.                  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.

Maker-Centered Learning

Looking closely, exploring complexity, and finding opportunity are three key capacities built into maker-centered education that help young people and adults feel empowered to build and shape their worlds.

the recent buzz about STEM, invention and innovation, the Maker Movement, a resurgence of DIY (do-it-yourself) practices, and a celebration of tinkering, have given rise to a renewed—and updated—focus on maker-centered teaching and learning.   - See more at: http://www.pz.harvard.edu/projects/agency-by-design#sthash.bPEAra0K.dpuf

The recent buzz about STEM into STEAM, invention and innovation, the Maker Movement, a resurgence of DIY (do-it-yourself) practices, and a celebration of tinkering,have given rise to a renewed—and updated—focus on maker-centered teaching and learning. From the Harvard Graduate School of Education's Project Zero, Agency by Design is a research initiative investigating the promises,practice, and pedagogies of maker-centered education.

Their Educator Resources page explains and expands on three key capacities that are integral to maker-centered education: looking closely, exploring complexity, and finding opportunity. Click on any of the three capacities, and you'll find an explanation, real-world examples of practice, and links to project ideas.

In addition, you'll find information about "thinking routines" — short mini-strategies that encourage the development of these capacities and that can be used in a variety of classroom settings. Each two-page routine includes tips and suggestions to get you started.


Agency by Design (AbD) is a multiyear research initiative investigating the promises, practice, and pedagogies of maker-centered education. - See more at: http://www.pz.harvard.edu/projects/agency-by-design#sthash.bPEAra0K.dpuf
the recent buzz about STEM, invention and innovation, the Maker Movement, a resurgence of DIY (do-it-yourself) practices, and a celebration of tinkering, have given rise to a renewed—and updated—focus on maker-centered teaching and learning.   - See more at: http://www.pz.harvard.edu/projects/agency-by-design#sthash.bPEAra0K.dpuf

In addition, here are some other resources you might also want to check out:

STEM to STEAM: From the Rhode Island School of Design, this website is a "show and tell" of links to resources, policy updates, and ideas.

The STEAM Journal: With FREE access to articles, fieldnotes, and reflections, the STEAM Journal offers both academic and practical insight into what's happening at the intersection of STEM and arts learning.

Jobs & Opportunities



"Where science ends, art begins."

“Where science ends, art begins,” wrote photographer Charles Nègre (1820–1880). 
Originally a painter, Nègre became intrigued with daguerrotypes and began experimenting with the chemistry behind photography,the physics and mathematics of optics, and the engineering principles of both camera design and the architecture he photographed. 
Learn more about the combination of art and science by checking out this month's
Arts Resource Corner featuring "STEM into STEAM" and maker-centered learning resources.
Photo credit: Charles Nègre, "Italian Street Musicians." 1853.

TASC Wants You!
Apply to Become a Member of the
TASC Regional Advisory Council

TASC is governed by a Regional Advisory Council (RAC) of volunteer representatives from throughout California.  We're looking for new members in 2016 who can share their unique and diverse experiences, expertise, and perspectives with us.

Here's some of the qualities we're looking for:

  • Have significant experience in the field of Teaching Artistry as a Teaching Artist, Administrator, or some other role.  You can be an individual or you can represent an organization.
  • Be eager and willing to share their ideas and passion to help support the field on a local and statewide level
  • Represent your region or your cohort and share TASC resources/opportunities
  • Be willing to conduct outreach to teaching artists or arts education leaders in under-resourced areas of your region as appropriate to assess needs and connect them with TASC or other resources
  • Be willing to host occasional events (meetings/trainings/workshops) in your region on TASC statewide content and consider including TASC branding on Teaching Artist-related events at your organization or region
  • Want to make a difference for the field and to share your creative ideas!

Does this sound like you?  Like someone you know? Click to find out more.  Applications due January 15th.


STEM into STEAM and Other Arts Education Victories on Capitol Hill

On December 10, 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA) was signed into law by President Obama.  With the bill's passage, states must invest in new arts education learning standards – with all the arts disciplines represented – and resourcing of arts education to encourage creativity in our nation’s classrooms. Specifically, the bill provides for:

  • Dedicated funding for arts education through the “Assistance for Arts Education” grant program
  • Inclusion of the arts in the “Well-Rounded Education” definition with over a dozen references in the bill ensuring, among other things, that the arts continue to be eligible for Title I funds—the largest federal funding source to local educational agencies and schools.
  • Integration of the arts in STEM programs – recognized in the field as “STEM to STEAM”

Click below to hear an Americans for the Arts interview with Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (Oregon), explainingwhy she sponsored the addition of arts into the ESSA.

2016 also saw the passage of other arts-related funding and legislation:

  • $147,949,000 for the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) – an increase of $1,929,000. This is despite the fact that earlier this year both the House and Senate proposed to keep funding flat for the NEA. Congress specifically supported the NEA’s expanded work with military service members and the arts.
  • $27 million for the Arts In Education program – an increase of $2 million. In recent years this program was actually proposed for termination, so an increase in funding is especially welcomed.

For national arts policy news in 2016, sign up to receive arts action updates from Americans for the Arts regarding federal legislation affecting arts and arts education.  Or keep up in California by following the California Alliance for Arts Education. Both websites also offer resources on advocacy, so you can help support arts education in your own community.


Featured Blog

Above: Students using theatre to improve their English language skills.

Conversations from the Classroom:
English Learners Speak the Language of Theatre

By Lynn Clark

Over 50 percent of Los Angeles County citizens live in a home where a language other than English is spoken. I teach theatre at Jefferson Middle School in San Gabriel, about 10 miles east of Downtown L.A.; approximately a quarter of our students are English learners, and they speak 25 different languages. In previous years, I have taught language learners with some degree of English proficiency, but this year I have students who do not speak English at all, or who are just beginning to speak the language.

Three months into the school year, I’m amazed by what they’ve accomplished. Just last week, Khin, a seventh grader from Burma who started the year not speaking any English, got up on stage and read a script with another student—in English! But I also wanted to know what else I could be doing to support Khin and my other English learners. (Khin is not her real name, nor are my other students mentioned by their real names.)

So I sat down to talk with two of my colleagues, David Johnson and Linh Phuong, who are both full-time English Language Development (ELD) educators with a combined 44(!) years of classroom experience. They offer instruction in core academic curriculum to the same group of students for much of the school day while simultaneously cultivating their students’ English language skills.

My first question: What do you think would be effective strategies to assist English learners in theatre class?

David: Provide them with things in advance so that they can translate. Not just scripts but also simple classroom directions, like "Turn to page 65." You guess what you think you are going to need them to know, and you create a translation sheet for them.

Linh: I do a lot of role play. And if I were to teach your class, I would allow them to speak their own language. They could do little skits or scripts in their own language.

David: Role play could be really short, situational dialogues, like ‘Who’s in your family? For students just beginning to learn English, you provide a template: ‘Here’s your conversation. You’re just going to substitute brother for sister.

But it’s not just about what I can do for these students as a teacher, I’ve discovered; it’s also about what they can do for one another.

Read on for more practical advice about using theatre with English language learners.


Lynn Clark is a Center Theatre Group teaching artist, classroom educator, and professional actress in Los Angeles.  Her blog was originally featured on the Center Theatre Group's blog, The Grid, where theatre teaching artists regularly write about the practicalities and the art of teaching theatre. Check out the website to learn more.



Upcoming Events

20 Feb 2016 10:30 AM (PST) • Sacramento
23 Feb 2016 (PST) • Los Angeles
27 Feb 2016 (PST) • Berkeley
29 Feb 2016 (PST) • Costa Mesa

Want to share your event?

Email event information to tascofcalifornia.info@gmail.com

What's New

Welcome to TASC's Newest Advisory Council Member, Nia Womack-Freeman

With a passion for both education and the arts, Nia Womack-Freeman completed a BA in Dance from Mills College, Oakland (1996) and an MA Education at Antioch, Santa Barbara (2005) where she investigated the role of arts in the education of people of color in public schools. Her strong desire to see the world and understand arts education in a broader context inspired Nia to teach overseas for five years in Shanghai, China and Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. There, she experienced the invaluable skills of global mindedness and open-heartedness mingled with culture and creativity.

Her recent achievements include bringing dance to children who may not normally have access by working with Myanmar refugee children in Malaysia, and street children in Cambodia.  She continues to investigate the intersection of culture, dance and education. Womack-Freeman teaches children and families in Luna Dance Institute’s community-based programs in Berkeley.

Featured member

Ways to Contribute



To make a secure online donation using your credit card:

1. The link below will take you to
     the the online donation page
     of our fiscal sponsor,
     Intersection for the Arts.

2. Fill in the donation form.

3. Under "I want my donation to
     be designated toward:"
     please select Teaching
     Artist Support
     Collaborative of California

     from the drop-down menu.


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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