A Historical Study of an Effective Community Arts Committee: The History and Activity of the Mora...

March 10, 2010 / By: Courtney J. Bush

The intent of this study was to document the history and activity of the Mora, Minnesota, Comprehensive Arts Planning Program (CAPP) committee from 1985 to the present.  The research examined: (1) The implementation of CAPP in Minnesota; (2) Ways the Minnesota CAPP initiative leads and supports the activities of local CAPP committees; (3) The development of the Mora, Minnesota, CAPP committee; (4) Mora CAPP’s mission and goals; (5) Programming Mora CAPP has sponsored and its involvement with both Independent School District #332 and the Mora community; (6) Funding for committee programming; (7) Leader and member recruitment; (8) Long-range planning; (9) Plan to survive through current economic challenges.  Using interviews and print documents, data were compiled and documented according to the research questions.

The data presented in this study indicate that the utilizing of several effective practices is essential to the success of a local CAPP committee.  During the formation of the Mora CAPP committee, co-chairpersons recruit members from each arts area to participate in the formal CAPP process, led by the Perpich Center for Arts Education.  During the CAPP process, the site committee develops vision and mission statements that guide members as they construct a five-year comprehensive arts education plan, the successful implementation of which is the culmination of the formal CAPP process. 

The Mora CAPP committee makes programming choices based on its five-year plan, coordinating activities that address each of the arts during each cycle.  The committee serves both the school district and community, working diligently to involve both groups in its programming.  To fund its efforts, the Mora CAPP committee uses a small budget from Mora Independent School District #332, and also raises funds from a variety of sources, including several grants each year.  The committee utilizes an extensive network to aid in recruitment and long-range planning as it continues to thrive.  Because they serve Minnesota’s poorest county, committee members are both visionary and realistic in their expectations for the committee’s success, particularly in the current economic climate.

As presented in this study, the Mora CAPP committee is a model of an effective comprehensive arts planning committee.  It serves as a positive example for CAPP sites throughout Minnesota, as well as for districts considering implementing CAPP themselves.

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