I never regret attending these Teaching Artist seminars. I end up powered up about my art and my choice of the arts-education arena. The intellectual sparks fly and I feel it.


I got there in time for the state of the art speakers and it was good to hear the dread ‘testing’ subject came up. Apparently testing will be limited to March and part of April, opposed to Jan. through May. It should mean the market opens up some more. There’s been a certain ‘fear’ driving the school booking scene since the economy swallowed up a lot of work since 2008.

There’s a lot of positive movement in the Teaching Artist field. To have it recognized was a big step, great strides in gathering artists, and providing these professional development sessions, these are fairly new ideas.

“To see the world as if it could be otherwise” (famous artistic statement)

The new work in the philosophy is ‘why are we Teaching Artists?’ We know how we do it and that is documented by now. Now comes some of the second level thought. We all know but now it’s time to write it out. That’s why I do this blog.

The morning breakout session is always great, with an expert from the field comes in an flexes our muscles as artists with a challenging group workshop. The lady from the Lincoln Center TA lead us through some interesting thought processes.

TA’s are in it for various reasons:
Work of Art – enhancing the art experience
Skills Development – art-making skills
Arts Integration – learning of non-arts content
Community Quality of Life – enhancing the livability of communities
Social Development – develop personal or social capacities
Digital – activate personal artistry in digital media
Other – achieve institutional goals using the arts

Even though we use bits and pieces of all these motivations, we were asked to pick out one. I picked social development. I really like to see kids connect with each other and discover their own artistic self.

As we broke out into our groups, I was surprised to meet with several folks I had connections with already, including Michelle, who was the initial spark for the Playground concept of jump rope rhymes. Together we explore our biggest challenges (for me, to encourage risk-taking) and rewards. There was some really deep stuff going on. We agreed our next effort should be in figuring out how to sustain our arts experience once we leave the building.

“Love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.” Stanislavsky.

I took some great sessions on Comics in the Classroom and another on Social Media. Seems I should look into Pinterest.

The time went quickly – no surprise there – and the drive back to Bethlehem was filled with some great internal dialogue.

There’s a jam in Boyertown tonight. Seems I have some left over energy to add another hour and a half of driving to the three hours to Trenton and back.