CommuniCREATE was structured around four after-school events held at Barger Academy of Fine Arts during the 2013-2014 academic year. During each CommuniCREATE event, parents will have the option to engage in workshops alongside their children in all 4 arts forms (visual art, music, drama, and dance). Each workshop consisted of Barger Arts Specialists guiding students and parents through arts activities that are also taught during the school day.




The event takes approximately 3 hours, which includes set-up, workshop facilitation, and clean-up.  Below are the variety of options we tried and some feedback to consider as you plan your school’s CommuniCREATE event.


Option A: 5:30pm-7:30pm Advertised Time

            Option A Breakdown:

                        4:30pm-5:00pm Set-up

                        5:00pm-5:30pm Registration opens

                        5:30pm-5:45pm General welcome with a student performance

                        5:45pm-6:00pm Transition into workshops

                        6:00pm-6:50pm Workshops

                        6:50pm-7:00pm Complete CommuniCREATE surveys

                        7:00pm-7:30pm Reception in gym

                        7:30pm-8:00pm Clean-up


Feedback- This worked well, but having the reception at the end was a little late for families who were not able to eat dinner before attending. We also discovered that 30 minutes for registration and 15 minutes for the workshop transition was a bit too long. Many families arrived 15 minutes prior to starting, which wasn’t too packed if you have at least 3 people helping at the registration table.  Once everyone registered, they waited in the gym and were released by art form after the general welcome and student performance was over. Since many students knew where to go, the workshop transition only took about ten minutes.


Option B: 6:00pm-8:00pm Advertised Time

            Option B Breakdown:

                        5:15pm-5:45pm Set-up

                        5:45pm-6:00pm Registration Opens

                        6:00pm-6:15pm General welcome with a student performance

                        6:15pm-6:25pm Transition into workshops

                        6:25pm-7:25pm Workshops

                        7:25pm-7:30pm Complete CommuniCREATE surveys

                        7:30pm-8:00pm Reception in gym

                        8:00-8:30pm Clean-up


Feedback- We liked this option a little better than option A because it gave participants more time in the workshops. The shorter registration and transition time worked well. Starting later also gave families more time to eat dinner before the event.  However, getting out 30 minutes later made a huge difference, especially if the event happens on a school night.


Option C: 6:00pm-7:30pm Advertised Time


            Option C Breakdown:

                        5:15pm-5:45pm Set-up

                        5:45pm-6:00pm Registration Opens

                        5:45pm-6:20pm Opening reception and student performance

                        6:20pm-6:30pm Transition into workshops

                        6:30pm-7:25pm Workshops

                        7:25pm-7:30pm Complete CommuniCREATE surveys

                        7:30pm-8:00pm Clean-up


 Feedback: This option worked really well for getting done a little earlier. The reception worked well, but we preferred having it after the workshops because of the meaningful conversations families had about their experience.


Option D: 6:00pm-8:00pm Advertised time with an optional dinner at 5:30pm


Option D Breakdown:

5:00pm-5:30pm Set-up

5:30pm-6:15pm After families register they go to the gym for dinner

6:15pm-6:30pm Welcome and student performances

6:30pm-6:40pm Transition into workshop

6:40pm-7:30pm Workshops

7:30pm-7:35pm Complete CommuniCREATE surveys

7:35pm-8:00pm  Dessert reception in gym

8:00pm-8:30pm Clean-up


Feedback:  We liked this option a lot because it gave families more flexibility.  Families had the option of attending dinner or arriving at the beginning of the workshops. We’re not sure if the option would work for the first CommuniCREATE event at your school. We tried this option after facilitating a few CommuniCREATE events, and many of the families who arrived later had already attended one in the past.




We scheduled our marketing in three-week increments prior to each CommuniCREATE event. This worked well, especially when there is already so much happening during the school year. Here is a marketing timeline that worked for us and the kinds of materials we sent out:

Three weeks before the event: Send a “save the date” flyer home with students to share with the their families. We liked using a “save the date” flyer that could also function as a bookmark.  Click here for a sample “save the date” flyer.

Two weeks before the event: Send an “RSVP” form home with students and ask families to return it the Friday before the event happens.  Click here for a sample “RSVP” form

One week before the event: Send a “call-out” reminding parents about the event and that RSVP will be due soon.

Week of the event: Put a reminder sticker on students’ shirts the day before the event. When their families ask about the sticker, the student will remember to tell them about CommuniCREATE. 




The reception is a great opportunity for parents to earn volunteer hours. Parents donated homemade desserts as well as assisted with set-up, serving, and clean-up.  If you have parents donate desserts, coordinate with the front office a process for parents to drop-off desserts the day of the event.  Request parents to send desserts in disposable containers and to provide plastic utensils for serving. If possible, you might request that parents include one pack of plates, utensils, and napkins.   


Registration Table


This is another great opportunity for parents to earn volunteer hours. We recommend having at least three people at the registration table.  Two people can assist with sign-in, and one person can collect signed forms.  The person who collects sign forms can quickly double check that everything was complete correctly, which is especially important if you need participants to sign a photo release.


Waiting Area


After families finished registering, they went into the gym.  We covered a few tables with butcher paper and provided crayons for coloring. This was a great way to fill time, and younger family members greatly appreciated this.  Also, if parents with young ones need to step out during a workshop, this is a great place to go.  This was a great discovery we made after the first time we did this during a CommuniCREATE event.  Parents with younger children greatly appreciated this option!  If you don’t have butcher paper, recycled newspaper will also work.