Publication Date

Fall 2017

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)




Arnold Danzig


Arts education, Arts integration, Arts partnerships, Elementary Level

Subject Areas

Art education


This study investigated three arts education partnerships in California elementary schools. The research questions that guided the inquiry were exploratory in nature and intended to reveal the day-to-day functioning of these partnerships, the challenges they faced, and the factors that contributed to their success, through the recounted experiences of the various institutional actors involved. The participants (n=21) comprised school principals and teachers, arts organizations administrative staff, and teaching artists. Qualitative inquiry methods (in-person interviews, classroom observations, and review of relevant documents) were used to analyze the data. The findings showed that the schools’ administrators and faculty appreciated the arts residencies, and they reported the programs’ positive impact on students. Despite many benefits, the arts partnerships held a small place in the schools’ life: the arts programs were considered supplemental to the core curriculum at one school, rather than being fundamental to student learning, and the two other partnerships reached only one grade level (second grade). The study uncovered several ongoing challenges: lack of proper facilities for the residencies, finding the right teacher-teaching artist match, and inconsistencies in the arts programs. The findings also demonstrated that the teacher-teaching artist relationship was key for the programs’ success. The study concluded with a discussion of recommendations for practice and future research.