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The mission of the ACDA is to inspire excellence in choral music through education, performance, composition, and advocacy.

Essentials for Choral Collaboration

As I continue to think about the strategic imperative of the work of the American Choral Directors Association as we reach out and respond collaboratively, there are two critical underlying factors I am mindful of if we want to achieve creative collaboration:

1. Sharing   Each partner in the collaboration is responsible for 100 percent of the benefits, debt, and risk of the venture.

2. Trust        Each collaborative partner respects the other's perspective, particularly the differences, and moves forward with an expectation of good will and confidence in the other's ability to contribute to the common purpose. Trust will moderate the conflict. Without trust, tension becomes an impassable chasm so that true collaboration cannot emerge.

The following are five guiding thoughts as we move to creative collaboration:

1. We start with the elements we have in common, investing in "we", and carefully watching the "I". In creative collaboration, claim overlapping elements and use them;

2. We work with those who are interested in working with us. In other words, we play with those willing to play;

3. As we work together, we empower each other to change the culture;

4. We watch the behavior of our emerging collaboration, take notes as collaborativity develops, and we are mindful of forward steps as we build on emerging themes;

5. As new ideas emerge, we develop large and visible icons and artifacts that are easily visible that result from the collaboration. We make collaborative ideas big and available to others.
Today is July 20. Many of us still have time to make contacts to others that work in our field and related fields to shape a new collaboration in the coming season. I challenge all of us to make one such contact.
on July 20, 2010 9:36am
Hi Tim,
I want you to know I did this LAST WEEK, as per your continuing Blog here.  I have mentioned some place on ChoralNet lately that I could be the poster child for what you suggest since my very existance was a collaboration between dance --my father was a nationally known ballet dancer/educator (and was Bob Fosse's vaudeville partner) and music-- my mother was a coloratura soprano. Combining of arts was something I literally grew up with.  I danced from the time I could walk and put myself through undergrad by teaching ballet, choreographing  and performing. I don't do much dancing now--a knee injury--but do lots of writing about dance history in Chicago. I do not have a fear of combining dance, choral singing or any performing art.  I think we need to be FEARLESS in our choices. I liked the fact you used the Tulsa Ballet in your CB--I am even familar with TB!
That being said, getting back to your challenge.  I ran into the director of our local professional theater center in the grocery store last week.  We  worked together a few years ago--my chamber choir sang madigals for her summer Shakespeare Fest--and we liked working with each other. So, in a few weeks, we are getting together with another local director and brainstorming on how we can do something together in our community in the next year. We challenged each other to bring three ideas that could combine our groups.  I am not sure what we will come up with will be a collaboration and, we hope, exciting. All three of us are women, so we might do something in March, National Women's History Month (can you say, "Amy Beach" and "Ruth Crawford Seeger"?) but I don't have a clue right now.
I hope others will share what they come with, as per your challenge.  It might be interesting and get us all inspired.