March 2022 Newsletter

Hello, Teaching Artists! Wow, how is March already over? We are really excited because our first ever national TA convening is just around the corner! 

If you haven’t already, register now for Our Shared Future: Imagining a New Landscape for Teaching Artists, the first federally funded conference for teaching artists by teaching artists. 

The COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected arts organizations and artists across the country. While the lengthy duration of the pandemic has exacerbated and widened equity gaps and created stress and trauma for everyone, teaching artists have been particularly affected by the closures of schools and arts organizations, exposing the need to create a support structure for teaching artists across the country.  

On April 5-7, 2022, join us for a virtual event in support of teaching artists across the country. Our Shared Future: Imagining a New Landscape for Teaching Artists will feature sessions that dig into the current realities and hopeful futures of teaching artistry. This first, federally-funded, national convening focused on teaching artistry – sponsored by the National Endowment for the Arts, U.S. Department of Education and Hewlett Foundation in collaboration with the Arts Education Partnership and Teaching Artists Guild – is designed to connect our country’s teaching artists and respond to their needs by helping arts organizations, funders, policymakers, school district leaders and others understand the issues they face, discuss ways to dismantle barriers and support policies and practices that advance careers in teaching artistry. 

The conference is just around the corner, so register now. We’ll see you there! 

Regional Gatherings

As a part of the conference, a number of our regional networks are hosting gatherings with teaching artists in their areas. These gatherings will focus on a variety of topics depending on the region, including issues impacting teaching artists in that area and lessons learned from the conference. Here are some of the regional gatherings coming up. We’ll add more to our events calendar as they’re updated.

March 29th (6:30-7:30pm EST)
Independent Contractor v. Employee
How is “independent contractor” legally classified? Where do you draw the line for an employee? What contractual language stumps you? Do you actively negotiate with your clients? Do you recognize that the contract you accept with your signature impacts your local colleagues and the field of teaching artistry? Are you ready to stand united with other TAs and raise the standards of professionalism that will support all of us? Join the Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic and get some answers to these questions.

March 31st (5:30-7pm PST)
Pacific Northwest Gathering
Join the Teaching Artist Training Lab and Young Audiences Oregon & SW Washington for two Pacific Northwest Gatherings around the Our Shared Future: Imagining a New Landscape for Teaching Artists conference.

April 5-7th (Varying times, EST) 
Kansas Regional Event
On April 5th-7th we are hosting a virtual professional development opportunity. We have partnered with the Teaching Artists Guild to be a host site for their virtual conference Our Shared Future: Imagining a New Landscape for Teaching Artists. The conference is virtual and we will host the webinars and seminars in our 1/3 event space. This conference is not required, but a free opportunity to network with other teaching artists across the nation and an opportunity for some free training and professional development. We will also provide lunches and some light refreshments.

April 6th (2:15-5pm EST)
Nosh & Networking with Teaching Artists ROC
Join Teaching Artists ROC for an in-person Nosh & Networking event on April 6th! If you’re in the Western New York area come be with us. We’ll be watching “Making Meaning with Alphabet Rockers” and “Supporting TA’s as Cultural Bearers” on a big screen that afternoon and would love some company to chat. If you’re an experienced artist, new to the profession, or curious about what a TA is, then let’s get together. Drop in for an hour or stay for the whole afternoon. Please RSVP so we know how much food to prepare. 

April 6th (3pm PDT) 
Thriving as an Equitable and Inclusive Teaching Artist in Los Angeles
How do you create a sustainable and enjoyable career as a teaching artist? With all the initiatives around race, equity, diversity, and inclusion, how do you make sure your work contributes to the solution and not the problem? We’ll explore these questions during this 90-minute interactive conversation with teaching artists throughout greater Los Angeles.

April 8th (3:30-5pm PST)
Pacific Northwest Gathering
Join the Teaching Artist Training Lab and Young Audiences Oregon & SW Washington for two Pacific Northwest Gatherings around the Our Shared Future: Imagining a New Landscape for Teaching Artists conference.

April 12-28
Face to Face 2022
Join the NYC Arts in Education Roundtable for their annual Face to Face conference happening April 12 – 28. Through a wide variety of virtual and in-person panels, workshops, reports, and other presentations, the Face to Face conference gives arts in education practitioners the opportunity to think deeply and learn more about arts in education. This hybrid conference will offer something for everyone: arts administrators, teaching artists, school personnel, parents, and representatives of community-based organizations. An array of exciting presenters share best practices; discuss local, state, national, and international policies; and address enduring issues such as quality, assessment, sustainability, professional development, equity and inclusion, and art and social justice.

April 12th (4:00pm EST) 
Teaching Artist Tuesdays (North Carolina)
Teaching Artists Tuesdays began In the summer of 2020. Developed by the North Carolina Arts Council, in partnership with North Carolina Central University’s Teaching Artist Certificate Program, this free online workshop series is designed to serve as a map for North Carolina’s teaching artists who are navigating the COVID-19 landscape.

April 22-24th
Artist INC Express – Teaching Artists (Arkansas)
Mid-America Arts Alliance, in partnership with Arkansas Arts Council, will host this workshop dedicated to bringing teaching artists together across the state of Arkansas to create peer support network. Artist INC Express is an intensive workshop created to address the specific professional needs and challenges that artists of all disciplines face. 

Interested in hosting a regional gathering for the conference? Reach out and we’ll help you make that happen.

TAG Awards

Congratulations to our TAG Award Winners! We had a robust number of nominations and we are so grateful to have submissions from so many great teaching artists. Please help us congratulate our three winners! We asked each of them to respond to the question why are you a teaching artist? You can see their responses below their bios.

Patricia Joson Cruz, Distinguished Service to the Field

Patricia Joson Cruz is Atelierista for the International School of Panama and founder of the Transcontinental Educator Artist Collective for Humanity (TEACH). For over 25 years, Pat has worked to help struggling students find their voice and superpowers through arts integrated learning. As an art teacher, Pat piloted a “Reading through the Arts” program at two high poverty schools in Baltimore, Maryland. This program helped to significantly raise student achievement. In 2007 Pat joined the founding chapter of USA’s oldest Artists in Education organization, Young Audiences/Arts for Learning. While there she directed the Teaching Artist Institute which partnered teaching artists with teachers across Maryland. This program led to several in-depth multi year school district partnerships. In response to the pandemic, Pat created TEACH – a worldwide marketplace of and for Teaching Artists. In July 2021, TEACH hosted its first Climate Change Agents Conference: connecting artists with scientists for grassroots eco-action.

Why are you a teaching artist? “The role of a teaching artist is to facilitate the creation of what we envision for our earth and our humanity.”

You can find Patricia on social media: @teach_arts @transcontinental-educator-artist-collective-for-hu

Francisco Javier Hernandez Carbaljal (aka) Brujo de la Mancha, Innovation in Teaching Artistry

I am a multidisciplinary, self-taught artist, born in Mexico City from a mixed Mexican-indigenous and Spanish working-class family. My paternal grandmother migrated from Xico, Veracruz to Mexico City before I was born, and I continued this family experience with my migration to Philadelphia in 1998. I have over twenty years of experience in community-building through artmaking and arts education.  Most of my work has been in underprivileged communities through after-school programs, senior centers, and work with high-risk middle and high school students.

In 2003 I co-founded Ollin Yoliztli Calmecac (OYC), an educational organization whose mission is to raise awareness about the history and culture of the indigenous peoples of this continent, and in particular the Mexicayotl tradition and teachings, which flourished in pre-Columbian Central America. In the Nahuatl language, OYC means “school of blood moving in the heart”. Through our work, we make invaluable cultural contributions to the United States.

Why are you a teaching artist? “As a teenager, I saw the power of art and I wanted to become an artist but there were no opportunities for me so I came to the US where I saw how art was appreciated and I worked very hard to make my dream a reality; now I share my skills with all who want to experience and learn the power of art.”

You can find Brujo on social media here: IG @brujodelamancha,,

Joanne Webb, Teaching Artist Ally

Joanne Webb displays her talents and experience as the Director of The Career Center at The Actors Fund, Western Region. She prides herself in her proven ability to motivate and collaborate with creative people and organizations, enabling them to succeed in their strategic goals, enhanced through community alliance. Since, 2015, through individual grants from Sony Pictures Entertainment, Joanne has been designing and producing The Creative Classroom Symposium for the Arts Education community, including present and potential teaching artists.  This event is followed by The Actors Fund Teaching Artist Program, bringing together a cohort to learn the elements involved in becoming a teaching artist, including the California Arts Standards.  Previous to working for The Actors Fund, Joanne has a broad background in the entertainment arena, having been an actor, working behind the scenes in television production/promotion with CBS, Paramount, and ABC Television, as well as Editorial Supervisor and Artist/Creative Development Manager for The Walt Disney Company, Consumer Products Division both in New York and Los Angeles. Throughout her work in career development, she has focused her expertise on encouraging artists to explore and successfully enhance individual career paths by utilizing their creative talents and skills. Joanne has a BFA in Theater Acting from Boston University and an MA in Psychology, Specialization in Applied Community Psychology from Antioch University.

Why do I support Teaching Artists? “Teaching Artists have positively impacted my life throughout my childhood as a student opened up my mind; working as a Teaching Artist opened up my soul, and having the opportunity to educate and develop Teaching Artists in my work for the past 7 years has opened up my heart.”

You can find Joanne on social media here:

Interested in joining TAG? We’re now looking for dynamic and energetic teaching artists to join our team! We’re looking for new members to join our National Advisory Committee as well as a savvy financial mind to join our board as treasurer. 

The National Advisory Committee (NAC) acts as a sounding board and advisors for the Co-Executive Directors to guide the strategic direction of the organization and maintain a focus on the mission. NAC members are expected to act as ambassadors for the field and the organization in a variety of networks and events. They have an interest in supporting the professionalization of the field for teaching artists and uniting teaching artists nationally and internationally. You can see more about the NAC’s individual committees here and if you are interested in talking to us more, please complete the following form: NAC Interest Form.

If you are interested in becoming a board member, please reach out to us at

Finally, we cannot do the important work of advocating for teaching artists through these various initiatives without funding. Please consider donating to TAG to help support teaching artists through our work. Even $20 can go a long way in supporting our organization. 

Don’t forget to register for the conference. We’ll see you there! 

With Gratitude,

Heleya de Barros & Katie Rainey
TAG Co-Executive Directors



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