.                  Teaching Artist Support Collaborative  
                          of California (TASC)


TASC is a collaborative Community of Practice for teaching artists and the organizations that hire them, committed to the professional support of artists who are passionate about education and community engagement in schools, community settings and social service organizations.

Membership is Free! 

          Who's on our Regional Advisory Committee?  Click here to find out.  
Looking for info on the Freelancers Union for health and other benefits you might need? Click here.

Hot Off the Presses! Two New Books for Teaching Artists

Check out this free e-book brought to you by our friends at the Teaching Artists Guild.

Make. Teach. Prosper.
The 12 Essential Business Tools You Need to Kick Start the Teaching Artist Career of Your Dreams

What if there was a way to find a new path towards prosperity as a Teaching Artist?  And what if we could do this in a way that builds on and honors our skills, passions, experience, and expertise?

Make. Teach. Prosper. is written by Lynn Johnson and contains:

  • A process for creating a simple but powerful business plan
  • Tips for unleashing the power of social media
  • Advice about developing your unique brand
  • A step-by-step guide to getting your website set up
  • Information about liability insurance, setting up administrative supports, and much more!

Download your free e-book here.


Dance Education Essentials: 55 Objects and Ideas for New Preschool-12th Grade Teaching Artists is a must-have for dancers new to teaching. Authors Jill Randall (who was featured teaching artist blogger in the TASC August newsletter) and Valerie Gutwirth, with over 40 years of teaching experience between them, provide easy and invaluable tools as you begin your journey into teaching dance with students ages 2-18. $9.99.

To purchase click here.


For a Limited Time: Read the Teaching Artist Journal FREE

The Teaching Artist Journal (TAJ) special issue on writing about practice is now online and the entire issue is FREE until the end of December.  Download your copy here.

Jobs & Opportunities


Do you have a job opportunity to share? Email us at tascofcalifornia.info@gmail.com

Integrating Visual Arts Resources into Your Practice
The Iron Cross
The Iron Cross. oil on canvas, Marsden Hartley, 1915.

The impact of war on artists and their art (tragically) provides a rich vein for exploration and creative response by students. Picasso’s Guernica offers perhaps the best-known example of art expressing the terror of war. Museum collections throughout the world carry centuries of art depicting or inspired by war, available for viewing online (as well as happier topics): The Metropolitan Museum of Art, LACMA, the National Gallery of Art, the Rijksmuseum and more.  American modernist painter Marsden Hartley, (1877-1943) lived in Berlin during World War I. The war had a searing impact on him. An exhibit of Hartley’s changing artistic style during his Berlin years is on display at LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art) through Nov.30, 2014.


I Am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Artist Sara Guerrero (at left, on floor) participates in a theater workshop with Santa Ana community members as part of unique 2-year community-based engagement project entitled Dialogue/Diálogos, which aims "to gather and tell the stories of the Santa Ana Latino community." Read more below from Sara on her teaching artist journey and what it means to her to be able to give back to her community as an artist.


Reports from the Field:
San Diego & Los Angeles

2014 Arts Empower Assembly final action items recorded on sticky notes.

TASC Facilitates Events to Discuss the Development of
Teaching Artists and Teaching Artistry

San Diego

In August, TASC facilitated a "Finding Common Ground" conversation at an Arts Empower Assembly in San Diego, part of the County’s arts for all students initiative. With a group of sixty community arts providers, school administrators, school arts specialist teachers and non-arts specialists in the room, the conversation focused on the roles of arts education providers in schools and what factors produce a productive relationship and the best experience for all.

“Finding Common Ground – A Gathering of Credentialed Arts Specialists and Teaching Artists” is part of a series of events to support meaningful dialogue among credentialed arts specialists, teaching artists, and other arts education stakeholders. The question: "How can credentialed arts specialists and teaching artists find common ground and collaborate to leverage their impact in arts education?" guides participant-led discussions around various topics generated by the group.

Here is a brief highlight of just a few of the ideas and discussion points brought up by breakout groups at the event:

Topic: Conditions for Ideal Partnerships

  • Many of the challenges and possibilities are really about communication and trying to find ways for all parties to better communicate.
  • Perhaps guidelines could be developed so that when an organization comes into the school, there are some parameters established. This would be something endorsed by arts organizations, empowers arts organization, and makes it possible for both sides to ask for the things they need to build a stronger relationship.

Continue reading about discussion topics and ideas generated at the event. Also, for more about the "Common Ground" conversation series, including how you can facilitate a conversation in your area, please check out more information here on the TASC website.

Los Angeles

Los Angeles workshop participant and visual teaching artist, Hannah, shares with the group her "essential, career-guiding question" written during a professional development exercise led by TASC's own Sandy Seufert.  Hannah asked, "How can I best create spaces for others to commune with their essential selves?"

TASC also hosted a September event, titled Getting From Here to There: Strategies to Jump Start Self-Motivated Professional Development, with presentations from Talia Gibas (Arts for All, Los Angeles County Arts Commission), Tiffany Bong (UniverSOUL Hip Hop), and Sandy Seufert (Turnaround Arts: CA).

The Los Angeles event offered approximately 30 attendees the opportunity to explore strategies to "super charge" their careers.  Each presentation focused on a central question, or questions, which pushed participants to reflect on where they were as teaching artists and ways they could move forward with their individual practices. We thought we'd share those with you here, as food for thought in your own practice:

Talia Gibas, an arts administrator, asked participants to think about passion-driven learning. What can teachers learn from artists about passion-driven learning, and vice versa? What are you most passionate about? This was a great way to start off the session, as participants had the opportunity to start thinking and talk to others about why they do what they do.

Tiffany Bong asked, How can we continually evolve and stay relevant as teaching artists? For her, the answer is "ACCESS." This is an acronym of her own creation, which stands for: Ambassador of the Arts, Connections/Community, Curiosity, Elevating our Craft, Scaffolding from Your "Sweet Spot," and Space.  As a dance teaching artist, she then led participants in a dance to help everyone remember and embody each of these life lessons. Tiffany's elaboration on each of these points was so interesting that we hope to have her blog more about them soon on the TASC website.  Keep an eye out!

Teaching artist Tiffany Bong leads Los Angeles workshop attendees in a dance exercise.

Sandy Seufert, who recently started an exciting new position with Turnaround Arts California, talked about the success strategies that helped her move her own career to another level, including her realization that we all have to take personal responsibility for our own professional development. Sandy also challenged participants to think about what is the "one thing" they might be able to do at this moment in their lives that would make all else unnecessary. In other words, what could trigger a "domino effect" of success? To help identify what that might be, Sandy led participants through an exercise to generate an essential, career-guiding question.

If you'd like to find out more about any of these workshops or how to bring a TASC event to your area, please contact us at tascofcalifornia@gmail.com.  Story written with contributions from Adriana Sanchez Alexander and Jennifer Oliver.


Digging for Gold!

All That Glitters on the TASC Website

Part 2: Hiring and Training Teaching Artists

Last month we looked at lesson planning resources on the TASC site. This month we consider the hiring and training of teaching artists from the perspective of a school, an arts provider, a social service organization, community center or other potential employer. The first piece of advice is simple; use the same basic hiring practices as for any job applicant: request a resume identifying areas of expertise, work history, references, possibly an arts portfolio and an interview.

Most teaching artists are hired under a contract with a school or arts provider. The contract should include a time frame specifying starting and end dates, hourly wage, description of job responsibilities, and so forth as outlined in this advisory from the Cultural Council of Santa Cruz County:

Hiring a Teaching Artist

  • Schools may contract directly with the artist, or through an arts provider.
  • Be clear about your goals, class needs and concerns.
  • Artists want to work with you to find ways to integrate their teaching with your curriculum. Classroom teachers are expected to participate in arts activities with their students so that the experience becomes a creative learning experience for classroom teachers and students alike. Ask:
    • How will this program fit in with the school’s objectives and alignment with VAPA and/or Common Core Standards?
    • What will students learn from the program?
    • What will you learn from the program?
  • Teaching Artists invest many hours to create individual lesson plans for each new class assignment. Please honor their planning time as well as their experience.

Continue reading for more training tips.

I Am a Teaching Artist

Teaching Artist Sara Guerrero is pictured here at a behind-the-scenes community theatre-making workshop alongside her mom, Yolanda Sarmiento Montoya, who came out to help and has always encouraged and supported her in her teaching artist journey.

So Many Voices and Hands: My Work in My Community

By Sara Guerrero

As a teaching artist, I have great love and admiration for both the worlds of theatre and community, and I advocate for both. As engagement director of SCR’s Dialogue/Diálogos project, I have the opportunity to do both. Dialogue/Diálogos is a two-year bilingual community-based initiative project, which focuses on creating an original play with and by the Latina/o community of Santa Ana. The project and its production The Long Road Today is an innovative, expansive and immersive exploration of storytelling. It has been an absolute first to the county, the city and South Coast Repertory (SCR).

As a whole, this two-year project involving a city and its people is mural-like -- vast and encompassing. Yet as you come in closer and look at the details, it is like an impressionist painting, blending so many voices and hands and preserving every single fingerprint shaping this overall amazing experience, now a full production.

But first let me tell you about how I got here.

As a teaching artist, I am drawn to working and sharing theatre with those who are new to the experience and process. I truly enjoy working with students to share the many wonderful tools of theatre that often help build confidence, trust, encourage trying new things and play.

I grew up in a time when arts programming was an essential part of public education. And I naturally found myself drawn to story-telling and performing.  When I told my mother I wanted to be an actor, she didn’t flinch but helped see me through college no matter the cost for a single parent.

I studied theatre and acting at the California Institute of the Arts (CalArts). While a student there, I worked as a teaching artist through CalArts’ Community Arts Partnership (CAP) “a co-curricular after-school and school-based arts programs for youth with classes led by accomplished CalArts faculty, alumni and studenk6t instructors with the idea that participants learn to create original works of art and to experiment with prevailing conventions of artistic expression.” My focus was the theatre program at Plaza de Raza in Lincoln Heights of East Los Angeles, California.

My teaching mentor Barbara June Dodge, a dynamic uniquely talented force, who continues to lead the program, threw me right into the mix. I had to either sink or swim. At first, I doggy-paddled but eventually got my sea legs and swam.

Through this experience, I began how to teach my tools, learned more about myself, and explored my desire to teach theatre. I also discovered how I saw myself in the many students I was helping.  It made me realize how much I wanted more opportunities like Plaza to be available in my community, Santa Ana in Orange County, where arts funding and programming became less accessible.

I continued work as an actor, writer, director, teaching artist, and producer. I would eventually become the founding artistic director of Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble in Santa Ana, an organization founded to support and enrich the lives of Latinas in the visual and performing arts.

Read more of Sara's blog here.

Sara Guerrero is a professional theatre artist and an advocate for the arts. She loves her work and spending time with her partner of 11 years and their son. Find out more about her work with SCR’s Dialogue/Diálogos project here or Breath of Fire Latina Theater Ensemble here.



Want to share your event?

Email event information to tascofcalifornia.info@gmail.com

Connecting to the Larger Conversation

We've been paying attention to the international conversation around teaching artistry and its close cousin, participatory arts.  (Please check out July's blog posts from TASC's Sabrina Klein during the 2nd International Teaching Artist Conference in Australia).

On Sept. 10th, François Matarasso – internationally known writer, researcher and consultant with a 35 year career in socially-engaged arts practice – presented the keynote speech at the Sharing the Stage conference in London. His talk focused on ways to think about quality and value in participatory arts.

One conference attendee nicely summed up his take-away in a tweet: "Everyone – artist, producer, beneficiary – has a right to determine what is good." Some more highlights:

"[By] thinking about quality throughout the project cycle – and by doing that consciously and with everyone involved – you make better assessments of the quality and value of your work. But more than that, by undertaking that shared thinking process collectively and honestly, you will inevitably improve the quality and value of that work.

"In other words, thinking about quality need not be – should not be – the intrusive requirement of a funder for an evaluation report. It can be – it should be – intrinsic to good participatory arts practice."

You can read Matarasso's reflections on the conference and download the notes from his talk (well worth it) at his blog, Regular Marvels: Writing about art as if people mattered.

Featured member

Ways to Contribute

Submit Your Blog
TASC is in search of blog submissions that focus on teaching artistry and arts learning from a variety of perspectives. We invite teaching artist, arts administrators, educators, researchers and more to contribute to the ongoing conversation. Learn More.

I am a Teaching Artist

The field of teaching artistry is a continuously growing field that can be as diverse as each individual artist. It encompasses many arts forms, teaching methodologies, learning settings and so much more. TASC wants to know your story as a teaching artist! Learn More.



Share your videos & photos

TASC invites photos and videos that show the work of teaching artists. Do you have a video or photo that you feel is representative of your work as a teaching artist or what your organization does? Send video links and photos to tascofcalifornia.info@gmail.com.
Include names of individuals in the photo. 
Please note that you must have full permission to use any photos or videos you share with TASC.


TASC of California is a collaborative of teaching artists and the organizations that hire, train, and support them.  Oversight is provided by the TASC Regional Liaison Advisory Group. TASC is a fiscally sponsored project of Intersection for the Arts.     

Contact us at: tascofcalifornia@gmail.com.

                                           JOIN! Membership is FREE.                                           

In partnership with 

The art works on this site are used with permission of the artist, Helene Goldberg, who also created the TASC logo.
Read more Helene Goldberg Artist Statement.pdf

Powered by Wild Apricot Membership Software