Partnering with Local Businesses to Display Student Artwork

One great way to showcase your students’ art work is to partner with local business to share their creations with the community. It doesn’t always have to mean a lot of extra time or work on the teacher’s part. A simple display plan with even just a few pieces of art can be a great advocacy tool and mean a lot to your students.

We have partnered with a local bank in town to be able to display students’ artwork.  It is a great win-win for each party involved.  Parents from your students will be more likely to visit that place of business and it gives your students a chance to see their artwork going beyond the classroom walls.

Here are three ways you could use a partnership that doesn’t involve showing all 400 of your student’s work at once (because that would be overwhelming!):

1)      This could be set aside especially for art club students to showcase their work.

2)      Used to display a wide variety of student work throughout the year, perhaps chosen as an award or recognition to help the community see what your art program is all about and also motivate your students.

3)      Advertise for your students’ upcoming art events.  We have used the banks display window to help advertise our annual Art Walk where we host our famous Art on a Bus!

It’s always a great idea to send a personalized letter home with the students who have art on display. This way, parents are more likely to make a visit and share in the accomplishment with their student.

Partnerships can help you build support within the community and are a great way to advocate for your program.  Check with your local businesses in town to see about partnering with them!  If you are looking for more great advocacy ideas to use right away in your classroom, consider taking “Advocating for the Arts” in November!

How do you partner with local businesses?

How to you help get students’ artwork out into the community?

Chelsie Meyer

This article was written by former AOE writer and technology guru Chelsie Meyer.


  • Jessica Balsley

    We do an “Artist of the Month” program and it’s a hit with students, parents and the school. I displayed the Artist of the Month at our local grocery store in their cafe area. This arrangement did so much to help my art program and I often got help hanging the artwork each  month if I just asked. The store also donated money to various projects we did. Such a good partnership! 

    • Chelsie Meyer

      Thanks so much for sharing your local business partnership! I love the “Artist of the Month” idea too!

  • Amy Hartman

    Last school year, I partnered with a neighborhood children’s shop. I displayed art by my grade 1 classes. The shop organized a weekend opening for our Milk and Cookies art show.  There were milk and cookie treats, an in store DJ and face painting. The work stayed up in the shop for 2 weeks. It was a great experience! It also increased awareness of our school and my art program in the community.

    • Chelsie Meyer

      Hello Amy, What a great idea! I love the title- Milk and Cookies Art Show! Sounds like it was a great event for the community! I will be sharing this idea with our elementary art teachers! Trying to think of stores in town where my middle schoolers shop. I would love to have an event like this! Thanks for sharing!

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