.                  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.

Resources to Get Your Brain in Gear

The public television station serving the San Francisco Bay Area, KQED, has useful on-line resources for educators seeking hands-on, inquiry based, dynamic learning ideas and materials for their students.

KQED partners with educational providers such as Promethean Planet, which bills itself as the world’s largest whiteboard community. Created by educators for educators, Promethean Planet is a unique international teaching, sharing and support community—
“a place to connect, create, and change the classroom!”

There’s a lot more on the KQED site that should appeal to any teaching artist. For example, the PBS Learning Media page. It makes it easy to create engaging student assignments, personalize learning, and track student progress. Two current tools: Lesson Builder and Quiz Maker lets you create a media-rich lesson and optional quiz with PBS video content. Another tool, Storyboard, guides students to produce a media-rich storyboard to illustrate concepts they have learned.

You can navigate to Promethean Planet, the PBS Learning Media page and other resources on the KQED site. Just click on KQED.org

Jobs & Opportunities


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

 A Note to Our Members
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 tascofcalifornia.info@gmail.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.


Featured Blog

Reflections: Creativity in the Courts
by Jean Johnstone, TASC Advisor

We've been following the "Creativity at the Core" initiative and their work to create innovative, replicable models using the arts to serve our communities. TASC Advisor and Teaching Artists Guild (TAG) Executive Director, Jean Johnstone, was part of one of the regional efforts -- "Creativity in the Courts and Community Schools" -- which involved Alameda County Office of Education and TAG, funded by the California Arts Council and CCSESA. Recently, Jean shared her reflections in a blog on the TAG website.

I am writing from the Alameda County Juvenile Justice Center, where a group of teaching artists convened by TAG and the Alameda Office of Ed have been working intensively in the units with the students this week. They are painters, sculptors, music makers, theater artists, dancers, and multi-disciplinary visionaries. Watching them work with these students, who come out of their cells and into a windowless classroom to dance, write, create, has been a moving and powerful experience. For those of you who weren’t aware (and a year ago I was one of them), “juvie” is jail. Jail for kids. You don’t have the same rights as an adult, either. You are kept locked up until your trial, which has no jury. The time you spend waiting for your case to be heard, which can be months, is called “dead time”, because that is what it is. It doesn’t count towards your sentence. You can’t go home. Assuming you have one.

Tuesday I sat in on an art class with a keen and experienced 75-year-old teaching artist. She had asked the students to choose and draw power words, and they were decorating them intricately. They had drawn words like, “Peace”, “Fierce”, “Free”, and simply “I love you, mama”.

I tried explaining to my 5 year old son the work we were doing here. His eyes were as round as I’ve ever seen them, taking in that there was in fact this thing, a jail for kids. I tried to assure him that it was only for big kids. Pretty hollow. I also tried to explain that you couldn’t go there just for not picking up your toys. It had to be something really bad. Also very hollow. Anyway, we stumbled through that much and I told him we were coming in and doing art projects with all the students. That it was important for them to be able to do some painting or dancing because it could make them feel better to express their feelings and move their bodies. In the most amazing way, to my admittedly very simplified explanation, he didn’t understand it at all. His thought process, leaping and bounding across his furrowed face: Wait, they are in JAIL and you are going to help them with THIS? If you want to help them, why can’t you get them out??

Click to read more of Jean's blog here.



Upcoming Events

24 Apr 2015 • Bay Area
02 May 2015 8:00 AM • Luna Dance Institute 605 Addison St. Berkeley, CA
18 May 2015 • Valencia (Los Angeles County)
28 May 2015 • Bay Area

Want to share your event?

Email event information to tascofcalifornia.info@gmail.com

Support Arts Education When You File Your Taxes

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.

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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