CAT Institute Sample Curriculum

For those considering applying to the Annual Community Arts Training (CAT) Institute, here is an overview of the issues discussed in the curriculum. In our Annual CAT Institute, classes meet for five months, one weekend a month, beginning in October or November. Weekend sessions consist of 6 hours of class on Fridays and 7 hours on Saturday. All classes are led by the CAT Institute director and faculty along with guest faculty and Institute alumni. In addition to the class time, there is time spent in research and lab teams as well as readings and reports.

Weekend Session 1

Introductions and Overview: What are we trying to accomplish and how do we know we’ve succeeded? Critical response; Assessment tools; Criteria; Social services and arts evaluations.

Programs and Process: Who we are; The journey is as important as the destination; Communication and negotiation skills in program design; Lab teams, Site visits and assignments.

Weekend Session 2

Research – Evaluation – Process: What is community? Brief introduction to community based arts / arts based community programs; Outline of curriculum, readings, guest faculty.

Program Design and Legal Issues; Grants Writing Introduction: Some practical considerations in community arts program design, contracts, budgeting, non-profits; the art of grants writing.

Weekend Session 3

Community Arts and Change: Partnerships and power; Group assets inventory and the hard questions.

Cultural Competency, Diversity and Identity Issues in Program Design; Understanding Power and Privilege: Characteristics of oppression; our roles; how does this impact our work and our leadership?

Weekend Session 4

Art Based Education Programs; Learning Styles and Teaching Strategies for Youth and Adults: Introduction to Common Core standards, Grade Learning Expectation (GLE’s), and teaching and empowering youth and adults.

Considerations in Sustaining Programs; Creative Process in Program Design: Risk management, freedom of expression and other legal considerations; Tapping into the creative process.

Weekend Session 5

Partnerships: True collaborations, Funding: Unanswered questions; Where can we find support for programs? What’s next?

Support and Resources: Marketing and PR: Getting the word out; Advocacy and cultivating support; Lab Team project presentations; Graduation celebration.