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Success in Collaboration. The story of Hobart and William Smith Colleges & The Collaborative of the Finger Lakes, Inc. In the Beginning…. How the collaboration developed. Hobart and William Smith Colleges. HWS FAST FACTS Students: ~2,000 Student-Faculty Ratio: 11:1

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Success in collaboration

Success in Collaboration

The story of Hobart and William Smith Colleges & The Collaborative of the Finger Lakes, Inc.

In the beginning

In the Beginning…

How the collaboration developed

Success in collaboration


  • Students:~2,000

  • Student-Faculty Ratio:11:1

  • Mission Statement: ‘inclusive excellence’

  • Service and Community Engagement:

    ~70% students participate in service activities (+30,000 hrs/yr)

    ~60% students study abroad

  • Opportunities for individuals with developmental disabilities:

    Ontario ARC College Experience program (est. 2005)

Success in collaboration

The Collaborative of the Finger Lakes, a regional association of 11 not-for-profit NYSARC, Inc. human service agencies serving 9,000 individuals challenged with developmental disabilities, and their families in 13 central upstate New York counties. Collaborative agencies individually provide services in residential day treatment programs, family support, pre-school education, service coordination and job training and  placement. Member agencies associate to enhance individual and collective effectiveness. Founded in 1996

Member agencies:

Chemung ARC Arc of Schuyler

Genesee ARC Seneca Cayuga ARC

Arc of Livingston-Wyoming Arc of Steuben

Arc of Monroe County Wayne ARC

Ontario Arc Yates ARC

Arc of Orleans County

Success in collaboration


The Collaborative of the Finger Lakes will be the premier organizational resource for innovative management & support services for people with disabilities.

VisionShared Excellence for Those We Serve


Caring Commitment Integrity Valuing Family Respect Empowerment Trust

Collaborative Teams

  • Community Inclusion

  • Community Relations

  • Finance

  • Human Resources

  • Innovative Support Models

  • Management Resources & Support

  • Organizational Structure

  • Quality

  • Self Advocates

  • Training

  • Work Matters

Community inclusion team
Community Inclusion Team

2011 Team Charter

  • Team Name

    Community Inclusion Team

  • Key Result Area

    Involvement with relatives and friends and belonging to a neighborhood and community. Community inclusion provides opportunities for people to engage in experiences and activities of choice.

  • Key Result Strategy

    Training and education for agencies and the community.

  • Key Result Measures

    Sponsor workshops in the arts in the areas of Video Productions, Visual Arts, Performing Arts, and Creative Writing at the Hobart and Wm Smith Colleges (HWS) Disability and Arts Festival. Workshops will be inclusive and open to people we serve through the collaborative agencies and students and faculty from HWS.

Year 1 2009

Year 1 - 2009

A community film festival

Success in collaboration

  • Sponsored by the Collaborative of the Finger Lakes Community Inclusion Team

    • At the Smith Opera House, Geneva, NY

    • 2 days, multiple showings afternoon & evening

  • Estimated Attendance 600, predominately from ARC agencies

For more information:

Year 2 2010

Year 2 - 2010

A campus – community collaboration

Festival beginnings
Festival beginnings

  • HWS involvement: In conjunction with the launch of ‘The Lyric Body’ issue of the Seneca Review (est. 1970) that featured poets and writers addressing their experiences with disabilities and difference.

  • Collaborative of the Finger Lakes involvement: Sprout film festival

  • Decision to collaborate under one umbrella festival.

  • Funding by Golisano Foundation, HWS Provost’s office, Collaborative

Success in collaboration

Festival Highlights:

  • Autism, Blindness, and NeurodiversityWriter’s showcase

  • The Poetry of Embodiment writing workshop

  • No Destination Beforehand Art Show – 3 artists with Autism

    • Film: Larry Bissonnette: My classic life as an artist

  • Axis Dance Troupe

  • Guest speaker about media portrays of disability

  • Sprout Film Festival

  • Introduction to filmmaking – Anthony DiSalvo

  • Film-making Workshop – inclusive model

  • Project Eye to Eye art show and graduation

  • Local artists gala finale

Year 3 2011

Year 3 - 2011

Building on the success

Vision for the future

Vision for the Future…

Moving forward in year 3 and beyond

Steering committee
Steering Committee

  • Streamlined the organizational structure of the festival’s planning committee

  • Created a Steering Committee made up of HWS staff & students and Collaborative of the Finger Lakes, Inc. members.

  • Developed an integrated communication and reporting strategy

Success in collaboration

3 logistical teams

6 design teams

Clear mission
Clear Mission

The Arts Experience is a partnership of Hobart & William Smith Colleges and the Collaborative of the Finger Lakes. The festival is an opportunity for participants, including people with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, the college community, and the general public to explore various means of expression through the arts.

Clear vision
Clear Vision

The Arts Experience will cultivate and embrace the spirit of inclusion through participation in the arts, artistic performance and celebration.

Success in collaboration

Design Team Guidelines

  • Support the mission and vision of the Festival.

  • Develop a plan for relevant activities and for reporting team progress, needs and plans to the Steering Committee through the team Steering Committee representative.

Design team ground rules

All activities should be experiential and inclusive.

Activities (e.g., workshops, classes, performances, exhibits, speakers) can be one time activities or a series of activities

Activities should take place in accessible venues, including on the HWS campus or off campus at other art venues, at Collaborative member sites, etc.

Each Team should be made aware of the challenges facing some participants re: travel, accessibility, location, time commitments, dietary restrictions, etc.

Events and activities should foster a better understanding of respect for individual differences, inclusion, and various abilities.

Activities should take place during the identified time frame of the Festival.

Design team ground rules