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Being a Teaching Artist

Change children's lives—and your own.

Are you a passionate artist who is interested in sharing your work with children? Can you see yourself discovering new information alongside curious young people? Are you a creative thinker who is open to trying new approaches with your art?

Arts for Learning hires teaching artists as independent contractors on an annual basis to work on our behalf with students in schools, community centers, and afterschool and summer programs. These teaching artists engage children in their specialized art form and demonstrate how that art form can connect to young lives in real and tangible ways.

We seek artists with the following qualifications to join our roster of outstanding teaching artists:

  • A readiness and willingness to share your passion for the arts with children.
    • Our organization’s mission is to empower children to achieve their creative and intellectual potential through arts in education. Our programs break from the mold of traditional lecture-style teaching by providing hands-on and child-focused learning activities; this approach enhances student learning and motivation by illuminating new and relevant information in other areas of the curriculum.
    • Working as a teaching artist will require focus on the children’s needs and bringing them the best learning experience possible.
  • This position is part-time and is scheduled on an as-needed basis.
    • Our teaching artists are generally available during the day and have flexible hours, for work in schools and community sites as needed.
    • Most of our teaching artists find that this work is complementary to a professional career, giving them freedom to work in the studio, practice their art form, etc.
    • Some teaching artists coordinate their programs around other major commitments (i.e. other full or part-time jobs).
  • Experience within your area of artistic expertise and demonstrated examples of successful work, including performances, exhibits, public presentations, advanced training, etc.
    • Must be a practicing professional in your area of expertise and have a passion for sharing that art form with others.
    • Our teaching artists specialize in a range of art forms, including music, dance, theater, visual arts, storytelling, and creative writing.
  • We value traditional art forms, but are also looking for new and cutting-edge art forms, such as video game art and web design, electronic music and sound art, hip hop dance and beat boxing, architectural design, and culinary art.
    • Must be open to learning new things and working with a team of fellow teaching artists and program staff.
  • Must participate in an annual criminal history background check process.

Being on the roster of teaching artists for Arts for Learning has been a blessing on many levels. In my time with the organization I have been presented with unique opportunities that have allowed me to grow as an artist and as a person. Connecting with children through my art form allows more than just opportunities to create something. Those connections also help the children discover their talents and potential. As a teaching artist, I am working during school hours, which provides a nice income on a schedule that works for my family and gives me the flexibility to be creative outside of my work with children.

Bobbie Lancaster, musician and Arts for Learning teaching artist

Twenty-five years working with Arts for Learning has taught me several vital lessons:

  1. Students will always find ways to challenge what you thought you knew.  This is a good thing that is not just true but crucial to grow as an artist. When you answer the call to teach you’ll be forced you to dig deeper, understand more, communicate better. All of which, by the way, will lift you to new levels in your creative endeavors.
  2. Success in performance is about you. Success in teaching is about your students. Do both and you’ll gain a sense of balance and connection with your community.
  3. It fits. School schedules are flexible enough to accommodate most working artists’ other time needs.

Bob Sander, storyteller and Arts for Learning teaching artist