What is a Teaching Artist?

If you’ve landed on this page, hopefully it is because a teaching artist or ally sent you here. Maybe you are curious to know more about teaching artistry? Here’s a definition that is always evolving, growing, and expanding:

“Teaching artists—also known as arts educators, cultural bearers, or community artists—are practicing, professional artists who have dual careers as educators. Teaching artists supplement their incomes by teaching and integrating their art form, perspectives, histories, and skills into a wide range of learning settings.”

Teaching artists are everywhere. In schools, community centers, libraries, and places of higher education. They are also in museums, correctional facilities, businesses, and wellness centers. They are in so many additional places because teaching artists are versatile; they actively create art while teaching others to do so. Teaching artists come from every artistic field—music, dance, theater, visual arts, writing, media, and more.

Whether you’re an aspiring teaching artist or recognize colleagues that embody that definition, this page can help offer valuable insights and information to learn more about teaching artistry. 

"What is a Teaching Artist?" from the Washington State Arts Commission.
Making Change: Teaching Artists and Their Role in Shaping a Better World by Eric Booth

Whether you are brand new to the field of teaching artistry and want to know more, or maybe you are a teaching artist looking for more resources to put into the hands of those who might not otherwise know about the field, Making Change: Teaching Artists and Their Role in Shaping a Better World by Eric Booth is a new resource to help raise the visibility of the field. 

This is the first book about teaching artists for people who don’t know what teaching artists are (and those who should know more). Learn how Teaching Artists can activate anyone’s innate artistry to achieve a wide variety of positive goals. Enjoy stories about the surprising impact of their partnerships in health, government, education, corporations, environmentalism, social justice, and peacebuilding.