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Arriving at One Goal is the Starting Point to Another

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The Idaho Commission on the Arts 2010- 2014 Long Range Plan is a successor to an earlier five-year plan and a direct response to constituents’ expressed needs. The previous plan was comprehensive, having been conceived and written with suggestions and comments from arts supporters across Idaho. From 2002 to 2008, it produced greater service-reliability and rural-reach than any before it, and led to the present, improved plan. New steps are possible only because they follow the pathway of service successes that established trust among constituents and legislators over the prior six years.

In 2007, the Commission sent a press release to all media, urging public participation. It solicited artists, arts administrators, local and state officials, school teachers and administrators, grant recipients, tribal members, gallery owners, students and parents. Through fall of that year, faculty from the Public Policy Center at Boise State University facilitated twelve town meetings throughout Idaho, with assistance from Commission staff, commissioners, and the local hosts. Staff developed four focus questions for the meetings, revolving around constituent values and the public value brought to communities by the arts. The focus questions were posted on the agency Web site to reach those who wanted to participate but could not attend. Notes from the meetings, however, were sent to all participants. Commission staff, BSU faculty, and a planning consultant then reviewed and analyzed the responses. Four key common issues emerged, and Commissioners responded to them in a facilitated public meeting, providing staff with priorities and guidance. Consequently, staff wrote goals, objectives, and strategies directed at the identified issues and led commissioners through a second facilitated process, refining the draft. A series of regional round-tables with commissioners resulted in the final revisions adopted at the August 2008 Commission meeting in Boise.

Sounds Like a Plan

Succinctly, the new Long Range Plan increases the value of the available grant-funds by reducing the effort required to obtain them and increasing their reliability. We folded multiplegrants funding into a single unrestricted grant to support the public programs in the arts presented by professional arts organizations in Idaho.

The plan shifts staff resources away from grant-making paperwork toward services in the field. It makes delivery of practical business services for artists and arts organizations a priority.

Almost All Things Considered

In drafting its FY 2010-2014 Long Range Plan, the Commission ensured that every goal addresses the key issues, that every objective is achievable and measurable and attached to a timeline. The Commission will perform reviews at its fall retreat, reporting annual progress to the Governor and the Legislature. Since evaluation methodology is only as useful as the information gleaned, however, the new goals of the Plan are derived directly from feedback delivered to or collected by our agency. The values and priorities of the plan, therefore, are obviously those of our constituents. When we establish achievable objectives and timed strategies to meet these goals, we begin a process of meeting our constituents’ needs—with what we have, not with what we wish we had.

A Goal without a Plan is Just a wish

GOAL ONE (Key Issue: Rethink Grant-Making Processes) Simplify and improve the grant-making of the Commission to enhance access to public programs in the arts.

Objective 1A
Within one year, adopt a set of policies simplifying the application process by one-half for arts organizations providing ongoing public programs.

Objective 1B
Within one year, establish a system that provides reliable ongoing support for public programs delivered by Idaho arts organizations.

Objective 1C
Within one year, focus QuickFunds for Organizations to support programs and projects of applicants ineligible for Public Programs in the Arts or Entry Track.

Objective 1D
Continue to provide awards and career enhancement opportunities for Idaho artists in recognition of artistic excellence.

Objective 1E
Continue to support teaching and learning activities for K-12 students, uniting effective instructional practices in education, in and through the arts, by encouraging the use of Idaho artists and arts organizations.

GOAL TWO (Key Issue: Reduce Geographical Isolation) Reach out to communities across the state to reduce their expressed sense of geographical isolation.

Objective 2A
Within one year, schedule staff time for more in-person communication with constituents, addressing the needs of Idahoans where they live.

Objective 2B
Within one year, expand the role of citizens as advocates for the arts in their communities.

Objective 2C
Within four years, bring artists, arts organizations, and others together for multiple regional events.

Objective 2D
Continue to develop or expand arts events in communities across the state.

Objective 2E
Within five years, expand by one-quarter the reach of Commission arts education activities to teachers and educational administrators.

Objective 2F
Continue to link the Commission’s efforts to larger public agendas.

Objective 2G
Continue to work with social service organizations to provide services to artists new to Idaho.

Objective 2H
Within three years, encourage regional and national arts conferences to meet in Idaho.

GOAL THREE (Key Issue: Deliver Practical Information) Provide practical arts business management and arts-learning information to Idahoans.

Objective 3A
Within two years, further the development of artists in Idaho through the communication of practical professional information.

Objective 3B
Continue to contribute to policies that support the arts as core subjects in K-12 education in Idaho.

Objective 3C
Within three years, collect, clarify, and disseminate information about the impact arts programs have on teaching and learning.

Objective 3D
Within five years, require all Public Programs in the Arts applicants to provide a cash-flow budget using actual figures from the prior year.

GOAL FOUR (Key Issue: Provide Professional Services) Provide professional services enhancing the growth and stability of Idaho arts.

Objective 4A
Within two years, schedule the Commission’s program directors to participate in facilitation training.

Objective 4B
Within one year, provide expanded professional services to Idaho artists and arts organizations.

Objective 4C
Continue supporting public art in Idaho communities.

Objective 4D
Continue Idaho teacher, administrator, and teaching-artist professional development, supporting teaching and learning in the arts in K-12 classrooms.

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