Connecting Schools and Communities Conference

Exploring the use of schools and community facilities for creative community outcomes

One day conferences in three Victorian regions, Colac, Wodonga and Melbourne, June 2008

How are school and community facilities contributing to creative and connected local communities, lifelong learning and successful local partnerships?
These events featured presentations about model projects, (local, national and international initiatives), that have resulted in better engaged communities, more effective partnerships, more creative community activity and improved local cultural development.

Keynote speaker was Lisa Fitzhugh, founder and Executive Director, Artscorps, USA, a non-profit youth development program that partners with schools and community organizations to bring free after school arts classes to low-income young people in Seattle USA. Since its 2000 inception, Arts Corps has grown from an enrolment of 400 students at 10 partner sites in 2000 to 2,700 students in 139 quarterly classes at 40 partner facilities in 2008. Arts Corps has been deemed a US national leader in excellent arts programming by Harvard University’s Project Zero, a graduate research program on arts education and creativity and the National Partnership for Quality Afterschool Learning. (

Providing creative arts programs for young people through successful partnerships with schools, sporting and community organizations
Lisa Fitzhugh, Founder and Executive Director, Artscorps, Seattle, USA

Colac-Otway region, COPACC, Friday June 20
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How the Live Arts Incubator Came About, Jude Anderson, Artistic Director, Punctum
Skills Connection, Marita Brady, Manager, Community Connection
Creative Partnerships: What can we learn from Artplay? Robert Brown, The University of Melbourne
Making the Most of Creative Partnerships: collaborations between learners, teachers and artists, (Discussion notes), Robert Brown, University of Melbourne,
Schools as Community Facilities, Mark Donehue, Regeneration Officer, Dept Education and Early Childhood Development, Barwon South West region
Community Partnerships, Mandy Grinblat, Senior Arts Officer, Arts Victoria
School and Local Government Partnerships: Performing Arts Facilities and Programmes, Rob Robson, City of Greater Shepparton
Poems about Community Spaces, Annabel Tellis
The Policy Perspective: School and Community Partnerships, Michael Tudball, Director, School and Community Partnerships, Dept of Planning and Community Development

Western metropolitan region, Williamstown Town Hall, Monday June 23
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Sound Links: collaborations between musical communities and schools in Victoria, Dr. Brydie Leigh Bartleet, Queensland Conservatorium Research Centre, Griffith University
Schools as Core Social Centres, Lesley Hyde, Catholic Education Office
The Song Room: Providing Opportunities for Enhanced Learning and Development for Disadvantaged Childen Through Music and the Arts,
The Song Room Vision and Target Groups
, Deborah Nicholson, Program Manager, The Song Room
Learnings From Research: How Do Our Communities Benefit Through Developing Creative Partnerships? Maureen Ryan, Professor, School of Education, Victoria University, and Director, Gallery Sunshine Everywhere (PPT version)
Active After-School Communities Program, Kate Simkovic, State Manager, Victoria, Active After-School Communities Program

La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga campus, Wednesday June 25
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Taking Learning to the Learners: Developing a Learning Community,
Angela Craven, Yarrunga Primary School
Creative and sustainable mental health promotion through the arts in schools and communities, John Lane, Festival for Healthy Living
Museums and Education- Linking Students, Teachers and their Communities, Public Programs and Exhibitions at the Immigration Museum in 2008, Jan Molloy, Programs Co-ordinator Humanities, Immigration Museum
How do our communities benefit through creative partnerships?: a tricky question, Mark Selkrig, La Trobe University, Albury-Wodonga Campus

Read more about the conferences in this article from Curriculum Leadership Journal and the conference report.

Conference partners Mark Selkrig and Kim Keamy wrote this article about the partnerships engendered:
Mark Selkrig and (Ron) Kim Keamy (2009) Beyond Borderlanders: Universities Extending their Role in Fostering Creative Partnerships within Communities, The International Journal of Learning, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp.185-196.