ACDA’s leadership enthusiastically recognizes and embraces the need for interconnectedness with other choral music education and performance organizations toward creative collaboration. We know that we simply cannot do the work alone. We must be an association that collaborates with other similar-purposed organizations.
We realize our work toward collaboration means we will be border-crossing in our efforts, and it means we will need to be creative. As we work at border-crossing and creativity, collaboration will take us beyond the bounds of the known and our statis-quo. It means looking at other perspectives; it means looking at other purposes; and it means drawing from other sources of energy.
As we look ahead, there are three characteristics of collaboration we must remember as we examine our own identity and mission:
1. Complementarity–Collaborators are not homogenous people or groups, but rather individuals and organizations with different perspectives, expertise, conceptualizations, working methods, temperaments, resources, needs, and talents. The interaction of these differences forms the foundation for the dynamics of collaboration to unfold;
2. Tension–Collaboration’s goal is not necessarily to reach consensus, as such agreement does not lead to learning or challenge. Collaboration is not absence of tension, but the fruitful cultivation of tension. As our song culture teaches us, we have to Wade in the Water children. We go into the storm. Our differences are where the latent opportunities for growth reside.
3. Emergence–Collaboration can lead to outcomes that could not be predicted solely from the additive power of people working as a group. There will be the initial “conceptual” collaboration that will help frame a problem, but down the line there will be technical collaboration that will represent problems and their solution. It will be an organic process.