This fall, Right Brain celebrates its 15th Anniversary. A generation of children in our region have been shaped by the creativity and collaboration that you have helped to make possible!
When Young Audiences made the decision to take on the management of Right Brain in 2020, we were committed to sustaining and growing this innovative and unique program. The pandemic, and the ensuing school closures, gave us an opportunity to step back and reflect on our core mission as we adapted to continue serving our community in new ways. After two years of evaluation and listening to stakeholder feedback, we have developed some modifications to the Right Brain partnership model that we are excited to share.
Right Brain District Partners
From the beginning, Right Brain was envisioned as a blend of professional development and direct student services – coaching for teachers and a 5-session residency for each classroom – that would equitably serve public school students and deeply collaborate with district and school leaders to create a lasting cultural shift toward full-school arts integration. With our Right Brain District Partners, this model will continue. The pricing structure for schools has not increased since 2008 which had a significant impact on program fidelity. The goal of all students receiving a 5-session residency with an artist has not been possible in smaller classrooms, smaller schools, or schools that require longer travel. This pricing model has inadvertently meant that the most remote rural schools and the schools serving the most students with special needs were receiving the least amount of services. Over this school year and next school year, we will be reinstituting the 5-session residency for all participating schools by shifting the partnership fee from per-student to per-classroom. While some residencies will still be more expensive than others because of materials or travel, Young Audiences will absorb the responsibility of balancing costs across schools, rather than expecting educators to reduce their students’ learning experiences to stay within budget. This model will also add a teaching artist workshop for educators where they will get to play and create with their resident artist before classroom visits begin in order to get “back to basics” and have the most impact in your school.
Right Brain Professional Development Focus
Through the pandemic, we all got better at online learning and collaboration. We have school partners who are strictly interested in arts-integration professional development. Schools will have access to our coaching team, as well as our video library and online materials. This is a resource for schools outside of the Metro region who are not served by our artist roster, and our partners in the region who already have robust programming with arts specialists on their staff.
School & District Arts Partners
For those districts that would rather focus their efforts on direct student engagement and enrichment through the arts, rather than arts integration and professional development, we have also added a Young Audiences District Partnership which will utilize your district funds to target artist services in the schools with the highest need for arts services.
At the center of all these decisions are equity and sustainability. We believe that Right Brain plays an essential role in ensuring that all children in our region receive access to arts education, and in developing educators and district leaders who work collaboratively to foster creative school communities. Thank you for sharing this vision and working with us as we bring Right Brain into its next phase and continue envisioning how to deepen our work.
Please reach out to our Right Brain Director, Kim Strelchun, at [email protected] to learn more about any of these exciting opportunities.