Teaching Artists are the heart and soul of arts education. The future of our whole field depends on a strong, well-supported teaching artist workforce. To that end, we at Teaching Artists Guild have been working with Next Step, a management consulting firm that helps organizations increase market awareness, community impact and sustainable growth, to conduct research regarding health insurance/benefit plans and work structure options available to teaching artists and other contract and part‐time professionals working with multiple organizations. They have just released their report that summarizes Phase One of the project as well as recommendations for further exploration and implementation in Phase Two, which begins on November 20 2013 with a focus group in San Francisco.
Here is what we have learned in Phase One:
- The greatest concerns of teaching artists (and the reason many leave the profession) is lack of budget for their services and inadequate total compensation (not sufficient for living in the San Francisco Bay Area). A significant barrier to regular compensation is lack of compensation for all hours worked (i.e. prep‐time and reviews).
- Tenured teaching artists today lack an incentive to continue to teach as their income reaches a stage of being ‘topped out’ and there are no additional financial incentives for remaining committed to the profession.
- A majority of teaching artists are independent contractors working on an hourly basis, though some may work on a W‐2 basis depending on the entities for which they work. As a rule,
- Teaching artists work a small number of hours per week for each of multiple entities.
- Teaching artists do not have consistent, regular access to health care and related services primarily due to the limited number of hours they work for any one entity, or because of their contractor status.
- Teaching artists rate opportunities for regular work and competitive pay as top factors in a working relationship with a Teaching Artist Hiring Organization (TAHO). A key area noted for improvement is “better benefits.”
- While health insurance benefits are important to teaching artists, a majority of teaching artists aren’t willing to trade compensation to have them. However, there is significant interest in a TAG or TAHO‐sponsored group health insurance plan, provided the cost is perceived by teaching artists as affordable.
- TAHOs are often small with the management team comprised of current or prior teaching artists – with limited background or experience in ‘running a business’.
- There is a significant opportunity today for TAG (with support from the TAHO community) to support teaching artists by creating greater awareness of the services and contributions of teaching artists in the community.
Read the full report at…
And, join us on November 20 at the TAG Benefits Project Focus Group>>>