How Many Art Teachers Does it Take To…

fruitcakeDuring an arts leadership conference in June, I attended session with Sandra Ruppert from the Arts Education Partnership. She spoke a lot about what it takes to get a message across and change to happen. I loved her hierarchy of influence and wanted to share it with you:

1 art teacher = a fruitcake
2 art teachers = a fruitcake and a friend
3 art teachers = troublemakers
5 art teachers = let’s have a meeting
10 art teachers = we’d better listen
25 art teachers = our dear friends
50 art teachers = a powerful organization

Whether we are one person advocating for the arts in our building, or a network of 700 coming together to learn more about our work at the AOE summer conference, we can make a difference. I challenge you to network more this year, and to make that network impact the decision-making stakeholders at your local, state, or national level!

How have you teamed up with colleagues to create change?

What networking plans do you have for the upcoming school year?

Sarah Dougherty

My name is Sarah Dougherty, and I teach elementary art in a large urban district in central Iowa. I love working with our diverse population of K-5 students to bring art to their homes, communities, and everyday lives.


  • I think this is so clever – and so true! An important advocacy message that we DO have power in numbers.

    • I like the idea of starting as “troublemakers”!