.                  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.

Creativity at the Core

Creativity at the Core offers professional learning materials for use in your own educational and arts settings.

The California County Superintendents Educational Services Association, better known as CCSESA, recently released a rich series of 15 different professional learning modules focused on many key topics that support arts learning and Common Core Standards

Materials in each module include presentations, handouts, research, and information on relevant standards -- all available for FREE download. A range of art forms and grade levels are covered -- and even just going by the titles, listed below, they sound promising!

  1. Lifting the Barre: Dance and Common Core
  2. Distance Learning through the Arts
  3. Arts and the "Four C's"
  4. Arts in Court and Community Schools
  5. Culturally Responsive Arts Learning
  6. Lesson Study: Low and Middle Grades
  7. Teacher and Artist Collaboration
  8. Artifact Detectives
  9. Problem Solving Through Theatre
  10. Getting Ready for Dance Performance
  11. Assessing Arts Integration
  12. Leadership in the Arts
  13. Theatre Arts and EL
  14. Arts Integration and Common Core
  15. Artistic Literacy through Common Core

Each module was created in a collaborative process by a regional team involving teachers, teaching artists, arts educators, and key arts organization partners.  You'll want to check out more, and you can by visiting the website here.

Jobs & Opportunities


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


Reflections from the CAC Council Meeting:
Is It Time to Talk Credentials
for Teaching Artists?

Last month's CAC Meeting highlighted some exciting opportunities for teaching artists that will result from California Arts Council initiatives, but hand-in-hand with opportunities will come important conversations that we must tackle as a field. For example, Is it time to talk credentials for teaching artists?  TASC Advisor Jennifer Oliver offers her perspective below. Day Two of the CAC meeting was held in San Diego at the Jacobs Center for Neighborhood Innovation, pictured here.  Photo credit: California Arts Council.

By Jennifer Oliver, TASC Advisor and Founding Member

The California Arts Council met in my hometown, San Diego on June 24th and 25th for their annual meeting.  The mood was upbeat as all those in attendance were beaming about Governor Brown’s $7.1 million permanent increase in general fund support for the California Arts Council.  This will place CAC’s baseline funding at $8.3 million.  With this significant increase CAC will be hiring two new staff members and looking to increase funding support to artistic efforts across San Diego

As someone who has applied for and received funding by the CAC, I am thrilled at the notion that more funding will be available to arts nonprofits.  I see this as a revitalization of arts programs throughout California and of funding for the organizations and structures that support them.

During the meeting CAC members reflected on current activities, desires to revisit programs that were sunset after previous budget cuts and excitement to increase funding for the arts in general.  As I listened to the array of community arts services the CAC is interested in funding – adults in corrections, juveniles in the justice system, students in schools, veterans, those who live in disadvantaged and under-resourced communities, aging communities and those with mental and physical disabilities – I began to wonder about the qualifications, or more so, the lack of qualification criteria for the artist facilitators who work in these various contexts.

This is a sticky and sensitive topic, but one that needs to be met head on.  Do teaching artists need a credential or a certification?  Should they have one?  When you think about it, others who work and serve in the contexts where artists work, need credentials.  You need a credential to teach in schools, a special credential to work with people with disabilities, or a license to work as a therapist or counselor in the correctional or juvenile detention settings.   Granted, if you are a counselor or a teacher, your contract is different.

As an artist, your contract is to facilitate an arts experience.  Yet within this contract there are some underlying assumptions.  Assumptions that move beyond an artist’s expertise on the subject matter to an artist’s expertise of the process of facilitation and an understanding of both, the population they are serving and the context that they are serving in.   These assumptions exist because we know that the arts are a vehicle for the expression and the embodiment of our past, present and future realities.  Realities that include both joy and pain.  We, both the students of this artist and those that contract the artist to work at our sites, assume that this teaching artist is prepared for and has the tools necessary to navigate what comes up for their students.  We assume that this teaching artist has the skills necessary to identify a person in critical need and then wrap that person with the support and resources necessary to move safely from the art experience, back into the world. 

When I worked primarily with artists in schools, I would tell my teaching artists to turn to the work.  Stay with the vocabulary of the arts experience and not to engage students as a counselor might - unearthing the story that might be bubbling up from their art.  However, there are times when a teaching artist finds himself thrown into a case where a painful story or experience unexpectedly comes up, and that artist must know how to navigate it.

Click to read on for more about what the credentials conversation might mean for the teaching artist field.  And please share your thoughts with us and our readers by adding your comments at the end of the article.  We look forward to hearing from you!

In addition to being a member of the TASC council, Jennifer is the Artistic Director of A Step Beyond – a Creative Youth Development organization serving students through dance, academics, and social services. Outside of administration, Jennifer works as a Master Teaching Artist and a dancer/choreographer in the San Diego community.


News from the CAC:

Welcome to the CAC's New Programs Officer

The California Arts Council announced this month that Dr. Shelly Gilbride has accepted the position of Programs Officer. In this position, Gilbride will oversee all of the agency's grant programs and will serve as an executive leader in many of the Arts Council's key activities.

For the past year, Gilbride has served as an Arts Program Specialist at the California Arts Council, coordinating the agency's arts education programs and initiatives, and serving as the co-coordinator for the Poetry Out Loud program. She serves as a key liaison to the statewide arts education coalition, CREATE CA, of which the California Arts Council is a founding partner. Shelly will succeed Patty Milich, who retired from the Programs Officer position in 2014.

Shelly holds a PhD in Performance Studies from UC Davis. While writing her dissertation on the creative legacy of choreographer Merce Cunningham, she performed with two local dance companies, wrote grants for arts and civic organizations, served on the Board of the Davis Arts Center, lectured at UC Davis, and started a family. As a Development professional in Northern California, New York City and Philadelphia, she helped many artists and organizations secure funding and develop their institutional and creative capacity. Shelly began her career as a Haas Acting Fellow at The Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia and performed in numerous regional theatre productions as well as in the Philadelphia and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.

"I am excited to take on this new role, working with the fantastic programs team at the California Arts Council to promote, support and grow the vibrant arts community in California," stated Gilbride.


Featured Blog: I Am a Teaching Artist

Arts in Corrections:
How the Poetry Day Starts

By JoAnn Anglin, Poet-Teacher

Description: A poet’s snapshot of what it’s like working with men incarcerated at Folsom Prison.
County: Sacramento

Luckily, my Thursday morning commute to my poetry writing class at New Folsom Prison is smooth, against the heavy commuter traffic I see heading into town. My purse is in the trunk – I don’t like to take it into the prison (or into high schools for that matter), my driver’s license ID is in my pocket.

As I head ‘up the hill,’ from Sacramento to the high security institution in the lower Sierra Foothills, I’m mentally checking off the items in my tote bag: lesson plan, a copy of the poem I wrote to fulfill last week’s assignment, handouts for the inmate students that introduce the theme for next week’s assignment, a reading to lead into our in-class writing project. I carry my own writing notebook and a couple extra for two new students.

Today I’ve added an extra handout, an article about the new U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera, and two of his poems for us to read. And I remember that I want to urge a couple of the guys to try writing in third, rather than first person.  They always do the homework – sometimes extra pieces – but their work might be strengthened by giving it that one step away from self involvement.

Sometimes I smile to think that I learned my basic poetry teaching skills from California Poets in the Schools training, and how well those classroom lessons for children work here with these men in their, mostly, 30s and 40s.

Thinking ahead, I know that Kevin will be late, coming from his job in the kitchen.  And Jameel, as a Chaplain’s assistant, may also miss the first part of the class, but both of them will have their poems written. Will and Stephen, clerks for the Arts in Corrections classroom, are always early, setting up tables and chairs, getting out the paper and pencils, the dictionary and thesaurus. Of the 15 signed up for this class, 12 or 13 are usually in attendance.  Trayvon has a time conflict with his GED class and comes as he is able. Andre has been having dental work. Chris may be studying in the law library.

One thing I’m still not used to is the sudden ‘disappearance’ of a student. Noting the absence of a regular student, I’ll be told, “Oh, he was transferred to Lancaster.”  Or Pleasant Valley.  Or Soledad.  Or… ?

I never know the reason for these changes, but from the outside, it seems quite random. Now in my third year of teaching at Folsom, I still recall some of my earlier students and wonder how they are doing, if they still write.

Click to read more about JoAnn's experience teaching poetry in corrections.


JoAnn Anglin is a member of Los Escritores del Nuevo Sol (Writers of the New Sun), has  taught poetry writing in the schools, at a senior center, and now at New Folsom Prison near Sacramento. She is a coach for Poetry Out Loud and has a chapbook, Words Like Knives, Like Feathers (Rattlesnake Press), and poems in The Sacramento Anthology: One hundred Poems, Tule Review, Rattlesnake Review, The Pagan Muse, and Voces del Nuevo Sol.



Upcoming Events

21 Jul 2015 • Online
03 Aug 2015 • The Commonwealth Club, San Francisco
03 Aug 2015 9:00 AM • 13 Appian Way Cambridge, MA 02138

Want to share your event?

Email event information to tascofcalifornia.info@gmail.com

What's New

TASC Among Statewide Networks Grantees!

TASC is excited to announce our selection as one of the California Arts Council's grantees as part of the Statewide Networks program, which supports collaborative service organizations that provide practical services to working artists and constituent organizations.

A Fiscal Year 2014-15 one-time budget increase allowed the California Arts Council to award the largest number of grants provided by the state agency in 13 years. Investments were made based on the peer review panel's recommendations and available funds. The Council voted on grant awards at a public meeting in San Diego on June 24, 2015. Nineteen grants were awarded for the Statewide Networks program, with a total investment of $286,000.

"With an increased state investment, we are able to further spark the powerful growth and prosperity that result from the deep arts engagement provided by our grant programs," said Donn K. Harris, CAC Chair.

Thank you to the CAC for supporting TASC as we work to support and advocate for teaching artists!

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

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