“A teaching artist is a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator, who engages people in learning experiences in, through and about the arts.”

Eric Booth, Nationally recognized actor, teaching artist and author

Teaching Artist Symposium: State of the Teaching Artist Field

On Saturday, February 27, the Arizona Commission on the Arts will present a Teaching Artist Symposium with Lincoln Center Education at Mesa Arts Center. Presenting partners include Childsplay, Phoenix Office of Arts & Culture, and Mesa Arts Center.

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A teaching artist, by definition, is a two-career professional: a working artist and a working educator. As a working artist, they are involved in an ongoing process of discovery, problem solving, discipline and refinement of skills in their discipline. As a working educator, it is essential that the artist is also developing a knowledge base and skills to be an effective partner in education. Achieving a meaningful balance between these two professions, whereby one feeds the other, is an ongoing process that requires a deepening awareness for the teaching artist of what their teaching brings to their art and what their art teaches them about learning.

Teaching artists are a crucial resource for the future of arts education, the arts in general, and the overall process of learning. The role of the teaching artist is an integral part of the overarching arts education constellation, which includes:

  • short and long-term school and after-school residencies.
  • arts experiences, including in-school performances by professional artists, as well as field trips to studios, galleries, museums, and performances.
  • integrating the arts throughout the curriculum as a way of engaging all types of intelligence’s in the learning process.
  • arts education standards backed up by ongoing curriculum-based arts instruction in pre-K-12.
  • discipline-specific learning in the arts: visual art, dance, theater, music, poetry, etc.
  • higher education and on-going development for the professional artist, as well as the professional artist who is also a teaching artist.
  • lifelong learning in the arts through community arts events, classes and workshops.

Successful teaching artists help provide a tangible link between the creative process and all kinds of learning, and they make manifest in classroom and community settings the human drive to survive by making meaning of the world.

Teaching Artist Journal

The Teaching Artist Journal is a print and online quarterly devoted to the work and thought of teaching artists and all those working at the intersection of the arts and learning.

Resources for Teaching Artists

This document collects links to blogs and websites that provide resources for teaching artists.

Working in Residency Settings

This brochure provides an overview of the Arizona Commission on the Arts and the ways in which the agency endeavors to achieve its mission to imagine a future where everyone can participate in and experience the arts.

As of July 1, 2015, the Teaching Artist Roster has been discontinued.

Arizona’s teaching artists are a vital component of the state’s arts sector and a valuable resource to Arizona citizens. Though the Teaching Artist Roster has been discontinued, the Arizona Commission on the Arts remains committed to providing support to teaching artists and is working hard to develop new and meaningful ways to enhance and expand our partnership with Arizona’s teaching artist community.

Should you have any questions, please contact Alex Nelson, Director of Arts Learning, at 602-771-6521 or anelson@azarts.gov.


6 hours ago

Arizona Commission on the Arts

Thank you to Verde Valley Leadership, Inc. for inviting us to present at their monthly Development Day this afternoon. Our Programs and Grants Coordinator Brad DeBiase co-presented with ASU Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts' Ricky Araiza on the role the arts can play in addressing complex community challenges.

Meanwhile, our Artist Services Manager Gabriela Muñoz participated (virtually) in a panel on “Dance + Art in the Sonoran Desert” at the National Performance Network Annual Conference in Pittsburgh. The panel, organized by Yvonne Montoya, a Tucson-based dance artist and founder of Safos Dance Theatre, also included M. Jenea Sanchez, a media artist and co-founder of Border Arts Corridor in Douglas, and Erin Donahue, a Scottsdale-based dance artist and arts administrator. The panel discussed "the challenges and opportunities of collaborating across 3 different cities to serve and collaborate with artists in communities that have been historically marginalized and isolated."
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