art form,
- at least one learning activity that teachers could use to prepare the students for the program/workshop, or as a follow-up activity.
- List of schools (at least three) where artist has recently worked. Include name of school, date of program/workshop, contact person, their phone, email, and mailing address. (Note: A Missouri Arts Council representative will interview these references and report to the panel.)
- Schedule of upcoming school programs/workshops. (As part of the evaluation a MAC representative will attend one of the programs/workshops.)
- Support materials may include: news articles, photos, marketing materials, and other items that demonstrate artistic and teaching qualifications.
Checklist for School Touring Qualified (STQ) Roster Artists
Evidence may be found in resume(s) and support materials, through reference interviews and the site visit.
· Artist(s) accomplishment.
· Arts focus with students.
Performs/exhibits at professional level of proficiency.
Fine arts discipline is focus of school program/workshop.
Evidence may be found in application narrative, resume(s), study guide, and support materials, as well
· Artist(s) formal education as well as experience in teaching at appropriate grade levels.
· Knowledge of Fine Arts standards and ties to curriculum and/or Social and Emotional Learning.
· Knowledge and effective use of teaching strategies that are appropriate to the grade levels being taught.
Experience in performing or teaching at grade levels for which programs/workshops
Demonstrates familiarity with national and state fine arts standards as well as relevant curriculum standards.
Maintains student attention
Evidence found in application narrative and reference interviews and the site visit.
· Ability to manage programs/workshops and work
· Completeness of the application.
Initiates positive and productive relationship with school personnel in setting up logistics and consistently following through.
Application is clearly written, free of typographical errors, with accurate contact information.
Reference Interview Questions
- Was the artist’s work in your school beneficial for your students or faculty?
- Would you recommend this artist to another school?
Will ask them to comment on the following, and then score between 1 and 4 – 4 being highest:
- Communication Prior to Session – Artist displayed professionalism during contact prior to working in the school, including promptly answering phone calls or emails, sending adequate prep materials, and providing a clearly written contractual agreement and study guide.
- Preparation – The artist was punctual, came prepared with all necessary items and was ready to begin work at the start of the allotted time slot.
- Artistic Quality & Knowledge – The artist displayed high artistic quality and mastery of the material they presented.
- Communication with Students – The artist was able to communicate effectively with students.
- Communication with Teachers – The artist communicated effectively with teachers and administrators.
- Connecting to Curriculum – The artist connected their project to specific elements of curriculum.
- Teaching Strategies – The artist used a variety of teaching strategies to communicate their subject material.
- Time Management & Control of Classroom – The artist effectively managed their time in the classroom or for a workshop. They utilized appropriate strategies for dealing with poor behavior by students.