The Darlington School

Over the course of a six-month consulting partnership, MV Ventures Consultant and Chief Talent & Experience Officer, Matt Neylon, partnered with administration and teachers from The Darlington School to innovate the arts program and implement new arts learning initiatives.

Arts, like many programs, are complex because they each live in an ecosystem of curricular, extra-curricular, and interdisciplinary initiatives, classes, clubs, and projects. When the team had the opportunity to see how the staffing, spaces/equipment, and schedule each had specific effects on what could be offered, opportunities to reallocate resources, enhance existing programs, and create new initiatives emerged.

The project included a full-day site visit, stakeholder meetings & program analysis, program/event solutions, and monthly coaching calls for the school’s arts director. This customized approach allowed the school to implement innovative solutions that matched their unique mission and goals. While there are many exciting emerging art forms, digital media, immersive realities and user experience design fields, it’s important for a school to consider which programs will help move them closer to their mission and achieve community, curricular, and cross-divisional goals.

Leadership coaching also took center stage since working with creatives often means encouraging team members to learn into their passions and curiosities, while creating space for a functional team to find alignment and collaboration. The ability to coach leaders and empower teachers is important in taking any program to the next level, particularly a program like arts, where teachers have a different level of expectation and autonomy while building specific programs.

Arts Innovation does not look the same for every school, so solutions that mesh with the fabric of the culture and build on organizational strengths is essential.


During the past decade, we have had the opportunity to serve and partner with hundreds of schools and organizations throughout the United States and across the globe.