The Art of Scheduling in Schools
Planday spoke to David Nussenbaum, Executive Director of the Bronx Arts Ensemble (BAE), about teaching the arts to young students in the Bronx and bringing the community together through music, theater and art. We also spoke to David about the ways of managing such programs and how they use Planday to save time and keep track of hours worked.
About Bronx Arts Ensemble
Bronx Arts Ensemble (BAE) is a hybrid charity organization, that looks after several aspects of bringing the arts to the people across all ages in the Bronx. The founding couple were professional musicians in the American Symphony orchestra, who settled in the area in the 1970s and decided to perform chamber music together with a couple of friends. Eventually, the group turned them into a regular season, which also included other types of musical performances. BAE transformed even further when the organization entered the education sphere.
The educational part of BAE’s mission is aimed at children of low-income, inner-city families, whose arts education funding has been dramatically reduced or cut completely in their local schools. The BAE runs a variety of classes and provides local kids with a chance to be involved in arts and develop themselves creatively. They can learn how to play an instrument, dance, draw or act together with their friends.
Tightly Run Ship
Before joining the BAE, I worked in a number of tech-forward industries. Coming here three years ago was like a 30-year flashback to when I first started in the business world. Everything was done on paper— that’s when I knew we needed to bring this organization into the 21st century. Planday is one of the excellent platforms we selected to do this, as we were extremely pleased with the platform’s willingness to understand our needs and to modify the platform to meet our unique requirements.
Although we have an administrative team of 10 people, we manage over 100 employees in total. The bulk of our scheduling tasks are focused on scheduling classes for our teaching artists, who may have to teach at two or three different schools each day. Planday is essential for managing our teaching artist’s schedules and needs.
Reporting At Your Fingertips
My favourite aspect of Planday is the Reporting feature, as it allows us to access and aggregate data that we previously may not even have had access to, and even if we did, it would be time consuming to dig it out from paper records. With Planday, I can get what I need when I need it.
Recently, we’ve had a records mismatch with one of our schools, and they asked us to show evidence of how many hours each of our artists worked there across the space of two years. We were able to produce this evidence in a matter of seconds, at the click of a button, and made sure that our teachers were paid fairly for all of their hours worked. This would not have been possible if we didn’t have Planday in place and it means a lot that we can protect our staff in this way. For this reason, our staff feel very strongly about Planday. The teaching artists really appreciate they can punch in and out on their mobile phones while they are on the go between classes and always know about the latest changes in their schedules in real time.
Bringing Opportunity To The Inner-City
Although we’ve had many offers to expand outside of the Bronx, we feel our work is not done here yet. There’s a million and a half people in the Bronx and there are not enough organizations like ours, which are able to bring this unique combination of live performance and education to the community.
We are looking forward to expanding our program to even more schools and create even more symbiosis between our concerts and classes. Ultimately, we hope to inspire young people in the Bronx and show them that perhaps one day, it could be them performing up on the stage.