By Portia White Muhammad
Arts and Culture Manager
It’s not always easy to offer arts programs in community center settings that are outstanding, engaging, accessible, challenging and use an “outside the box ” approach.
For clarity, Metro Parks has been no slouch in developing and implementing wonderful arts programs, but for maximum potential, partnerships and collaborations with community agencies and organizations is the way to go! Through the Kentucky Center’s ArtsReach program, Metro Parks has had more than 500 community center staff receive training in how to successfully program the arts.
By taking part in hands-on arts workshops, learning about the plethora of resources in our community, experiencing grant writing and even receiving a non-competitive, non-matching grant to create an arts program for their community center, Metro Parks centers have gone from primarily an all-sports landscape to offering programs that speak to the whole child or whole person.
In return, the Kentucky Center addresses one of its goals: of bringing the arts to underserved communities and the community at large. On any given fall day, you can find several of our 16 community centers offering short-term programs funded through Kentucky Center’s ArtsReach program. From Flamenco & Hip-Hop dance to culinary arts and creative writing, youth and adults get to immerse themselves in the arts under the guidance of professional artists, all free of cost. Metro Parks centers have hosted master classes and workshops taught by nationally and internationally known artists; exhibited visual art created by center youth throughout the community; provided their constituents with tickets to performances at no, or low cost ($3 per ticket), showcased talented youth in an annual performing arts showcase held every spring at The Kentucky Center for the Arts, all due to this working partnership.
Here are the Three tips we’ve used to build successful partnerships:
• Understanding your role/Understanding your partners role
• Communicating on a consistent basis
• Creating clear goals and outcomes