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Finding Community Partners

With the information you have gathered about your community, you’ve developed the beginnings of a community profile.  From this information, you will start to build a list of community organizations and community leaders, and here is where you will need lots of help. Staff, volunteers and board members can contribute a lot of information to this process from their knowledge of the community.  Your audience and donor data base can also likely help if you ask them.

To find community partners, you will exercise your curiosity:

  • Make a conscious decision to establish relationships with people/organizations outside of the arts community, from other cultural backgrounds and different age groups
  • Put yourself in situations where you’ll meet people from different parts of the community. Go to meetings and celebrations of groups/organizations you want to get to know,  go to gathering places where different demographic groups congregate
  • Ask people questions about their values, interests, culture, ways they like to participate in the community
  • Listen to people tell their stories about why they do what they do
  • Learning between organizations is a two way street: do not expect potential partners to actually know what you do or why you do it.  Be prepared to invite them into your organization to understand the range of programs you offer and your capabilities for arts delivery
  • Risk making mistakes
  • Learn to be an ally

Finally, make sure you go out and about

Why?

Ronnie Brown - Oakville Centre

Why?

Kala Seraphin - Kingston, Ontario

Why?

Megan English - Community Engagement with dance

Do You Have a Story to Share?

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