University/School Arts Education Partnerships and Curriculum-Based Model Programs: A Study of the Sustainability of ArtsBridge America
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Collaborations and partnerships between universities and the K-12 public school system have the potential to significantly impact the availability of arts education. Due to funding challenges and almost non-existent district-level support for arts education, inschool and highly replicable model programs like ArtsBridge America, a national network of twenty-two university outreach programs in thirteen states, are currently being developed to address the lack of arts education in the majority of our nation’s public schools. In order to ensure the long-term success of these types of programs, elements of administrative, financial, and longitudinal sustainability must be uncovered and addressed. It is essential to focus on key elements for sustainable and long-term model arts education programs for K-12 schools like shared leadership, parent and community involvement, multiple and varied funding sources, and professional development in arts education for K-12 teachers. Through an assessment of the sustainability of the ArtsBridge America program, this study seeks to discover the strengths and weaknesses of this model so that research outcomes may be applied to benefit other university/school collaborations and also to nonprofit community arts outreach programs. This project expands current understanding of arts education programming and explains necessary elements of sustainability for a model arts education program like ArtsBridge America so that programs of this nature may proliferate successfully.