From the TASC board of advisors:
First, thank you to our 450+ members for signing up with TASC. This is an important year for many teaching artists in California as public education transitions to arts-based learning. We have taken a strong advocacy position for teaching artists to be included in the planning and implementation of the CREATE CA Blueprint for Creative Schools, especially now that the CREATE leadership has called for some kind of certification for Teaching Artists. We intend to be part of that conversation and will share information with you going forward. We invite your feedback -- please use the link at the bottom of the story below to talk to us!
TASC carves out strategies for 2015-2016
Teaching Artist Support Collaborative of California (TASC) serves as a statewide network with a mission to provide professional support for teaching artists throughout California who are passionate about education and community engagement.
We promote teaching artists as equally valued professionals with our partners in schools, community settings and social service organizations. To better serve our growing membership, we have set our sights on deepening our communications, expanding our educational services and diversifying our representational leadership.
As we look to 2015/16 and as our membership continues to grow, we have identified and embraced strategies to increase our impact, with the ultimate goal being supporting teaching artist excellence across the state.
For one example, we plan to proactively work with CREATE CA as a full partner to help implement the Blueprint for Creative Schools. We can model and share resource tools with school districts, principals, and teachers; and, communicate the value of teaching artists and examples of best practices.
Another goal resulting from our planning process is that we have identified a need for more targeted support in geographically underserved areas. Research has shown that teaching artists working in California counties without highly developed arts infrastructures have limited access to resources and opportunities to help them develop their practice. This unhappy situation is addressed in our Strategic Goals below.
In our early developmental phases, TASC established a stable leadership structure, solidified our communication tools and garnered an interested membership of over 450 members primed to move with us to our next level of services. We are seeking funding for both long-term sustainability and expansion, with specific organizational strategies and action steps to guide us. Near and longer-term strategic goals include:
Strategic Goal #1: Cultivate Local Leadership.
- Strategy 1.1 Identify members and potential members who may be ready to take on local and/or state advocacy leadership roles. Engage them with meaningful opportunities at the local level. Mentor and support them to take on specific leadership tasks.
- Strategy 1.2 Create and support opportunities that encourage all TASC leaders to host and co-host local events around topics of interest to the local field that promote TASC and teaching artistry.
- Strategy 1.3 Build on existing leadership resources, programs, and future partnerships.
- Strategy 1.4 Ensure sufficient resources (through fundraising and staffing) to support and sustain local membership, leadership, and services.
Outcome: TASC will have expanded capacity to organize at a local level and connect more local members to the statewide network.
Please click to read more on Goals #2 and #3 and what TASC hopes to achieve in the coming year.
Our new Strategic Plan was crafted by the TASC Advisory Council. We welcome your feedback. Email us at email@example.com.
Taxes for Teaching Artists
In the next few weeks, it will be time to start thinking about taxes -- if you haven't already. For many teaching artists, that means negotiating how to file taxes as a freelancer. This may help.
The Freelancers Union has gathered resources in "The ultimate tax guide for freelancers," which includes tips for first-time filers, itemizing efficiently, setting up your business, and FAQs. You can also take a quiz to see if you're a Freelance Tax Rockstar and find information about taxes and health insurance.
California Lawyers for the Arts offers "The Art of Deduction" workbook for sale, which covers the essentials of income tax for individual artists and artist groups of all disciplines, and the self-employed. Learn how you can efficiently track income and expenses throughout the year and correctly file your taxes. Topics include record keeping, form 1040, Schedule C, the self-employment schedule, deductions, hobby losses, home offices, and more... The link to purchase the workbook is on their homepage.
The Chicago Artists Resource offers online courses as part of their "Survival Guide." Check out the video tutorial on Finances, which will help you understand the different types of taxes that you may owe, when to pay them, and how to set aside enough money to pay them.
Also, don't forget that California taxpayers can directly contribute to the Keep Arts in Schools Fund through their California 2014 Individual Tax Returns (due by April 15, 2015) in the "Contributions" section. The "Keep Arts in Schools Fund" can be found in Voluntary Contribution Section 110 (425) of the "540" individual state tax-return form, and the minimum donation is just $1. Find out more here.
Check out the TASC website page "Minding Your Business" which features more resources and ideas tailored for the independent contractor who works as a teaching artist operating her/his own business.