How to Plan a Successful Program

“We’ve had really good feedback from people [about our Creative Aging workshop series] – and more importantly, more libraries in our system have contacted us requesting similar programs at their sites…”

– Nick Higgins, Chief Librarian, Brooklyn Public Library
I. Begin Preliminary Activities
  1. Assess your facilities for resources and appropriate spaces
  2. Survey prospective participants to learn which art forms are of interest to them
  3. Select an art form based on your facility’s capacity and the results of your participant survey
II. Partner with a teaching artist
  1. Find and interview a professional teaching artist
  2. Invite the teaching artist for a site visit
  3. Provide your teaching artist with a contract
  4. The teaching artist will then develop a workshop curriculum
III. Prepare for the workshop
  1. Reserve a dedicated space in your facility for the workshop series
  2. Announce and promote the workshop series
  3. Register participants
  4. Order supplies and materials
  5. Remind participants about the first day of class
IV. Stay Connected
  1. Introduce the teaching artist at the first class
  2. Routinely check-in with the class and the teaching artist
V. Welcome the community to a culminating event
  1. Plan and promote a “culminating event” (an exhibit, reading, or performance, open to the public)
  2. Invite participants and members of the community
  3. Host the event
VI. Evaluate the Experience

Gather feedback from participants and culminating event attendees

  • Include culturally connected art programs in your survey
  • Don’t replicate existing nearby programs for older adults — offer something new
  • Align expectations of teaching artist with capacity and support of the senior center
  • Discuss class structure and goals with your teaching artist 
  • Teaching artists should speak the same language of the students they serve
  • Use large font (12pt or higher) on all materials

Sample Program Budget