Connecting artists and teachers
The Arts Active Trust were one of four organisations awarded funding to create an Arts & Education Network through Arts Council Wales and Welsh Government’s Creative Learning Through The Arts initiative. Proper Design was chosen by Arts Active Trust to deliver A2:Connect for South Central Wales. Based at Cardiff’s St Davids Hall, Arts Active have years of experience delivering education, community and audience engagement projects. They already knew what was needed to help connect teachers and schools with artists. They could tell us what questions artists should be asking teachers and vice-versa, so it was this experience that we drew on in our approach to A2:Connect.
As we learned more about the requirements of A2:Connect (user accounts, profiles, messaging) it became clear that the project should be a single-page-app (SPA). A2:Connect was our first large-scale project on the “MERN” stack – Mongo DB, Express Server, React, and Node. This meant we had much greater flexibility in how the application was structured but with the extra work of creating every layer of our solution from the data-structure and API to the templates and language switching from scratch. The core idea in A2:Connect is that both teachers and artists have Opportunities to share. The difficult bit was narrowing down how we should describe these opportunities in the data so they would be relevant and appropriate when posted by teachers for artists or the other way round.