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Teaching Artist Resources

Resources for Teaching Artists

For artists in all art forms who are developing their professional careers as Teaching Artists.

In the summer of 2007 Durham Arts Council received a grant from the Durham Cultural Master Plan, a joint program of the City and County of Durham, to provide professional development training for individual teaching artists through a Teaching Artists Roundtable. To extend the impact of that year-long pilot we compiled the following resources.

Most of the resources deal specifically with Teaching Artists issues. Lesson plans, integrating different art forms with the curriculum, understanding the standard course of study, training and grant funding, are all tools of the artist who conducts residencies or arts projects within a classroom setting.

Additional links and listings provide more general tools–financial planning, finding health insurance–that can be of use to any artist establishing themselves as a business.

We hope you will find this a useful compilation. Please contact CAPS Director Aubrey Wellfare if you would like to suggest additional resources to be listed.

Jump To

Arts-Integrated Lesson Plans

Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center website has many sample arts-integrated lesson plans, including a variety of art forms and core curricular subjects.

The J. Paul Getty Trust
The Getty Museum Education site has lesson plans and curricula for Visual Arts that incorporate Language Arts, Science, English as a Second Language and Social Studies curricula. It uses art in the Getty Museum collection as the starting point.

Public Broadcasting Service
Art21 produces features focusing exclusively on contemporary visual art and artists throughout the world, including the Peabody Award-winning biennial series “Art in the Twenty-First Century.” Intimate footage allows the viewer to observe the artists at work and watch their process as they transform inspiration into art.

PBS has a second site for classroom teachers with lesson plans and resources in the Arts, Health, Math, Language Arts, Science & Technology, Social Studies, Early Childhood, and Library and Media.
PBS Learning Media

Annenberg Learner
This site has a list of print and online resources about arts integration practices.

Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts
Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts, a program of Wolf Trap Foundation for the Performing Arts provides a free online resource with arts-integrated lesson plans, music, and videos from Wolf Trap Teaching Artists to support educators of children ages 0-8.


Arts + Social Change

Alternate ROOTS
Alternate ROOTS is a member-driven organization based in Atlanta. Its members are artists committed to creating progressive social and cultural change through art. ROOTS members are artists of all disciplines, teachers, university professors, arts administrators, students, children, and seniors.

Members are eligible to apply, with a community partner, for Community-Artist Partnership Project grants. Members who are touring performing artists can also apply to be on the Tour Program, which is a re-granting program—ROOTS grants National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) money to individual artists and companies who might not otherwise receive NEA money. ROOTS publishes newsletters and has an annual meeting, which usually takes place during the first week of August, near Asheville, NC, at a Lutheran retreat center.

Art in the Public Interest
Art in the Public Interest is a huge and growing online archive of information about arts and social change. It has a monthly newsletter with job listings, upcoming grant application deadlines, and arts news. You can subscribe (free) to a monthly e-newsletter which is a digest of the month’s articles and information, with links to each article. They have a “Places to Study” field, fields for different artistic disciplines, fields for different populations, for theory, and many resources and links to other useful sites.

Assessment Rubrics

RubiStar is a free tool that you can use to create quality rubrics for assessing student learning. A rubric is a simple and (relatively) objective way to evaluate student learning as it is taking place. You can sign up with RubiStar and then use their templates to create your own rubric in a few minutes. You can create rubrics in English or Spanish. You can give students a rubric at the beginning of a residency that will show them clearly what you expect them to learn and be able to do by the end of the residency, and they can use the rubric to self-assess, or you and your teacher-partner can fill out the rubrics.

Arts in Education Programs

A+ Schools
A+ Schools of North Carolina is transforming education with the philosophy that the arts are fundamental to teaching and learning. Since 1995, A+ has transformed how schools approach their work. Their network of schools teaches the state’s mandated curriculum in a collaborative, multi-disciplined way, with the arts woven into every aspect of a child’s learning experience. Through professional development, technical support and mentoring, each A+ school develops a unique and creative school identity that elevates student engagement and student achievement.

Chicago Arts Partnerships in Education
CAPE advances the arts as a vital strategy for improving teaching and learning by increasing students’ capacity for academic success, critical thinking and creativity. CAPE provides a range of consulting services and professional development for schools and arts organizations in order to support arts integrated teaching and learning in Chicago public schools. CAPE is built on two core concepts: arts integrated teaching and learning, and co-planning and co-teaching partnerships between teachers and artists.

Kennedy Center
The Kennedy Center has various useful sources for teaching artists. For educators looking to infuse the arts into their educational practices, they’ve developed a robust collection of hundreds of digital learning resources: lessons, articles, performance guides, how-tos and much more.

New York Foundation for the Arts
The New York Foundation for the Arts’ mission is to empower artists at critical stages in their creative lives. The NYFA funds artists in New York State, only, however their website lists opportunities for artists, and teaching artist resources.

North Carolina Arts Council Art Education Resources
Information about arts education is available through web sites and resources available through the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources, state and national arts education associations, and advocacy organizations.

Wolf Trap
The Wolf Trap Institute for Early Learning Through the Arts provides innovative arts-based teaching strategies and services to early childhood teachers, caregivers, parents, and their children from 0 to 5 through the disciplines of drama, music, and movement. They offer professional development workshops for teachers, classroom residencies, and other collaborations between performing artists and early childhood professionals that serve to enrich and motivate the teacher’s professional development; engage young children in active, creative learning experiences; energize efforts to bring parents and caregivers together into the classroom; and enliven the classroom environment.

Books + Journals

The Arts and Education Reform: North Carolina A+ Schools Program Executive Summary of a Four-Year Evaluation of A+ Schools
By Catherine Awsumb Nelson, NC A+ Schools

Business of Art: An Artist’s Guide to Profitable Self-Employment
Published by the Center for Cultural Innovation

Champions of Change: The Impact of the Arts on Learning,
Edward B. Fiske, Editor, The Arts Education Partnership and The President’s Committee on the Arts and Humanities.

Frames of Mind: The Theory of Multiple Intelligences
By Howard Gardner, BasicBooks, a member of The Perseus Books Group. Gardner posits the existence of a number of intelligences that ultimately yield a unique cognitive profile for each person.

How to Survive and Prosper as an Artist: Selling Yourself Without Selling Your Soul, by Caroll Michels, Henry Holt, LLC , a book for visual artists, including contact information for galleries, artists, and organizations.

Journal for Learning Through the Arts
The Journal for Learning Through the Arts is an online research journal on arts integration in schools and communities published by the California Digital Library.

Multiple Intelligences in the Elementary Classroom: A Teacher’s Toolkit
By Susan Baum, Julie Viens, Barbara Slatin, Howard Gardner, Teachers College Press. This book will help teachers design effective curriculum for their students with diverse learning abilities.

New Tax Guide for Artists of Every Persuasion, by Peter Jason Riley, CPA, Limelight Editions. This book gives the artist an overall understanding of the unique aspects of taxation for people in the arts.

The Performer’s Guide to the Collaborative Process, by Sheila Kerrigan, Heinemann, Portsmouth, NH, 2001. For anyone who works with a group and wonders if there are better ways to work together, this book demystifies the collaborative creative process and gives performers simple tools for creating original work happily and efficiently.

A Teaching Artist at Work: Theatre with Young People in Educational Settings, by Barbara McKean, Heinemann Drama

Teaching Artist Journal, A Quarterly Forum for Professionals Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Teaching Artist Journal is a useful, practical and theoretical quarterly that addresses many of the challenges and rewards of teaching artistry.

Career Management

The Artist Help Network
The Artist Help Network is a free information service designed to help artists take control of their careers. The network assists artists in locating information, resources, guidance, and advice on a comprehensive range of career-related topics. The network focuses primarily on subjects of interest to fine artists. People working in the applied arts, arts administration, and arts-related fields will also find this site useful. There is information about career, exhibitions, commissions and sales, money, presentation tools, legal issues, and more.

Fractured Atlas
Fractured Atlas is a non-profit membership organization that provides services and support to artists and arts organizations, including access to funding, affordable health insurance, liability insurance, professional development opportunities, a job bank, and education for artists. It is a community of over 50,000 artists from every discipline. It uses technology and 21st century business models to empower the arts community. 

New York Foundation for the Arts
Offers organizations, artists, creatives, students, and arts administrators online opportunities to receive practical and actionable career advice from industry professionals and specialized NYFA staff.

Self-Help Credit Union
Self-Help Credit Union is a community development lender and real estate developer based in NC that works with individuals, organizations and communities traditionally underserved by conventional markets. 

Arts Tax Information
Riley Associates has a website where you can download expense checklists for your art form, and a twelve-month expense worksheet in Excel. There is easy to understand information about deductible expenses, what qualifies as income, how to deduct travel and meals, auto expenses, equipment, a home studio or office.

Tax information
The Internal Revenue Service has a website with information about the Federal Tax Code. Self-employed artists qualify as individuals. There is information about the Earned Income Tax Credit, “for people who worked and didn’t make much money.”

Technology in the Arts
Technology in the Arts is a collection of services designed to help organizations build capacity by exploring the intersection of the arts and technology.

Funding Sources

A note about seeking funding support for arts-in-education residencies:
Most teaching artists are not 501-(c)-3 organizations; in other words, the IRS does not recognize us as not-for-profit entities. That means we are not eligible for most grant programs. It is possible to become a 501-(c)-3 organization, with a little help from a lawyer and a lot of time. However, individual artists can team up with non-profit organizations such as schools and arts councils, and collaborate with them to write grants to support artist-in-school residencies. The administrators and/or teachers, if they want you to work with their young people, will welcome your help on a writing a grant with them. And the funding organizations recognize schools and arts councils as worthy grantees. So partner up, partner!

Alternate ROOTS funds its members only. It does fund individual artists for community arts projects. For information about joining, send an email to:, or call: 404-577-1079.

Donors Choose
If you have a teacher or school you want to work with, the teacher or school can propose a project through

Durham Arts Council
The Durham Arts Council offers multiples grant programs.

DAC Artist Services schedules 10-12 solo and special exhibits every year in the Semans and Allenton Galleries and holds an annual “Call for Artists” to select exhibits, in conjunction with the Durham Art Guild.

Fund for Southern Communities
If you have an educational project that addresses racism, oppression, justice, or sustainable communities, the Fund for Southern Communities can be a source. The Fund for Southern Communities is a public foundation that supports and unites organizations and donors working to create just and sustainable communities that are free of oppression and that embrace and celebrate all people. Through grant-making and related activities the Fund for Southern Communities fosters social change initiated by community-based groups in Georgia, North Carolina and South Carolina.

Triangle Community Foundation
The Triangle Community Foundation provides grants to non-profit organizations. Individual artists can team up with a school or other non-profit and write a grant with a community partner for an arts-in-education project. The Triangle Community Foundation application process in my experience is difficult and hard to fathom; it is worth setting up an appointment to meet with a grant officer there to get help with their process.

Job Opportunities

The ArtsCenter
The ArtsCenter in Carrboro offers classes for children and adults in various disciplines and hires artists on a contract basis to teach. They have a summer arts camp. They also have a performing arts series and a gallery.

Durham Arts Council’s Creative Arts in the Public/Private Schools Program
DAC has been partnering with Durham Public Schools for many years to create artist residencies in the schools through the Creative Arts in the Public/Private Schools Program.

Artists submit proposals for residencies to apply to become a CAPS artist, and, when accepted, their residencies are described in a guide book that public and private schools arts coordinators receive. DAC holds an annual arts fair and invites arts coordinators to meet with artists and see them in action. DAC, when schools request an artist, contracts with artists and pays the artists.

Lincoln Center Education
Lincoln Center Education employs both part- and full- time Teaching Artists. LCE teaching artists work in all five boroughs of New York City as well as globally in various institutions including public schools, private schools, parochial schools, yeshivas, and institutions of higher education.

New York Foundation for the Arts
NYFA has a website with national job listings.

North Carolina Arts Council
The North Carolina Arts Council is pleased to share opportunities for artists. This list is updated weekly. Please contact the organization listed if you have questions about an opportunity.

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County
United Arts has an artists-in-schools program. They contract with artists and coordinate with schools. They place professional artists in the classrooms of more than 100 Wake County public, private and charter schools through residencies, workshops and performances. They host a Cultural Arts Festival every August that offers an opportunity for school cultural arts representatives from Raleigh, Wake County, and Johnston County schools to see performances and meet with artists who work in schools.

National Standards for Education

Several national educational organizations have created educational standards or guidelines with educational goals and objectives in all subjects to be used on a national level. The NC Standards are similar in many respects to the national standards. For more information about national standards, go to:
National Standards

NC Standard Course of Study

North Carolina’s Department of Public instruction has published online the standards, curriculum, and instruction guides in all subjects for kindergarten through twelfth grade. This is a useful reference guide for teaching artists in NC to use when planning residencies and when selling your residencies to educators. You can find the curricular connections to the art form that you teach, and you can speak the language of educational objectives with teachers.

NC Arts Education Essential Standards

By the way, Healthful Living includes PE and character education, socialization skills, communication, and cooperation.

When you put together promotional materials and study guides, you can include the objectives you teach from your art form and the core curriculum, with their reference numbers, and teachers will know what objectives your residency will address.

Teaching Artist Training

A+ U: The Virtual A+ You-niversity is the home for online supplemental professional development for the A+ Schools of North Carolina network. A+ U is as series of self-guided units of study completed at your own pace. Each unit is provided in a fully annotated PDF booklet that guides you through the exploration of components related to a particular A+ topic of study. Each unit will take about two and half hours to complete, and upon completion of each unit you will receive a certificate of participation to be used towards CEU credit.

NCCU Teaching Artist Certificate Program is a 16-credit program equipping artists with a comprehensive foundation to plan, design and implement a vast array of arts experiences for all ages.

State of the Art Conference
This popular conference of 300+ participants provides opportunities for colleges of all sizes, universities, researchers, program staff, parents and self-advocates to learn about the current state of research and practice in the field, and to network with each other.

ArtStart Program Workshops
The mission of ArtStart is to inspire artistic creativity and illuminate the connections among people, ideas and the environment through engaging artists, children, families, and communities in quality arts education experiences.

Julliard School
The Morse Fellowship Program is a school-based program that puts Julliard students into public school classrooms as teaching artists one day a week.

UTC Arts-Based Collaborative
The Arts-Based Collaborative is a center under the College of Health, Education, and Professional Studies of the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga that facilitates arts-based professional learning programs that support a variety of needs across multiple fields and disciplines.

United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County
Arts Integration for Educators: The Arts Integration for Educators programs make dynamic, active learning possible in every classroom by providing elementary and middle school educators with hands-on opportunities to work with extraordinary teaching artists and learn how to invigorate their classrooms by integrating arts and non-arts curriculum standards. United Arts provides arts integration opportunities through a week-long institute, Saturday morning workshops, in-school residencies, and a lesson plan directory.

Harvard University’s Project Zero

Project Zero‘s mission is to understand and enhance learning, thinking, and creativity in the arts, as well as humanistic and scientific disciplines, at the individual and institutional levels. Project Zero has an ebookstore, conducts research, publishes articles, and convenes symposia and workshops on a wide variety of arts- and learning-related subjects. 

Book Store


The Artful Thinking Program helps teachers use works of visual art and music in ways that strengthen student thinking and learning in the arts and beyond. The goals of this program are to help teachers create connections between works of art and the curriculum, and to help teachers use art as a force for developing students’ thinking dispositions.

If you have suggestions of resources for this page please contact us!


Al Strong

Director of Creative Arts in Public + Private Schools