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I hesitate to tackle the first question, because like most art teachers...
the more equipment, supplies and good furniture I have...the happier I am!!!
But as to your second question, I have found several principles work well:
1. Consider yourself a Public Relations Agent for your student artists,
create a network of contacts within your community. They should include a
Cable TV company reporter, local News Reporters for both TV and
Newspapers(talk to other educators to see whom they have received the most
support from) and of course your Central Office Newsletter.
2. Keep your parents current by sending home a one page newsletter about
projects, upcoming exhibits and volunteer opportunities. They love to keep
informed and will turn out for their kids events.
3. Keep your student artwork on display in prominent areas of the school,
especially the office and principals office...you would be amazed how many
reports come back about the art program from just those two sources.
4. Consider putting on a mini-art show in the central office, area businesses
and library, city hall.....
5. If, of course, you have a coronary just imagining the effort all this
takes, enlist the volunteer help of your local arts council and or retired
volunteers. It is worth it all to see your students know their efforts are
valued and regarded as worthy to be viewed in the public arena! (as it