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Schools, Artist Work Centers and Retreats5

David Willard, facilitator

Participants: David Willard, Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts, Gatlinburg; Barbara Hill, Southwest Craft Center, San Antonio; Aliza Boyer, Museum of Arts and Design, NYC.; Ann Schneiders, YA-YA, New Orleans; Dian Magee, Craft, Creativity and Design, UNC- Asheville; Susan Mihalic, Taos Institute of Arts; Jon Cook, Houston Center for Contemporary Art; Cynthia Stone, North Bennett school in Boston; Judie Jetson, University of South Florida. 

Discussion began with the topic of higher education and the craft discipline.  Aspects of university credit, skills obtained and academic rank we also discussed.  The group felt that the new initiatives out of Washington such as “No Child Left Behind” and new guidelines based on “testing” students were damaging to more “creative” disciplines and curriculums.  Dian Magee referred the group to several sources of curriculums including “Arts Edge” organized by the Kennedy Center. 

Action item: The group felt CODA could assist by conducting a survey of all craft schools that have an affiliation with universities or colleges and offer credit, and have an ongoing relationship and collaboration program in place.  Judie Jetson mentioned that there are grants available at most schools that provide for “community partnerships” and “in-school program” funding opportunities which might be of interest to CODA members.

Building partnerships was discussed at length and examples were given.  On the topic of university collaboration and cross-discipline work, further examples were illustrated such as the relationship between architecture- anthropology – fine arts with a “community partner”.  Craft organizations should find ways to collaborate with these types of disciplines within higher education.  Apprenticeship programs and getting past the “testing” mentality to teach a more marketable skill were also discussed.

Action item:  From the CODA website link to the Americans for the Arts homepage. How does CODA”S mission fit into their goals of arts advocacy and are there funding opportunities available to CODA through that organization? 

Discussion continued on the topic of the changing demographics of craft educators and where are future art teachers/leaders going to come from.  The group felt that it is important to begin some type of internship program in arts administration. Mention was made of the federal work-study program in the Department of Labor.

Action item:  Create a survey to see what organizations would be willing to host an intern for future arts administrators.

Action item: On the CODA website list all craft schools in the US, not just member organizations. List could include services offered, etc. 

The group discussed board governance and the issues concerning board involvement and participation in your organization.  Many issues were raised, frustration on lack of participation and commitment were shared and basic board structure and obligations were also points of discussion.

Action item:  At the next CODA conference have a panel on board governance and how boards function (or not in some cases).  Perhaps inviting a board member to the CODA conference would be a good idea and have them conduct a “peer to peer” meeting or reception to know more about how other boards work.


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