OK, artists.
Let’s get to work.
2017 has dawned, and it is time to get down to it.
We need to organize.
In 2017, Teaching Artists Guild will build a map and database of where teaching artists are working in the state of CA. We will use this information to illuminate equity (or it’s lack) in our systems: whether the rights of students and citizens to a creative education are fulfilled. We will use this information to connect you to each other, and to employers. We will connect this information to wages, and a set of guidelines about rates based on expertise and region, which arts and culture organizations can use as a guideline when grant-writing and preparing to hire teaching artists, ensuring a livable wage across the United States.
In 2017, we value the artist as maker and dreamer combined, whose vision is necessary to both fuel, sustain, and reach beyond our current society towards the best, brighter, and better version of ourselves. It is the role of imagination in advocacy, of philosophy in action. What teaching artists do, whether teaching the artform or through it, is sharing the process of creating the unrealized, actualizing the imagined; that others too may play towards this brighter vision. Play: how humans learn, working with intention and lightness, experimentation, and the ability to pivot as dancers do, from one movement to the next.
Thanks to a bevy of partnerships: with the Economic Policy Institute,  Arts for All, The Alliance for Arts Learning Leadership,  CREATE CA, and the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, with funding from the Stuart Foundation and the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, we will be hard at work building and sharing the mapping initiative in the months ahead. And thanks to your partnership too! Those of you who are part of the TAG circle as premium (read: paying) members get a lot of services, but also, you are helping us build this. I think that’s incredibly powerful. We can’t wait to see you and your work reflected back to the world; first in CA and eventually across the United States. We are certain that the changes that can come out of this project, in policy and in practice, will be meaningful to your work and livelihood, and to those you teach, and do not yet teach. We are all moving forward. 2017 will bring some interesting things. Keep your chins up.

img_5356Yours in Community,

Jean Johnstone
Executive Director
Teaching Artists Guild



Related Articles

Standing Above The Clouds

Young filmmaker Jalena Keane-Lee on her process of working with native Hawaiian teaching artists/movement leaders in her essay and film, Standing Above the Clouds.

Read More »