Our major goals for the next 2 years prioritize building a strong foundation for Little Opera through an increase in financial stability and sustainability, from which we can begin to scale as an organization. We will use the 2015-2016 season to build our curriculum framework, strengthen existing partnerships, and cultivate new ones with organizations similarly committed to fostering the arts in schools, and ensuring equality in their promotion. In 2016-2017, we will actively look for a partner and the space for a 2nd location.
By our 2017-2018 season, we plan to transition from hiring our teachers as contractors to offering modest salaried positions, including benefits, to our core team. Our 2017-2018 season will also mark the first time we will have students transitioning into high school. In 2016-2017, we will work with our oldest students to explore the possibility of a high school program, which could include professional mentorships, student-led projects, student work opportunities and a more wide-ranging performance series.
Below are our core goals and objectives for 2015-2017, developed by the Little Opera teaching team at our annual retreat. Starred items are our highest priority objectives for each goal:
1. Increase financial stability:
– Draft and follow a 2-year development plan to increase funding from individual donors, foundations and government organizations by August 2015.
– **Develop a 2-year earned income plan that increases existing sources of income and explores new forms by October 2015.**
– Increase our budget to $200K by the end of 2016-2017 season.
– Increase involvement of our advisory board in fundraising and resource development to 100% participation by end of 2016.
– Continue to build a cash reserve to protect us from unexpected income shortfalls or increased expenses, with a goal of reaching $25K by end of 2017.
– **Lay the administrative and financial groundwork to hire our core teaching team on modest salaries by 2017-2018 season.**
2. Grow and strengthen the Little Opera network, including community partners, advisory board members, students and families:
– **Continue to deepen our existing partnerships with the French-American School, West Portal Elementary and AltSchool.**
– Build at least 2 new partnerships with organizations by June 2017.
– Grow the advisory board by 4 members by end of 2016.
– **Increase enrollment to 50 students by 2017, and maintain at least 50% retention between seasons.**
– Continue to offer tuition scholarships to at least 50% of all eligible students.
– Take Little Opera students and families on at least 2 field trips per season to view performances and dress rehearsals, beginning in 2015-2016 season.
– Provide additional performance opportunities for our oldest students throughout the Bay Area.
– **Pilot new ways to increase parent involvement in 2015-2016 season.**
– Continue to recruit and enroll students that represent a broad spectrum of race, ethnicity, and class in the Bay Area
– Pilot a student advisory group with our oldest students in our 2015-2016 season
3. Build and develop the core teaching team:
– **Pilot opportunities for teaching team to collaborate as an artistic ensemble, starting in 2015-2016 season.**
– Hold an annual camping retreat for all Little Opera teachers and staff.
– Provide Little Opera teachers with opportunities to share their own artistic work with students and families, starting in 2015-2016 season.
– Continue to meet quarterly for professional development meetings to compare research and best practices in the field.
– Provide funding for the core team to pursue external professional development opportunities.
– **Write a scaffolding for curriculum goals in every art form by September 15th, 2015.**
4. Optimize space and tools for teaching and administration:
– **Continue developing materials and tools for students to use in all classes for all disciplines, with the goal of creating a student toolbox for 2016-2017 season.**
– Invest in new software or hardware that will increase administrative efficiency.
– **Explore possibilities for new spaces and locations for 2017-2018 season.**
– Consistently explore and improving options for moving things around in the classroom to better accommodate our space needs
– Make the Little Opera office at Pacific Felt Factory a comfortable and functional hub for our core teaching and administrative team