Our Mission

Teaching Artists Guild (TAG), is a member-driven collective committed to social justice through the impact of artists who teach. We are a community of teaching artists who make change through:
We work with partners at the regional, state, and national levels to advocate for the work of Teaching Artists and to create opportunities that will further strengthen our field.
We honor the skill, passion and experience of teaching artists by celebrating and amplifying their impact.
We provide Teaching Artists with the tools and services to thrive.
We bring Teaching Artists together to connect, collaborate, create and learn from each other.

Our Vision

We imagine a world where to be human is to be an artist. Where every person has access to culturally relevant arts expression. Where artists are honored and equitably paid. We work towards this vision through:


We work with partners at the regional, state, national, and international levels to advocate for the work of teaching artists and to forge pathways that will strengthen, develop, and evolve our field both within and outside of the sector.


We honor the skill, passion, and experience of teaching artists by celebrating and amplifying their impact.


We provide teaching artists with the tools to grow and thrive.


We bring teaching artists together to connect, collaborate, create, and learn from one another.


We imagine new pathways to create work, new connections to strengthen the field, and new opportunities to create a stronger ecosystem in support of teaching artistry.

Our History

In 2020 TAG and Association of Teaching Artists (ATA) merged into one nonprofit organization by and for teaching artists.
Teaching Artists Guild (TAG)

2004 – TAG began as Teaching Artists Organized (TAO) led by a group of passionate Teaching Artists and arts educators.

2008 – TAO became a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives.

2010 – Sabrina Klein became the first Executive Director. With the help of Belinda Taylor she established a leadership Executive Committee, including Miko Lee, Jess Mele, Lynn Johnson, Mary Sutton and Dave Maier.

2011 – The Executive Committee took over the leadership and re-envisioned the organization to build a broader coalition and structure.

2013 – We rebranded the organization as Teaching Artists Guild and hired staff.

2014 – Executive Director Jean Johnstone established a National Advisory Committee, and TAG grew to provide services, tools, and community for Teaching Artists across the US.

Association of Teaching Artists (ATA)

The Association of Teaching Artists (ATA) was founded at a summit in Poughkeepsie, New York in April 1998. New York State teaching artists, arts administrators, and leaders in statewide arts funding came together at the request of The New York State Council on the Arts to consider the need and feasibility of forming a statewide organization for teaching artists. ATA was incorporated in September 1998 and officially introduced to the NYS Arts Education field at the annual Arts Education conference in October 1998.

Founding Board of Directors, September 1998:
Dale Davis
Diane Gallo
Chris Holder
Naaz Hosseini
Julie Kabat
Alan Lynes
David Marquis
Katy Nyerlin-Colletti
Almeta Whitis

In 2002 ATA created the ATA Distinguished Service to the Field Award, the first award in New York State in the Arts in Education field. Dale Davis, one of the founding teaching artists at the 1998 summit and former Board President of ATA, became ATA’s first Executive Director in 2006. In 2011 ATA convened the first National Teaching Artists Forum in New York City. In 2012 ATA introduced Teaching Artist Appreciation Week (the third week in May) to celebrate the work of individual teaching artists. In 2018 ATA expanded their awards to recognize innovation and allies in the teaching artistry fields as well. In 2019 ATA launched the Digital Professional Development Series in order to provide low-cost, accessible PD for TAs across the country.

Throughout its history ATA was and is a common space to share resources and jobs for teaching artists through their online forums. Many people in the field fondly remember the Yahoo listserv that was started as an open forum where anyone could ask questions, post jobs and trainings across the New York region (that’s evolved into TAG’s new slack!). In 2020 ATA joined forces with TAG in order to serve more TAs on a national scale.

Our Funders

and Panta Rhea Foundation, Fenwick Foundation, Brooklyn Arts Council, and Lauren Dudley.

TAG’s nonprofit Tax ID: 14-1808163


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