Take your partners

10th January 1997 at 00:00
LESSONS IN PARTNERSHIP Midlands Arts Marketing, 4 Russell Place, Nottingham NG1 5HJ (0115 948 3344) Pounds 11.99 including p amp; p. Cheques payable to East Midlands Arts Board

This booklet arose as the result of a conference last year called to discuss the tricky business of bringing professional art into the classroom.

A lot of misconceptions were erased, a lot of doubts dissolved, and some important, if informal, guidelines were laid down. The book has been produced by the East Midlands Arts Board, but it is more than a summary of the events. Funded by East Midlands Electricity, it is the culmination of a five-year research programme by the Royal Opera House's head of opera education, Pauline Tambling.

It concentrates on arts in schools, rather than venturing wider into the community, and is effectively a handbook for all those who might be involved - arts organisations, teachers, sponsors.

Those already involved might find some of the guidance a little fundamental, but that is no bad thing. The 44-page book is in two halves: the first about the arts organisations' role; the second about the schools'. As well as important check lists for those concerned, the one side in the equation can see clearly what the other one has to do and why.

The increasingly important third side to the partnership is sponsorship, and at every stage both school and arts organisation have to take into account the needs of the business partner - something Pauline Tambling is as well aware of as anyone, having to raise 80 per cent of the funding for her operations from sponsors.

"All too often," she says, "artists are treated as substitute teachers or the arts group hasn't made enough effort to understand what the school is really looking for, or the sponsor is seen as a walking cheque book. This publication aims to avoid such situations."

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