June 2018

by Meredith Callis
Arts Education Special Projects Coordinator

In 2018, teaching artists play an important role in arts education in Tennessee. Combining their extensive arts background with their dedication to education, teaching artists bring innovation and professional skill to the learning experience. Teaching artists offer unique arts opportunities that provide inclusive instruction for all types of intelligences while increasing understanding in arts and non-arts content areas.

Jen Kintner teaches conference attendees the beginning moves of Aerial Dance at the 2016 Collective Impact Conference; Courtesy TN State Photography

Artists whose work can be found in Tennessee art galleries, dance companies, or theatrical and musical productions are many of the same 140+ individuals listed on the Teaching Artist Roster. They bring creative experiences into K-12 classrooms through the Tennessee Arts Commission’s Student Ticket Subsidy (STS) grants. STS funds artist fees, tickets, and transportation for students from public schools to work directly with roster artists on field trips and in school settings.

It is with these professionals in mind that the Commission presents a Teaching Artist track at the 2018 Tennessee Arts & Arts Education Conference, held June 19–21 at Austin Peay State University (APSU) in partnership with the Center of Excellence for the Creative Arts (CECA). Striving to provide tailored professional development for all Tennessee teaching artists, a pre-conference and select sessions listed below are designed with the teaching artist field in mind.

Art Education Pecha Kucha Sessions are presented by and for teaching artists. These “bite-sized TED talks” will be centered on lesson plans. Teaching artists will discuss firsthand how they create the plans and will provide examples of turning their artistic medium into schoolwide arts experiences.

Art Teacher Holly Briggs teaches other educators how to create mandalas at the 2016 Collective Impact Conference; Courtesy TN State Photography

Teaching artists will present at the Teaching Artist Showcase and give attendees a snapshot of what they can offer schools. From talented musicians to theatrical historical reenactments, these engaging presentations will give conference goers an idea of what students and teachers experience by collaborating with a teaching artist.

Two sessions on the new Tennessee Fine Arts Standards will apply directly to teaching artists. Artists often align their lessons on national and state curriculum arts standards. With new standards going into effect beginning in the 2018–2019 school year, these sessions will provide an overview of changes and how teaching artists can create standards-based lessons while assessing student learning outcomes accordingly.

Additionally, artists are invited to join us for this exciting opportunity to gain more information about the STS Grant and the Teaching Artist Roster, while collaborating with other professionals to discuss specific issues and ideas relating to their work as teaching artists.

If you or a Tennessee-based artist you know are interested in attending the conference or joining the Teaching Artist Roster, please contact Meredith Callis at Meredith.Callis@tn.gov or visit the Tennessee Arts Education website: tnartseducation.org/teaching-artists/.

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