International Journal of Art & Design Education

Transformative Partnerships: Designing School-Based Visual Arts Outreach Programmes

Volume 30.2   2011



Partnerships between informal learning environments and schools have been cited as an innovative, effective way for museums, galleries and schools to work together to enrich classroom curricula, support student success, and facilitate the utilisation of available community museum and cultural resources. This article reports on findings from a multi-year, exploratory arts outreach programme for 31 elementary and secondary visual art educators from a rural school district in the American South. The outreach programme was conceived in partnership with faculty from the neighbouring university's art department, school of education and university art gallery. Utilising a partnership framework, the travelling exhibit was developed through a collaborative research relationship with the participating visual art educators. Findings from this programme indicate that travelling exhibits can be an effective mode of programme delivery for informal learning environments while also supporting the content needs for classroom arts educators if the programme stresses transformative partnerships across all invested parties.