Financial literacy is having the knowledge and skills needed to make responsible economic and financial decisions with confidence and competence. Preparing dance students for the realities of working in the dance industry is critical at the senior level. By exploring the financial responsibilities of dance artists and arts administrators, students will learn to appreciate the arts economy and prepare for their post-secondary future.
In this unit, students will examine important elements of careers in the dance industry. By inviting a guest to speak to the class about Arts Administration, the exploration will begin by looking at non-traditional dance jobs. From there, an examination of what dance grants are available and how an artist applies for one is embarked upon. Finally, after developing an assessment rubric with the teacher to evaluate student grant applications, the class takes on the role of a jury and peer assess the grant applications. Emphasis will be placed on collaboration and the creative process throughout the unit.
Unit Guiding Questions
What role does business play in the world of dance?
Why do you think dance artists should be financially literate?
How do creative artists support themselves?
What is a grant and how do artists receive them?
Assessment and Evaluation
Assessment for Learning
Lesson One: Check for Understanding, Ask Guiding Questions, Listen, Observe, Exit Slips
Lesson Two: Hands-up, Jigsaw Presentations
Lesson Four: Brainstorming, Creative Movement Response
Assessment as Learning
Journal Entry for Reflection
Assessment of Learning
Grant Application Assignment
Rubrics (Teacher and co-constructed criteria)
Lesson 1 - The Business of Dance
Creativity happens on and off stage when it comes to putting on a dance performance. There are many financial considerations that dancers and their collaborators must consider when planning projects. This lesson offers a framework for students to understand the practical realities of producing art. Students will meet an arts administrator from the community and learn about the process of financing a dance production and/or company.
Lesson 2 - Granted; It’s not easy getting funding!
Applying for grants is one way for dancers to amass the necessary resources to put together a production. Knowing what granting organizations exist, and what each requires is a meaningful way to understand what sponsors value in artists. In this lesson, students will individually research national, provincial, municipal and private organizations. They will come together in small groups to share their findings.
Lesson 3 - The Art of Writing a Grant
In this lesson students work in small groups to complete the same grant application package. The grant can be a mock exercise or a legitimate experience. The scope of this section of the unit can range from one class to an on-going assignment that covers the span of the course. Many applications require resumes, audio-visual samples and extensive performance experience. Teachers may wish to structure their course around completing the elements of a particular grant application.
Lesson 4 - Co-constructing Criteria
In this lesson students work with their teacher to create a rubric designed to assess the Grant Application Package. The rubric will be used for two purposes: For the students to peer-evaluate the applications and to choose the best mock “recipient” of the grant.
Lesson 5 - Jury Duty
As a culminating activity, students work in jury groups to evaluate each of the grant applications. The class takes into consideration what respectful practices are necessary when assessing peers. The unit culminates with students writing a journal reflection of their experience of the entire process from working in their grant writing groups to acting as a member of a jury.