Teaching Artist Program
The mission of the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Arts Education program is to enrich and support quality arts education. This mission is supported by the belief that professional artists can enhance the educational process and provide inroads to learning that are engaging, creative, and meaningful. The intent of the program is to enrich and support quality education, not to supplant or in any way furnish a substitute for services more appropriately provided by trained arts educators.
What is a Teaching Artist?
A teaching artist is an “artist-educator,” able to translate their creative process into an instructional setting. Nationally recognized teaching artist and author Eric Booth developed the following definition: “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.” Teaching artists represent all disciplines including craft, dance, literary arts, media arts, music, storytelling, theatre, visual arts, folk/traditional arts, and multicultural arts.
What is the Teaching Artist Roster?
The roster is an online searchable database of professional teaching artists approved to work on grant-funded Tennessee Arts Commission projects and programs. The roster is a central location where schools, arts organizations, and other agencies can go to locate professional teaching artists. Artists must apply to the roster and, once approved by an out-of-state panel of adjudicators, are included on the roster as part of the Commission’s website. Before making application, artists must attend one of the annual informational workshops provided by the Commission’s Arts Education staff.
Experiential and Exposure-based Programs
The Tennessee Arts Commission recognizes the continuum of instructional methods in arts education. Teaching artists often incorporate a variety of techniques and adjust instruction according to the specific needs of educational environments. There are two distinct categories of educational opportunities: experiential and exposure-based programs. See the Teaching Artist Roster Guidelines for the category descriptions and types of programs within in each category.
Information for Schools, Administrators, and Teachers
To search for a Teaching Artist to provide an arts learning experience, conduct a residency, or provide professional development presentations in a school or community organization, view the Teaching Artist Roster. To learn how to arrange a collaboration with a teaching artist, view the Artist-in-Residence Handbook for Teachers & Artists.
Information for Teaching Artists
For information regarding the application process to become a Tennessee Arts Commission Teaching Artist, view the Teaching Artist Roster Guidelines.
For questions, please contact: Nan Zierden, Arts Education Special Projects Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org or 615.532.5934.