For many parent groups, funding arts and enrichment performers is a significant budget item. You fundraise diligently, select your performers carefully, and sit back and watch the kids enjoy. But are you getting the most from your performers?

The arts experts at the Maine Arts Commission suggest preparing an artist orientation packet and getting that packet to your performers at least a week ahead of a scheduled visit. Doing so will help ensure that your featured performer can walk into your school fully prepared to captivate young minds.

What goes into an orientation packet?

  • A map with directions to the school
  • A map of the school interior (a great drawing project for a creative student)
  • A clear schedule of the artist’s activities, including performances, classroom visits or workshops, lunch, teacher meeting time, and enough time to break down and set up (and breathe!) between presentations
  • The names of building administrators, secretary, janitor, classroom teachers, and other key contacts during the visit
  • A copy of the local newspaper to acquaint the artist with your community and current events
  • A copy of the school newsletter
  • Any questions students or other community members have asked about the artist or the artist’s work

And a few tips for making visit day go well:

  • Designate someone to greet the artist, introduce her to key personnel, and show her around your school.
  • Use a buddy system. Make sure the artist is invited to have lunch with teachers or staff. Or ask if the artist would prefer a quiet lunch and provide that space.
  • Offer to help with unloading and loading supplies and (if necessary) moving them from room to room.

Courtesy Maine Arts Commission