Teens in the Big Picture Alliance's after school program create original films from script to screen.

Bartol Blog

Learn what is happening in the field of arts education and teaching artistry. Past blog posts with links to resources can be found by searching or by clicking on a category below. Check in often as we update our blog and link to local and national resources.

“I don’t believe in starving artists”—Interview with Bartol Administrator Melissa Talley-Palmer

Photo courtesy of Melissa Talley-Palmer.

 

As part of an ongoing Q&A series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s artistic community. Melissa Talley-Palmer is Administrator at the Bartol Foundation, joining the team in November 2017. Outside of her work at Bartol, Melissa is Administrative Assistant at Philadelphia Jazz Project, and an event planner and dance teacher.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your role at the Bartol Foundation?

My role here at the Bartol Foundation as the Administrator is primarily to support the Executive Director in granting applications, organizing teaching artist workshops, and general office support. I also like to do a lot of outreach, just letting the whole world know what’s happening at Bartol and extending it to new audiences.

As a dancer and teaching artist, what is most meaningful for your work in the community?

What’s most exciting for me as a teaching artist is the education component in the communities where I live and work. I’m passionate about preserving the history and culture of dance in our communities, particularly the African-American community where I learned to dance, and where that is such a deep connection to my history and family traditions. It’s really important for me to spread that joy, because it was such a joyful experience for me. With all that’s happening around the world through media, there’s such a divide amongst people. And for me, that’s disheartening. If we don’t teach our children the importance of humanity, then they lose a really valuable experience, especially when they’re young.

The demand for teaching dance in the community actually came from a lot of my peers inquiring during social events—like class reunions, family reunions—that I teach them the dances that my children and I were doing. My husband loves music and he DJs our dance classes, and my sons grew up learning how to dance, and we dance together all the time at social functions. I was taught how to dance back in my childhood in the 60s—so imagine how far back that goes for me. It takes me to my youth, and I like to give that to other people.

What would you like to contribute to the work of the Bartol Foundation?

I’m looking forward to expanding Bartol’s audience, and applying my administrative and technical skills to figuring out how we can deepen the experience for people at Bartol—whether that’s through a workshop, a grant that they receive, or whether that’s through teaching a workshop. It’s very exciting.

The Bartol Foundation experience, for me, is a new approach to the work that I’ve been doing for the last 20 years. I started doing nonprofit community arts and education work as a volunteer back in 1997 at the Village of Arts and Humanities. As a certified arts administrator, I think the work at Bartol puts me in a position to be able to make Bartol’s resources more known to a wider community. There are a lot of people who know of the Bartol Foundation, but I’m not sure if they all understand what are the ways they can engage in its resources. So, sharing the information about Bartol’s resources with the teaching artists I know.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I am a two-time Art and Change Grantee with the Leeway Foundation. Because of the similarities to Bartol’s work, that’s another resource that I can bring to teaching artists, as an opportunity for them to consider applying for money to support their interests. All of these things are interconnected, and I’m looking forward to how that supports Bartol in fulfilling its mission to build teaching artists who can be more economically sound in their work—and not starve. I don’t believe in starving artists.

 

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

“Becoming trauma-informed is a journey”—Interview with Teaching Artist Mindy A. Early

In the fall of 2018, the Bartol Foundation will be piloting a new series of trauma-informed training workshops for teaching artists. Mindy A. Early is the lead designer and facilitator for this series. She is also Director for Education and Program Services at Philadelphia Young Playwrights, where she manages in-class residences, out-of-school programs and special projects, and productions.

To learn more about Bartol’s upcoming trauma workshops, read our Q&A with Mindy.

 

How did you become aware of the impact of trauma on the students you were working with?

There’s a twofold answer to that question. The first, which may be the more obvious one, is that my teaching artists and myself would go into classrooms and use playwriting and monologue writing as a vehicle to encourage students to use and express their voices. As an organization, Young Playwrights never censors students, so they are allowed to write about whatever they would like, from completely fictional all the way through biographical. So, as you can imagine, many of our students take that opportunity to write about things that touch their lives directly, and some of those topics suggested that they had intersected with some trauma in their lives.

The secondary reason is that, for a long time, my teaching artists and I have believed that some of the behaviors encountered in classrooms that would be labeled as “unwanted” or “challenging” aren’t coming from a place of the students rebelling against the artist who’s in the classroom. A lot of these responses are coming from a different place. We were looking towards trying to find a model that could reframe our views of that behavior, and also equip us better to meet students where they were and to help them rather than discipline them.

 

What does it mean for teaching artists to be trauma-informed, and how were you trained in these practices?

The majority of my training comes through the Lakeside Global Institute. They have a three-part, 72-hour training for people who work with potentially trauma-impacted populations. I took those three courses in addition to some other readings and professional development sessions that I’ve attended.

Being a trauma-informed teaching artist is a process. The first step is realizing what trauma is, its causes, and its effect on the brain, body, and behavior. And then what its potential impact is on a person’s ability to forge positive relationships, to trust, or to be able to comfortably learn because of where they’re at in their brain state.

The second part is being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of trauma based on exhibited behaviors. This involves looking at how they interact, how they forge relationships, and how they’re responding physically, emotionally, and socially.

The final part is responding by fully applying knowledge about trauma into workshop practices and student encounters and, by so doing, seeking to actively resist re-traumatization. In other words, choosing responses that, rather than discipline or punish the individual, actually help to calm them and give them tools to heal, to build resiliency, and to learn how to develop positive relationships and other things that can help them through the impact of their trauma.

 

As the lead facilitator for the Bartol Foundation’s new training in trauma-informed practice for teaching artists, can you tell us about this training and what you hope it will achieve?

This training is interdisciplinary—artists of any art form can take this training and find the information valuable and directly applicable to their work.

The training will start in trauma theory—looking at what causes trauma and how it affects the brain, behavior, and ability to learn. You can’t talk about trauma without talking about the theories and getting a little scientific, so you really understand what it’s doing to the brain and body.

The training will then segue into how we can shift our practices as teaching artists. So, looking at what the considerations are as we plan our lessons, give directions, facilitate the classroom and transitions, and give students assignments and guideposts. As we’re teaching this portion of the workshop, we’re also teaching class facilitation practices—how to deal with students one-on-one and as a group.

We’re hoping to close out the sessions by looking at vicarious trauma and how to integrate self-care even in your busiest moments. Teaching artists who are working with trauma-impacted students on a daily basis are having a lot of heavy conversations, which can be a lot to take on. This has been coming up frequently as I’m in trauma-informed spaces as a teaching artist.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

The act of becoming trauma-informed is definitely a journey and a process. In order to be truly trauma-informed, you have to be willing to dig into a lot of theory and reading. And then as you apply it to your practices, you have to be willing to dig into yourself—your biases, habits,strengths, and weaknesses—and really commit yourself to a bit of a paradigm shift and maybe letting some things go that have been part of your practice for many years. So, it is hard work and rigorous work, but it’s really important work. And it’s really rewarding when you have a workshop or a one-on-one interaction when you see that these principles make a huge difference and impact.

 

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

“Work that changes people’s lives”—Interview with Bartol Board Chair Toni Shapiro-Phim

As part of an ongoing Q&A series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s artistic community. Toni Shapiro-Phim is Director of Programs at the Philadelphia Folklore Project. She is currently chair of the Bartol Foundation’s board, and is beginning her second three-year term on the board after taking a break while living in Cambodia.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your work at Philadelphia Folklore Project?

Philadelphia Folklore Project is a nonprofit arts and social justice organization. We work to sustain vital and diverse cultural heritage in our communities through collaborative projects, research, documentation, and education. We prioritize folk and traditional arts in service of social change. To that end, we identify local traditional artists and community organizations and support their artistic growth. We produce public programs (exhibitions, performances, forums, workshops, etc.) advancing cultural traditions significant to Philadelphia communities, and we also document outstanding practitioners and practices.

We’re particularly committed, at the moment, to engaging in informed, respectful, and sensitive ways with community members who have experienced trauma given their histories of displacement, violence, and loss, or even their current circumstances here in Philadelphia. Part of what keeps communities strong and vital is their local cultural knowledge. This is reflected in traditional cultural practices including rituals, food, and stories shared through performance, words, images, etc. So, each of the communities with which we engage has valued ways of making meaning in the world that, with some nurturing from our collaborative efforts, might help deepen and expand community cohesion and constructive action in the face of pressing local concerns.

 

What attracted you to becoming involved with the Bartol Foundation as a board member?

Philanthropy, I believe, has the potential to have a profoundly constructive impact. I also believe in the Bartol Foundation’s mission, and I’ve long appreciated the respectful way in which Bartol staff engages with communities in Philadelphia, and with applicants for and recipients of Bartol funding. The Folklore Project has been a recipient of Bartol funding, so I’ve had the experience from that end.

The Bartol Foundation has a unique niche here. It’s in a position to recognize and support organizations doing work on the ground—work that changes people’s lives through creation of and participation in meaningful arts programs and activities—and also to provide thought-provoking and skill-building professional development trainings for teaching artists and others working in community-focused arts in our city.

 

What’s been the most rewarding moment from your time working with the Bartol Foundation?

My experience thus far at the Bartol Foundation has been packed full of so many rewarding moments, it’s hard to choose just one. But here’s an example: I went on a site visit to observe a choir program for second and third graders coordinated by a local arts organization. The organization offered a truly inspiring and holistic approach, interpreting the term “instrument” to be voice, in terms of sounds and utterances that come out of one’s mouth, and also in terms of say or presence in the world. They also interpret “instrument” to be one’s entire body and one’s demeanor as well. So, in addition to the development of singing skills, the focus is on understanding that one has control over how one proceeds and presents oneself in the world, and that that matters—that the say/presence/self-presentation of each of them all matter. The students were engaged wholeheartedly, from the start of the classes to the end. Brilliant. It was truly rewarding to see innovative arts education in action.

 

To learn more about Philadelphia Folklore Project, visit www.folkloreproject.org.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

FUNDING OPPORTUNITY: Project Stream Grant (deadline June 20)—Interview with Allison Vanyur, Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance

Photo: People’s Emergency Center, 2016 Project Stream grantee. (Courtesy of Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance)

 

The Philadelphia region offers a wide range of funding opportunities for community-based artists and organizations. One example is Project Stream, a grant administered by the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance. Learn more and get application tips in our Q&A with Allison Vanyur, Grants & Events Manager at the Cultural Alliance.

 

Can you explain a bit of background information about the Project Stream Grant?

Project Stream is a program of the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA), a state government agency. They run a number of different arts funding opportunities, but two of them—Project Stream and Program Stream—are facilitated by regional partner organizations, so this gives the decision-making power to local communities. The Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance facilitates Project Stream in Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery, and Philadelphia Counties. This opportunity is open to any individual, nonprofit organization, or fiscally sponsored organization in Pennsylvania. The grants support any type of arts-specific projects, including exhibitions, performances, poetry readings, and art education programs. The maximum amount you can request is $2,500, and the deadline to apply is June 20th.

 

Do individuals need to have a fiscal sponsor or can anyone apply?

Individuals do not need to have fiscal sponsors. Any individual over the age of 18 who lives in the five-county Philadelphia region can apply. If an organization wants to apply and they do not have 501(c)(3) nonprofit status, then they would need a fiscal sponsor.

 

What impact do you hope that Project Stream will have on Philadelphia’s cultural landscape?

The main goal of Project Stream is to promote access to the arts in every county in Pennsylvania. The PCA distributes Project Stream grants in every county of Pennsylvania. So, our goal is always that the pool of applicants represents the diverse communities that make up the region. Every Project Stream grant must have a public component of some sort—such as an exhibition or something that the public can come to—so that anyone in the community can experience or participate in the project.

I think another thing that makes Project Stream really unique is that it’s open to organizations that don’t necessarily have a specific arts focus. So, a church or a community center that does not typically present arts programming can apply for the same opportunity as a ballet company or a museum.

 

What advice would you give someone applying for the first time?

I think the most important thing to remember when you’re writing a Project Stream application is that these proposals are reviewed by a volunteer panel of your peers. Anyone who lives in the region can volunteer to serve as a panelist, and they all have varying degrees of arts expertise. We really want the stakeholders in the community to have a voice in what is presented in their communities. For this reason, I always tell people to assume that panelists are not familiar with your work, or even with your artistic discipline—to really over-articulate and be very, very clear when you’re describing your project and identifying the goals you hope to reach.

 

How can interested individuals learn more information?

More information can be found on our website, or by emailing me at allisonv@philaculture.org. We are also partnering with Vision Driven Artists to present a free information session and grant writing workshop for interested applicants on May 30th. You can RSVP to either attend in person or to receive a recording of the presentation. The first half of the session will be just me explaining how to apply, eligibility requirements and such, and then the second half will be Vision Driven Artists presenting a hands-on grant writing workshop.

 

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

“As artists, you never stop learning”—Interview with Teaching Artist Gigi McGraw

As part of an ongoing Q&A series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s artistic community. Gigi McGraw is an author, teaching artist, and creative entrepreneur. She holds an M.A. in Theatre from Villanova University, and has over 15 years of experience in community outreach and learning development, with particular focus on intergenerational programming.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your work as a teaching artist?

I see myself as putting myself out in the world as an author and social artist. I use multidisciplinary arts practices to address social issues, or even just universal themes like love, legacy, and family. With the social issues, the focus is more on Philadelphia and what’s going on in some of our marginalized communities, such as gun violence and mass incarceration. I see myself as using art to engage, entertain, and inform, but also to connect with the community.

With my intergenerational programming, a current area of interest is using my art to create Memory Cafes, which are creative experiences that help mature adults who are dealing with dementia and memory loss. The cafes are little sit-downs that might have different objects, music, or newspaper clippings from a certain time period. The purpose is to have the individuals interact with the objects, pick them up, talk about them—and the hope is that it will spark a memory. A lot of times with people who are dealing with memory issues or cognitive decline, something that makes them think of their childhood can initiate conversation and spark memories, even though they might not remember what they did a couple of hours ago. So, I’m really interested in seeing how I can use social art to address this issue in a creative way.


You attend a lot of professional development opportunities at Bartol and other organizations. What would you tell other teaching artists about how this supports your work as a teaching artist and entrepreneur?

The fact that Bartol is providing this free resource for artists is a wonderful thing! I also look at these workshops as a wonderful networking opportunity. Not only are you being connected to experts in the field, but you’re also meeting fellow peers in the arts from all kinds of disciplines—dancers, rappers, poets, authors. A beautiful thing is that after the workshop, the facilitator will send out a list of everyone’s contact information so you expand your base of contacts and people that you know. It’s an opportunity to create friendships with people who are like-minded.

As people, and especially as artists, you never stop learning. As teachers, educators, and artists, you should always be looking for ways to evolve. I think that the Bartol workshops give you that opportunity. They’re really interested in finding unique or clever workshops, or just giving people foundational tips and advice—all of it is really good.

 

What do you see in the future for your teaching artist work in the community? How do Bartol’s professional development workshops feed your growth as a teaching artist?

For my future, I really want to get serious with my social art and have that be my primary source of revenue. I want to be able to connect and engage not only with the community, but with movers and shakers around the world. What I see for my future is really establishing my brand, but also fine-tuning my model of creating an artistic project around a theme or issue.

I also want to make sure that I continue to engage with the community, whether it be over issues like gun violence and mass incarceration, or dealing with mature adults with Memory Cafes. I don’t think that my projects and activities will always be this large, grandiose thing. A lot of the work will be on the micro level, and I think that you can definitely make change even if you’re starting from a small place with a group of 20 or 30 people—that can grow and have a ripple effect.

Bartol’s professional development workshops will not only give me the support that I need, but it also encourages me. You’re around other people who understand the importance of the work that you’re doing. I also hope that with my background as a workshop and professional trainer, that in the future I may be able to offer Bartol some workshops for other teaching artists. I’ve received so many wonderful opportunities from Bartol, and I would like to be able to give that back in the form of presenting workshops and trainings.

 

To learn more about Gigi’s work, visit https://1cupofcoffeeblog.wordpress.com/.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

 

“Creative and Engaging”—Interview with Bartol/SBMA Artist Engagement Fellow Tezarah Wilkins

As part of the Bartol Foundation’s new partnership with Small But Mighty Arts, we recently brought on board Tezarah Wilkins as Artist Engagement Fellow. Tezarah will be working jointly with Bartol and SBMA to profile the work of teaching artists in the community through video interviews, assist with networking events, and raise awareness of the resources provided by these two organizations. Be sure to follow Bartol’s Facebook page to stay updated as this exciting new partnership unfolds!

Meet Tezarah in today’s Q&A!

 

Can you tell me a bit about your work as an artist?

I’ve always been an artist, and I’ve transitioned through different genres of art at different stages in my life. I started out as a visual artist doing illustration, and then I trained as a theatre actor for a while. In college, I started doing spoken word, pairing my theatre background with poetry to give it that performance element. Now I’ve transitioned into photography and film, which I’ve been doing for the longest—for about the last eight years or so.

What do you focus on when creating a short film to profile an artist’s work in the community? What techniques do you use visually and in the interviews to tell their story?

I try to think about everyone as a character, showcasing the emotion through the interactions between the teaching artist and their community. I like to include aspects of fun as well, because a lot of what we do as artists is creative and engaging and relatable. So, if an artist is at a school, I focus on getting the ambiance, seeing what their community looks like, and creating imagery that showcases their interactions with students—smiles, laughter—and how they engage with their community.

You will be out in all kinds of places that bring artists together, telling them more about resources through Bartol and SBMA (e.g. grants, professional development, networking). What do you think is the most important thing you can tell artists about why they should connect with these resources?

I think artists are always going to benefit from organizations that are trying to cultivate their skills and provide additional opportunities for them. Organizations like the Bartol Foundation provide a lot of professional development opportunities where artists can hone certain skills. Granting organizations are always wonderful to be attached to for the financial support as well, just so that artists can continue to grow their work and have the resources to reach out to a greater audience.

What are you hoping to learn from this fellowship?

I’m looking for the same things, honestly. I’m definitely looking forward to this fellowship and using it as a way to grow myself as an artist—getting feedback from other people who are working as artists every day, being around their energy, and being motivated by the work that they do. Ultimately, I want to use the fellowship as a platform for networking with other organizations and individuals that I can partner with to grow the arts in Philadelphia.

 

To view Tezarah’s work as a photographer, visit https://www.instagram.com/tezarah/.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Bartol and Small But Mighty Arts Announce Partnership

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation today announced a partnership with Small But Mighty Arts of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia (SBMA) to award ten $500 micro-grants to Philadelphia-based teaching artists.

Small But Mighty Arts is a connector organization that creates career-enhancing opportunities for artists. This micro-grant program is designed to give teaching artists the jumpstart they need to advance or complete a creative project in the community.

“By partnering with Small But Mighty Arts, the Bartol Foundation can amplify our impact and directly support individual artists who are working in communities,” said Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation. “Bartol and SBMA share the same ‘can do’ attitude, and both our strengths lie in our networks and our knowledge of the communities we serve, as well as our shared belief that small can be powerful.”

“Ultimately artists win when we partner. By cross-promoting, resource-sharing, and collaborating based on each of organizations’ programmatic strengths, we’re able to shorten the distance between artists and the opportunities that will help them to thrive,” says Erica Hawthorne-Manon, Executive Director of Small But Mighty Arts. As a ‘small but mighty’ organization in an ever-changing non-profit landscape, partnerships are also critical to our sustainability.”

Both Feldman Brandt and Hawthorne-Manon are pleased to be modeling a partnership program, something they and other funders often suggest to the small non-profits they fund.

“As a funder, we often tell our grantees to partner with each other for greater impact,” says Brandt. “Now funders and grantees alike can see how that looks in action. Small But Mighty Arts and Bartol share goals that are aligned and have complimentary resources. We realized we each could benefit from this partnership, as would our grantees.”

Micro-grant guidelines and info session registration will be available the week of March 19, 2018.Applications will be open April 2 – 14, 2018. Grant recipients will be announced the week of May 21, 2018. For more information visit www.smallbutmightyarts.org/sbma-grant.

 

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation works at the intersection of arts, education, community and philanthropy, grounded in our belief that deeply meaningful arts experiences strengthen people and communities. The Bartol Foundation serves as a hub through which cultural organizations, teaching artists, community partners, and funders work toward the common goal of providing high-caliber, equitable arts education to people in Philadelphia, especially those in the most under-resourced or under-served Through grantmaking, professional development programs and arts advocacy, we utilize our knowledge and resources to create collaborations within and across our own and other networks to generate more resources and opportunities for all.

Small But Mighty Arts of CultureTrust Greater Philadelphia (SBMA) deepens engagement between artists and the community through the facilitation of partnership programs, resource connections, information-sharing, funding, and advising. FOR ARTISTS: SBMA provides artists with the “spark” they need to continue or complete projects, maintain creative momentum, and put more work into the community through connecting & informing artists about career-enhancing opportunities, offering access to funding through micro-grants, and providing a range of advisory services. FOR ORGANIZATIONS: SBMA works with organizations and institutions to help them reach their creative project goals through connection and engagement with emerging and established artists.

Are You Covered? Insurance 101 for Teaching Artists – Interview with Holly Fisher

As a teaching artist, you are also your own small business manager. It’s important to think through the responsibilities and liabilities you take on when going into the community to do work—or even in your own studio.

Today on the Bartol blog, we bring you an interview with Holly Fisher. Holly is Program Lead for Insurance and Visas at Fractured Atlas, a New York-based nonprofit that works with artists, arts organizations, and cultural stakeholders nationwide to provide affordable and accessible insurance coverage.

 

What kinds of insurance are most essential for teaching artists?

It varies based on what each individual teaching artist is doing and where they are in their career. The most common type of insurance we see by far is liability insurance, usually with abuse and molestation coverage. Sometimes we’ll have teaching artists request student accident coverage, or inland marine or property insurance for expensive materials or equipments. Workers’ compensation we see a lot, and then there’s volunteer accident coverage if an artist works with volunteers who need to be covered.

When does it make sense for a teaching artist to get insurance?

We don’t, by default, say “yes, you need coverage.” But if you’re working with entities—like granting organizations, the city, schools, or a landlord—that require you to have insurance, obviously that’s a reason to get coverage. It’s going to give you access to more opportunities. Another reason to get coverage is if you are looking to lend credibility to your organization or yourself as a teaching artist. Parents are going to feel more secure, for instance, if you have coverage for abuse and molestation, knowing that you’ve crossed all of your t’s and dotted your i’s. Ask if it financially makes sense for you. Sometimes insurance is expensive, so it doesn’t make financial sense. If it’s going to be super expensive and you don’t really have anyone requiring you to have insurance, it may not yet be the time.

What are some strategies for teaching artists to secure insurance?

With somebody starting out looking for insurance, I would recommend that they first do some research on insurance providers that specialize in the arts and apply to as many as possible. It’s a really good idea to get quotes to compare. I would also say that it’s a good idea to have any insurance requirements or contracts for the coming year at the ready to give to a broker or agent so they can make sure that the artist is really getting the insurance that they need.

What are the specific concerns teaching artists should be aware of when purchasing insurance? What questions should they ask?

If you’re looking at different companies and wondering where to start, a good idea is to make sure that the insurance companies are A-rated by A.M. Best—that just means that they’re reputable companies that are financially secure. And that’s going to be important. It’s something that a lot of different institutions might require. If you’re working with a landlord or with a granting organization, they may want you to have insurance with a reputable company.

Another thing to look for is that the limits of the coverage are going to match what you need for requirements to your landlord or from a grant. For liability insurance, best practice is usually that your policy has a minimum of a million dollars per occurrence and two million dollars aggregate. Something that is less than that is going to be lower than the requirements for a lot of different institutions.

I would also make sure that the artists are going through their third party contracts to see if there are any special requirements. It can be tough if you’re about to start a really cool opportunity and find out that your insurance doesn’t meet a certain tiny little requirement, which would prevent you from getting that grant or working with this school, for instance.

Checking the quote itself is important to see what exclusions are on the policy. That’s something that you definitely want to ask a broker or agent—for example, if there’s a deductible. For most liability policies, that’s not going to be the case, but certainly for an equipment insurance policy, or if you’re covering your materials, that would be something that might come up.

Additional insured coverage is important if you’re working with other entities. If possible, it’s great to get blanket additional insured coverage so that anybody who needs a certificate of insurance or proof of your coverage can get it.

 

To learn more about insurance opportunities for teaching artists, visit https://fracturedatlasinsurance.org.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

8 Tips to a Strong (Bartol) Grant Proposal – Deadline May 1, 2018!

Bartol’s 2018 grant application is officially open online. For more information about the process, visit https://bartol.org/apply-for-grants/.

At the Bartol Foundation, we want to consider your strongest proposal.  After many years and reading many, many proposals, we encourage organizations to use these tips when creating your request.

  1. No Need to Preach to the Choir: At the Bartol Foundation, we understand the importance of arts education, the creative process and community-based programs.  Focus your proposal on your specific needs and goals rather than extensively quoting research on the importance of the arts.
  2. Be Concrete and Specific: We want to invest in programs that are clear in their goals and their implementation.  Provide us with concrete details that show you have the components of your proposal well planned out.  For example, give us a timeline of activities, the date and the venue of a community performance, and/or include a support letter from your partner school. Make sure to provide a sample curriculum as part of the required attachments for an arts education request.
  3. Define your Terms:  What is a “ten-week residency”?  Once a week for ten weeks?  All-day, every day for ten weeks?  Forty-five minute sessions or three-hour sessions?  The same students every time or different?  Twelve students in a class or 200?  Again, be specific.
  4. But what if I don’t know the details?  We understand that sometimes our deadline doesn’t quite mesh with your planning.  In that case, tell us the process that you will use to make important decisions or to identify your prospective partners or artists.  Tell us about your track record with work similar to what you are proposing.  But more details always result in a stronger proposal.  Sometimes the best thing is to wait until next year if your plans are not fully formed yet.
  5. Don’t Cite Partners without Telling Them. We expect that you have spoken with any person or organization that you are naming as a potential partner.  Make sure that they are not also applying to the Foundation for a similar or conflicting request.  It’s always good to provide a letter of support that demonstrates a potential partner is on board.
  6. Evaluation can be simple.  We want to know that you have a system for assessing how you are doing and adapting as you go.  This can be as simple as, “We had no enrollment on Mondays.  We asked the parents and found out that Monday was karate day.  We switched the class to Thursdays and now it’s full.”    In any case, please do answer the question about evaluation with one concrete example.
  7. Why now? We tend to fund about one-half of the proposals we receive.  Often those that receive funding make a compelling case as to why this is something that needs to happen now.  Why does this project or this year’s general operating programs represent an important step for your organization artistically or organizationally?  Many of you have long-range plans.  Tell us (briefly and concretely) how your request will move your plans forward.
  8. You can’t be new and vague. For organizations that are new to us, or just plain new, convince us that you have the capacity to pull off what you are proposing.  Again, do this by being concrete and specific when describing your program.

 

A reminder that you cannot apply to the Foundation without a site visit prior to the deadline. Site visits must be scheduled by April 6, 2018 and must take place by May 1, 2018.

Any questions?  Call or email us.  The lines are open.

info@bartol.org

267-519-5310

“Feedback that makes you want to go back to work, rather than go back to bed” – Interview with Elizabeth “EJ” Johnson

As part of an occasional series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s board members and teaching artists. Elizabeth “EJ” Johnson is Associate Artistic Director/Partnerships at Dance Exchange. She is a choreographer, dancer, and educator with a focus in socially engaged dance practices.

On Sunday, March 25, 2018, EJ will be leading a Bartol workshop, Feedback that Nurtures: Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process. Register for this workshop here: http://bit.ly/2EabXw4.

 

Can you tell me a bit about your work at Dance Exchange?

I have been a part of the company since 1998, so going into my 20th anniversary season. I was the Associate Artistic Director when Liz Lerman, our founding Artistic Director, was here—I was with her for 12 years dancing in the company, directing the Teen Exchange program, and facilitating workshops. And then as she was departing, I left my full-time post to go work at Arizona State University to develop a new program for socially engaged practice and to get my Master of Fine Arts. And then I came back to work more fully with the organization in 2015. Basically, I’ve been at Dance Exchange for a long, long time, with a brief stint in the desert.

 

Why was Critical Response Process developed and what are its key elements?

The key elements of Critical Response is that it’s feedback that makes you want to go back to work, rather than go back to bed. When defensiveness starts, listening stops. And so, this is a structured way of being able to give and receive helpful feedback that is about the artist making their best work for their own vision, rather than us as outside responders imposing our vision on the artist’s work.

Critical Response Process was developed by Liz Lerman when a few key things were happening in her life and at the Dance Exchange. One, she was teaching university students, and she was wondering on what grounds she was evaluating their choreography. And she recognized that she could not do that without a dialogue being a key point of the process. She was also, as an artist, creating very political work and work that was with performers across generations that didn’t necessarily look like a lot of the work that was already out there. And she found that she really dreaded those post-show backstage conversations with people, and also the critics—she felt like she, as an artist, needed a voice in how her work was being critiqued.

She recognizes, too—and this is something that I completely relate to—that there’s a cultural narrative that artists should just toughen up and get a thicker skin to be able to “take brutally honest feedback.” Her question is, why does honesty have to be brutal? Is there a better way? Can you be honest, and can you give feedback, in a way that doesn’t make you just want to give up? So, this is a system that has helped her to maintain her own thin skin. Because as artists who work in communities, the capacity to have thin skin is an asset—to be able to feel, to be able to connect. We don’t want to get rid of our thin skin, we just want to be able to work in a way that we don’t have to “toughen up” to take it. That there is a more productive and humane way to be in a dialogue about work in progress.

 

How can Critical Response Process be used by teaching artists in their work in the community?

I think that there are multiple ways. There are certain values that underpin the Critical Response Process that can be used in the teaching practice. It’s about generosity, about curiosity, about being invested in somebody else’s success in the ways that the process can be used for peer-to-peer feedback—that the teacher doesn’t have to be the only person in the room with the knowledge and power. It provides a structure where many, many people can have the capacity to help grow each other’s work.

In the formal process, there are some elements that are really important. There are four key steps.

Step 1: Statements of Meaning. What was valuable, meaningful, evocative, surprising, curious, memorable, exciting, effective about the work that was created? Being able to have that spirit of working from what’s working is an incredible asset to bring to any learning environment.

Step 2: Artist as Questioner. In a learning environment for somebody who is creating, to have the opportunity to articulate what are their struggles and desires. It allows a person to really create their own vision and voice.

Step 3: Neutral Questions. These are questions that have no opinion embedded inside. So, instead of saying “Why is your lighting so dark?” we’d ask something like “What informed your lighting choices?” This allows people, without defensiveness, to be able to explore why they’re making the choices that they are.

Step 4: Opinion Time. These permissioned opinions. For instance, “I have an opinion about your lighting choices, would you like to hear it?” If somebody has gone through the process of creating, people usually want to know those opinions. But it just allows us to prepare for the opinions, to allow ourselves to receive it.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think that the Critical Response Process has so much to offer people of different fields and domains. We’ve done it with people who do marketing, people who do grant proposals, people who do lesson plans. Although this grew out of a dance organization, it’s been used very widely in the visual arts, in theatre arts, and then also with business. So, I think it has a broad range of applicability.

I also think that you don’t need to be an expert to be able to have something of value to contribute. When I’ve done Critical Response with faculty and students, it kind of democratizes the playing field—that somebody’s response to somebody’s work can be about the chord progression, but it can also be a comment like “it reminds me of being outside in my grandmother’s yard.” And that those both have value in the room. So, I think that there’s a usefulness to it, but then there’s also a process about it that can help cultivate community as we invest in each other’s success.

 

To learn more about EJ’s work, visit http://danceexchange.org/.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

Arts Access for Everyone—Interview with Occupational Therapist Roger Ideishi

As part of an occasional series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s board members and teaching artists. Roger Ideishi is Program Director of Occupational Therapy at Temple University. He specializes in working with arts and community-based organizations to develop programs for families and children.

On Thursday, February 15, Roger will be co-teaching a Bartol workshop with Charlie Miller, Deputy Director of Art-Reach. Register for this workshop here: http://bit.ly/2DzuiXd.

 

Can you tell me a bit about how your work as an occupational therapist led you to working with arts organizations?

Working out in the community or working in schools with other occupational therapists, one of the things that we felt was impactful was creative expression. Children seemed to attach themselves very naturally to the creative process. And so, we just started integrating that creative process into the classroom, working with the teachers, working with therapists.

Back in the early 2000s, we happened to come across a dancer from the Pennsylvania Ballet. She was interested in how movement impacted children with developmental disabilities, and she partnered with us to develop a program. When we started doing this program in schools, we began to notice strengths in kids with developmental disabilities that we never saw before. It was very surprising to the teachers and therapists that this experience—dancing, movement experience brought by a professional dancer—really seemed to capture the imagination and exploration of these kids. And we started to pursue that.

This connection between the classroom and the community we felt was really important. That’s a little different than what we often see in classroom experiences for kids who have developmental disabilities. You don’t really see much strong classroom–community connection. So, that’s what sparked this, and then once we started doing that it just snowballed across the country, and a lot of people were asking about the example that was going on in Philadelphia. The Kennedy Center and the Smithsonian reached out to us. Having that connection really brought a lot of validity to the work that we were doing.

 

Why do you believe that it’s important for teaching artists to learn how to adapt their practice to people with disabilities?

I think teaching artists naturally have the skills to do that adaptation. But it’s important that teaching artists have some training because it’s such a broad population. Even as a practicing therapist, I still encounter situations where I’m a little stumped and I need a team around me to help me problem-solve. I think that’s an important message for teaching artists—to recognize that there are lots of people out there who can support them when they’re in new situations and may need some collaborative problem solving. And then to also understand the broad scope of what they may encounter if they haven’t had a lot of experience working with diverse populations with disabilities. Giving teaching artists these resources is one of the most important parts; it helps bring a greater breadth and depth to the work they’re already doing.

 

What’s been the most rewarding moment from your time working with arts organizations?

I remember the first time we did a sensory-friendly Nutcracker ballet with the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre, the feedback we were getting from the families was that this was a first-time experience for their entire family. What families often tell us is that they have split families, where one person stays home with the family member who has a disability, and that they rarely have these community experiences as a whole family.

At the Nutcracker, some of these families were walking out of the theatre just so emotional because they enjoyed the show together; they saw the joy in each other, being a part of the show and having that shared experience. To me, that’s just so touching and so moving to hear the impact that had on families. Parents even said that this was the first time that they didn’t feel like they were being judged, or that they had to be on alert like, “Is my child going to do something that’s going to upset other people?”

Being in an environment where everyone understands and adapts, welcomes, and accepts everybody for who they are, these parents felt validated. Having arts organizations be welcoming and supportive of individuals with diverse abilities and disabilities means a lot to these families. When I hear that feedback from families, it just gets to me that we’re actually meeting a need. I think that’s probably the most rewarding experience that I continue to have. With every initiative that I develop, I hear the same thing from families over and over again.

 

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think it’ll be good for society in general if more of these kinds of initiatives develop, as we have more teaching artists who reach out to these individuals and these families. We’re slowly, fundamentally changing society.

 

To learn more about Roger’s work, visit https://cph.temple.edu/rs/faculty/roger-i-ideishi.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity.

“When we’re writing a letter to our father, we’re really writing a letter to ourselves.” An Interview with Teaching Artist Tina Smith-Brown

As part of an occasional series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s board members and teaching artists. Tina Smith-Brown is a Philadelphia-based writer and teaching artist. For over a decade, she has presented her Letter to My Father workshop to audiences of all ages, which explores the impact of one’s relationship (or lack of a relationship) with their father.

Can you tell me a bit about your work as a writer and teaching artist?

Anytime I write, whether it’s fiction or nonfiction, it’s very important to me that I’m always trying to share something new or teach something to the reader that they might not have known.My purpose in doing that is to teach African-American history subjects that people have long forgotten about or kids may not have known about. For example, Atlantic City was segregated in the 1950s and 60s, and one section was nicknamed by Caucasians as “Chicken Bone Beach.” All the African-Americans would come to the beach, and since they couldn’t buy food they would all pack fried chicken in baskets, so at the end of the day there would be all these bones left on the beach. I think that’s a great piece of history that our kids don’t know anything about, so that’s one of these short stories. So, I always try to write to entertain, but also to teach.

I always say God lets you do some things, and some things you’re just meant to do—it’s your job. And Letter to My Father is my job. I consider it something that I was supposed to do, I was placed here to do. And that started simply with doing workshops for women, giving them opportunities to write a letter to their father and to express some stuff. I realized that we carry things around that we never got off our chest, whether it’s positive or negative. When we’re writing a letter to our father, we’re really writing a letter to ourselves about where we’re at, why we’re at this place in time. And then I realized by talking to so many women who were older—30, 40, 50, 60—that a lot of women were still living their life by situations that had occurred or didn’t occur in that relationship with their father. So, I considered what if we could start doing this earlier, if kids started addressing some of this stuff? And you find out that it’s okay to talk about this relationship. It’s okay to feel good about it, feel bad about it. It’s okay to express how you feel in your life, if you’re happy, if you’re sad. It’s okay to open that door. And so, then I developed Letter to My Father for kids, and I started doing workshops for kids,

What attracted you to becoming involved with the Bartol Foundation as a workshop leader?

Bartol is just a fabulous organization for teaching artists, especially teaching artists that are just starting out. When you’re just starting out, you don’t really know how do I go about this, or what should I charge, or who is my workshop really for? And they help you to narrow down those very important essentials. I take a lot of their courses that have taught me how to market my workshop, how you should set up for your workshop, how to figure out who your audience is, how much to charge for a workshop. I love having Bartol in my life personally, but I also love that they are opening the door to help so many other people. You can come in for advice if you need it, you can come in for conversation—they really lift up the teaching artists. And I am extremely grateful for that.

What’s been the most rewarding moment from your time working with the Bartol Foundation?

Learning how to make my marketing package [for Letter to My Father]. Because in order to do that, you have to narrow down who you’re advertising to, your audience. And once you’re able to do that, that’s half of the battle. Every workshop is not for everybody. I offer Letter to My Father to adults and kids, but I have a specific workshop for each one. So, when they helped me narrow it down, I realized that I needed two separate workshops, that I needed to look at it in two different ways. I think that was the most powerful workshop I ever attended with them.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I think that it’s important that teaching artists apply for grant money, not just for the monetary help, but for the shot in the arm that it gives you. Once I received those grants [from the Leeway Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts], I felt like I was truly recognized. I felt like I was legitimate—like somebody believes enough in me to put money behind me. That just made a huge difference in my life. So, I always like to encourage teaching artists not to give up. If there’s a grant and they think that they can qualify for it, apply for it.

To learn more about Tina’s work, visit https://tsmithbrown.com/.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity

 

“A Single Bracelet Does Not Jingle” — Interview with Teaching Artist and Bartol Board Member Jeannine Osayande

 

As part of an occasional series, we will be learning more about the Bartol Foundation’s board members and teaching artists. Jeannine Osayande is a teaching artist, choreographer, and performer of West African dance (Mali Empire) for 35 years. She is founder and director of Dunya Performing Arts Company, specializing in Art in Education programs, commissioned choreographic works, lecture demonstrations, and Art for Social Change projects. She is currently in her fourth year as a Bartol Foundation board member.

Can you tell me a bit about your work at Dunya Performing Arts Company?

I’ve been involved in the arts for over 35 years; I’ve done a lot of stage work, stage performance, all of that. One of the things that’s most important for me is a focus on having community right inside of dance and dance inside of community. If you’re looking at West African drum and dance culture, dance is about life itself. It’s not just happening on stage, but showing up where life is happening—funerals, weddings, etc. I like bringing dance into those places so that people know where it’s from.

My work at Dunya has evolved and changed, sometimes based on what the community is asking for, and other times based on where my life is. For example, when I started out years ago, we were more focused on performance. In the last 15 years, the focus has been through two different paths—one of them has been having a choreographic voice, and the other has been through being a teaching artist. Most of our focus has been the teaching artist model where we go into schools and do residencies, typically six weeks. At the end of that residency, the students that we work with—mostly third graders—do a performance alongside the curriculum that we’re working with.

What attracted you to becoming involved with the Bartol Foundation as a board member and workshop leader?

Just to be able to do more as an artist, as a person who’s an educator and an artist. Bartol, as a board, is a community of people who are able to come together and do good on both a very large level and small level. That’s what was attractive to me, that I could be sitting there with this board, making decisions on where money could go to supporting the arts in Philadelphia.

How Bartol makes the selection for organizations that receive funding is so thorough and well-thought-out. That also really stood out to me. This is an organization that I want to be with because they’re so thorough and mindful of what they’re doing—and I could maybe learn something, too.

What’s been the most rewarding moment from your time working with the Bartol Foundation?

The diversity of the board is something that stood out to me. One of the first “wows” was when I had my first board meeting, as the different women were coming into the room and I had the opportunity to meet them. I soon discovered that with the diversity of the women on the board, a lot of work was able to get done, a lot of voices were heard, a lot of discussions were being had—which, I felt, improved all of us as who we were, and added value to the work that we do. And I feel smarter because of it.

Anything else you’d like to add?

I always have my little proverbs. There’s this one African proverb that goes something like “a single bracelet does not jingle.” That’s when I’m thinking about the board and thinking about the Bartol Foundation and the mission that Mr. Bartol had, and moving this mission forward. We’re having all these bracelets added to the wrist; otherwise, the work that we do couldn’t be done so well.

To learn more about Jeannine’s work, visit https://www.facebook.com/MsJeannineDunyaPAC/.

Interview responses have been edited for length and clarity

Ideas! Collaboration! Community experience!

Bartol’s 2017 TA Survey (Part II)

Here is what Teaching Artists are saying about our free professional development workshops. And what we have planned for the coming year.

Bartol workshops are hands-on and taught by your peers. Our Teaching Artist Play Dates are 90-minutes of activities in a specific art form, designed for artists to cross disciplines, adapt and share.

  • “I literally copied the entire lesson plan from the recent workshop…with great success.”
  • “I translated the construct that the teaching artist showed for creating their own choreography to music composition. Love learning from other art forms!”

Bartol’s Resource Field Trips connect you with free or low-cost resources to supplement your teaching.

  • “When I attend workshops, I always take away a strategy or approach that I can implement in my teaching practice.”

Bartol’s Marketing Workshops help you develop concrete materials for getting the gig and making sure it is profitable for you and productive for your participants.

  • “I must say the work you and Bartol does is a godsend! I am negotiating this contract and while I bit at the initial happiness of what I thought was a great offer, I would end up losing money on this project. It literally is a classic textbook example of one of your case studies from the financial workshops.”

Bartol tackles the tough issues, including learning more about related fields such as trauma-informed practice and thinking about issues of race. 

  • “I talked with my kindergarten–second grade students about race after the race training [workshop].  I would have otherwise thought them too young.”
  • “I used a lot of the self-care and student-care techniques from the workshop about trauma-informed teaching.”

Bartol workshops are about building connections and community in this profession we call teaching artistry.

  • “Every Bartol workshop I attend leaves me feeling inspired and energized. It makes me feel like I am not alone in the work I do.”

Join us in the coming year. Workshops will be posted up soon.  Click to get on our mailing list to be among the first to hear about new sessions!

In Praise of Teaching Artists

Bartol’s 2017 TA Survey (Part I)

I am grateful every day for teaching artists.

At the Bartol Foundation, our mission is to get the best arts education to as many people in Philadelphia as possible. In schools. At senior centers. In prisons or shelters. Art, everywhere.

The only way we can accomplish this is through teaching artists—those of you who work for cultural organizations and those who are making their own opportunities to share their talents as artists, teachers, activists, neighbors and citizens.  Teaching artists who engage with people and make art in every form imaginable. Every day.

Each year, we survey teaching artists to find out who you are, where you work and what you need from us to do your work better.  Thanks to the 150+ Philadelphia-area teaching artists who participated. From this survey, we design our free professional development programs.

 The Five Top Things We Learned About Teaching Artists This Summer

  1. You teach people of all ages. While the vast majority (75%) of you are teaching K-12, a smaller group is teaching everyone from pre-schoolers ((27%) to seniors (23%.)
  2. You teach in all kinds of places. While 65% of you are doing multiple-visit programs at schools, 40% are doing multiple-visit programs at cultural organizations and another 40% are doing multi-visit programs at other nonprofits that are not cultural organizations.
  3. You are entrepreneurs. More than half of you are securing work on your own. You also work for cultural organizations as an employee (36%) and as a contractor (51%).
  4. You want to keep learning. Three-quarters of you participated in professional development opportunities in the past year (about 40% through Bartol’s Teaching Artists Workshops).
  5. You connect! Of the approximately 50 survey respondents who painstakingly told us where they worked last year, you worked for almost 100 organizations and in 80+ schools from Adair to West Philadelphia High School.  Multiply that by almost 2000 people on our teaching artist list and your impact is extraordinary!

We are in praise of teaching artists. We want to help you do your work better and smarter.  Stay tuned for our fall workshops, which are coming soon!

 

 

Bartol Announces 2017 Arts and Cultural Grants

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

July 17, 2017

STOCKTON RUSH BARTOL FOUNDATION AWARDS

22 GRANTS TO PHILADELPHIA ARTS AND CULTURAL ORGANIZATIONS

Grants awarded to exemplary cultural organizations highlighting commitment to arts education

Philadelphia, PA—The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation announced today that it will distribute $115,000 in grants to 22 Philadelphia arts and cultural organizations. The Foundation supports organizations in a range of artistic disciplines with an emphasis on arts education and community-based arts programs.  A complete list of grants for 2017 with information on each grantee is available here.

The 2017 roster of grantees reflects the Bartol Foundation’s commitment to supporting cultural organizations that provide exceptional, sustained arts experiences to children, teens and adults throughout Philadelphia’s neighborhoods. The Bartol Foundation supports organizations throughout the City, from large to small, established and emerging. The Foundation made 20 grants of $5,000 each.  Two grants of $7,500 each were made to Philadelphia Dance Company (Philadanco) in recognition of their exceptional dance training and Sister Cities Girlchoir for their Saturday Girlchoir Academy that builds singers and leaders. Two first-time grantees – Rock to the Future and Warrior Writers– add new perspectives to the mix.

“In the current climate, it is especially important that all voices have the chance to be heard,” said Toni Shapiro-Phim, Chair of the Foundation’s Board of Trustees and Director of Programs for Philadelphia Folklore Project. “Arts programs supported by the Bartol Foundation provide opportunities for the establishment of safe spaces in which to create and connect.”

“We are committed to supporting arts in communities that might otherwise be overlooked,” added Beth Feldman Brandt, Executive Director of the Foundation. “Warrior Writers works with veterans to share their stories. Al-Bustan builds bridges among immigrant communities by making art together.  We are grateful to the organizations we support for partnering with us on this shared mission.”

Grants distributed this year also include $15,000 in funds from the Waterman II Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation.

The $5,000 George Bartol Arts Education Award, given annually to an organization that exemplifies the Foundation’s priorities, will be announced in the fall of 2017.

Updated guidelines and applications for the next round of grants will be available in the winter of 2018 on the Foundation’s website at www.bartol.org with an application deadline of May 1, 2018.

For more information, contact Beth Feldman Brandt Executive Director at  256-519-5311 or at bfbrandt@bartol.org

The Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation seeks to foster an environment where arts and culture can flourish. The Foundation provides financial and technical support to non-profit arts and cultural organizations in Philadelphia. Through its grantmaking, professional development programs and arts advocacy, the Foundation works to ensure a vibrant cultural life for all Philadelphia citizens through programs that use art as a catalyst for meaningful communication and connections, strengthening the social fabric of our City’s neighborhoods.

Meet Your Students Where They Are: Youth Development Tips for Teaching Artists

Rebecca Fabiano, Bartol Board Member and Co-Founder of PopUpPlay, shares her insights on how to engage youth of all ages. PopUpPlay believes that all people learn best through interactive, hands-on playful experiences. In this entry, Rebecca shares her thoughts and tips on how to best engage youth in elementary, middle, and high school.

Elementary school

Children in elementary school learn through play, storytelling and songs, so engagement with them should be playful. Their imagination can be very vivid and “untainted,” so you can encourage creative thinking by asking open-ended questions and creating opportunities for them to move their bodies! Then, you can provide time for them to rest and regroup. Providing routines and rituals which the children can count on signals to them what they can expect. Also, knowing how to transition from one activity to the next can help create physical and emotional safety and help manage expectations.

Keeping children engaged can reduce undesired behaviors. At this age, they will do a lot of mimicking, so how can you utilize this as a strategy to engage them? If you’re willing to be playful, they are more likely to as well. When you show them the wiggles, they’ll do it! To get them to regroup, consider holding up one hand and counting down from five, while keeping the other hand over your lips, signaling quiet. Ask them to copy you every time they see you do it. Also, sing the “clean-up song” (clean up, clean up everybody cleans up!) as a way for everyone to clean up. You can also tell them to get back to their circle by tip-toeing without talking by the time you count to five, and you can do this with them.

Middle school

For middle-schoolers, harness the power of the group! Peers are of utmost importance to pre-teens. Middle-schoolers are going to be really concerned with being judged and what their peers think of them, so you may have to show them how to recover from making mistakes. Their interests are constantly shifting, which is exciting, though it can also be frustrating because adults often interpret that behavior as being unfocused. Instead, you can see it as an opportunity to introduce youth to a variety of techniques, instruments, etc. You can also consider rotating the offerings every three weeks or offer a flexible menu from which they can choose each day, allowing them to select options depending where their friends are going that day. Lastly, keep it concrete. Children and youth at this age/stage are still thinking in terms of right and wrong or fair and unfair, without much room for nuance or abstraction unlike older teens who are more able to see shades of gray in a given situation.

High school

At this age, youth are often able to spend more time going deeper into a topic or artistic pursuit. Most youth are able to explore abstract concepts with more skill as opposed to middle-schoolers, who typically still need concrete directions and projects. You can keep expectations high when it comes to participation and outcomes (whether it is a project or product), and also make connections to their near future, such as summer jobs or college. Identify with them—and name for them—the skills and qualities they are learning and using, and explain how these skills and qualities are useful in particular careers, or as a responsible citizen or stellar student. You can also think about bringing in guest speakers, who can discuss their careers and their journey as artists

Knowing where your students are developmentally will make your work together more successful.  Watch Rebecca talk more about this at the Bartol National Teaching Artist Video Library of TA Tips here.

Powering Connections, Annual Report 2016

Annual Report 2016: October 1, 2015-September 03, 2016

How do you connect? Start with those closest to you—those with whom you share common values or a cultural history. Now expand the circle to those who are trying to achieve the same goals: maybe a friend-of-a-friend or someone whose culture or geography overlaps with yours. Then expand the circle again to people who are allies or could be allies if you could make the case for common interests and long-term benefits.

At the Bartol Foundation, the heart of our work lies in connections. We can only achieve our mission through the work of others. We engage with artists and organizations who themselves are connecting to communities and who share a common vision to bring access to meaningful arts experiences. We look beyond the city of Philadelphia to connect our artists and organizations to others nationally to learn and share our own stories. We engage with partners who share our goals even if they don’t work directly in the arts, but can see its value for advancing their own mission. 

Read More

Supporting Teaching Artists (and Their Students) in the Current Climate-You Can Help

grantee-gathering-november

Supporting Teaching Artists (and Their Students) in the Current  Climate—You Can Help

Regardless of your politics, it is clear that this election marks the end of a particularly divisive time and a heightened climate for the people that Bartol grantees serve. Immigrants who fear deportation or detention, people of color, Muslims, women and girls, and those who live in communities that are already traumatized and marginalized, all have new reason to be concerned for their futures.

After hearing from our grantees who are trying to navigate this new reality, we invited our grantees (above) to join us to share what they are experiencing in their classrooms and see how we can all support each other going forward. While the teaching artists and staff who came together have not seen particular acts that threaten the safety of their students, they all feel that there is a pervasive climate of fear, especially for those community members who are immigrants (undocumented and otherwise) who fear that family members may be deported or detained. Many feel that this climate has brought into the open feelings of racism that have long been under the surface.

We all agreed that it is the job of teaching artists and the organizations that support them to be vigilant in maintaining a safe space for all respectful and compassionate dialogue. There was also agreement that making art provides a space in which to process feelings and also take action in whatever way each organization feels aligns with their mission.

As we all process our feelings about what might happen in the next four years, some want to talk about it. Some don’t. The group felt it was important to be mindful of how we influence those we interact with and the risks/benefits of self-disclosure. Our first responsibility is to have our participants feel as though we are a consistent, reliable, trusted teacher to them.

Many of our colleagues offered specific resources to share with each other. Others expressed a recognition that we need to build ties within our communities and also seek opportunities for strength across communities through collaborations and networking.

What You Can Do

In response to the conversation, we decided to create a system for sharing existing resources, which Bartol will post on a shared Google drive. Resources could include:

  • Trauma-informed practices for the classroom
  • Curriculum to engage students in discussion; writing prompts; activities
  • Community resources that focus on immigrant rights; reporting hate crimes; addressing incidents of discrimination and racism.

If you have resources to share or would like access to the shared resources, email us here. You can also:

  • Send ideas for workshops or resources that you would like us to offer this winter or spring and we will do our best to respond as our own resources allow.
  • Reach out directly to your colleagues (and copy us if you would) when you see opportunities to collaborate across communities.
  • Let us know in the future if you want to meet again to discuss specific topics or in a less structured setting with an open agenda.

Onward.

Celebrating our Legacy: Talking About Visual Arts Education at the PAEA Conference

Over the weekend of October 8, 2016 I had the honor of attending a bit of the Pennsylvania Arts Education Association (PAEA) Conference that took place at Moore College of Art and Design in Philadelphia. I was there at the invitation of Lynne Horoschak, who had been asked to give the “Legacy in Arts Education” talk at the conference. Lynne was a public school art teacher for 36 years in the School District of Philadelphia, and went on to start Moore’s Master of Arts in Art Education with an emphasis on special populations, the only such Master’s program in the country. She is also a fine painter. In her talk, Lynne was her usual mix of compassion, pragmatism, and humor. She said, “Never make a promise to a child that you can’t keep.” She gave tips on how to have children feel like it was a treat to help Ms. Horoschak get her “art on a cart” up four flights of stairs. Lynne was also a George Bartol Arts in Education Fellow.  We even wrote a book about her that you can read here: lessons_from_an_art_teacher

I started to look at the program for the rest of the conference and saw a Keynote by Lily Yeh, founder of The Village of Arts and Humanities and now spreading her work around the world with Barefoot Artists.  I remember when I was the director of Prints in Progress, an after-school program in Philadelphia, standing with Lily in a vacant lot. The lot was next to a building with walls that tilted alarmingly, while she tried to convince me that we should start a workshop in the building. I admit that I did not have the faith and vision that Lily had on that chilly morning. But Bartol was an early supporter of The Village.

Later in the day, Wendy Osterweil received the PAEA Outstanding Higher Education Award. Wendy is an Associate Professor of Art Education at the Tyler School of Art of Temple University. She is also an accomplished artist, teaching artist, and mentor who can facilitate a workshop on lesson planning or on supporting LGBTQ students in the classroom. Wendy is the immediate past Chair of the Bartol Board.

That afternoon, there was another Keynote by Eiko Fan, who has taught for almost 30 years at the Philadelphia Museum of Art for students who cannot see. Eiko says, “Art is Food.” Eiko was the 1995 George Bartol Arts in Education Fellow and we made a movie about her.

So this is not about us. But I was struck by how blessed we have been at the Foundation to be surrounded by these women. They are included on our Board, as Bartol Fellows, and as teaching artists in our community. We will be featuring our current Bartol Board members on this blog from time to time so they can share their wisdom about arts education and community arts. We will keep building this legacy.

 

Beth Feldman Brandt

Executive Director

Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation

 

Artists Plus (or Why I Love Venn Diagrams)

American Street Feast

Are you looking to build up your neighborhood?  You can do this by combining artists and community development organizations. Find a street that marks a classic case of shifting demographics and gentrification and host a dinner for 500 people in the middle of this street. Connect artists with the community to dress it up with screen-printed fabrics that reflect the neighborhood and the people who live there.

On September 9th, 2016, South Kensington Community Partners, with event partners Spiral Q, and Philadelphia Photo Arts Center, brought the neighborhood together on North American Street for the inaugural American Street Feast: A Celebration of our Neighborhood.”  Neighbors and business owners, young and old, longstanding and recently arrived, along with neighborhood supporters, shared in conversation and a family-style meal that displayed the culinary traditions and the creative talents of those who live and work in South/Old Kensington.

American Street Feast

At the Bartol Foundation, we believe in the value of the arts, especially in the value of artists. We know that artmaking in all its forms uplift us, help us understand ourselves and others, and give us comfort when we need it most. We also know that the arts and artists add value to other things we care about.  Effective education. Healthy youth development. Strong neighborhoods. As part of our professional development programs for teaching artists, we work hard to connect artists and the arts to other work in our city.

bartol-artist-plus-cdc-poster

Our workshop series, Artists Plus, brings together potential arts partners to investigate where their goals overlap and where they bring unique strengths and skills to building strong neighborhoods. At our session, “Artists Plus CDCs,” each small group created their own Venn Diagram (remember fourth grade math class?) and artist Rodney Camarce (@rodneycamarce) created this visual documentation of their discussions.

Where would your work fit on this diagram?  Do you translate among disparate communities or experiences? Celebrate a community’s history and culture? Run a business? Develop artist studios? Teach?

Watch for our session in January 2017 that will bring together artists with community-based organizations that are not cultural organizations. We will invite the artists and organizations to build their own Venn diagram as we continue to advocate for Artists Plus.

Photo credits:  Jaren Gruenwald

Got a minute? Watch a teaching artist tip!

Bartol Foundation launches National Teaching Artist Video Library

Imagine this: You are waiting for the bus on the way to teaching a residency, wracking your brain for a new icebreaker or wondering what exactly is that “common core” that everyone keeps talking about. The answers are a minute away (which is much quicker than a Philly bus these days!).

As part of the Bartol Foundation’s work to support teaching artists, we are creating the National Teaching Artist Video Library of one-minute teaching artist tips, a crowd-sourced resource by teaching artists for teaching artists.  Our videos include:

  • “How-to” videos: One-minute tips you can use in your classroom now
  • “What is…” videos:  A glossary of common phrases in education, child development, and other areas that teaching artists should know

This month’s videos:

Watch one now!

NOW WE NEED YOU! There are more videos to come but we need yours. Do you have quick, helpful gems for your fellow teaching artists?  What is your best teaching artist tip?

Join the movement! Share your knowledge. Learn practical tips in return. SUBMIT YOUR VIDEO HERE.

Want to make sure you get all of Bartol’s resources?  Be sure to join us on social media. You can find us on FacebookTwitterYouTube, and at our blog.

Teaching Artist Survey Results: Who You Are. What You Do.

Congratulations to Theatre/Teaching Artist Nikki Battestilli and Photographer/Teaching Artist Nissi (yes, Nikki and Nissi) who each won a $50 gift card through the Teaching Artist Summer Survey Raffle!

Thank you to the 100+ teaching artists who took the time to participate in this summer’s survey. Your responses help us plan our fall programs and learn more about the teaching artist community.  Keeping in mind that we have 1500 emails on our teaching artist list, this is probably a decent (if not scientific) sample of where, how and for whom you work.

Is this your teaching artist experience in the past year?

  • You work in Philadelphia public schools (51%); other schools (55%); cultural organizations (52%); and other kinds of non-profits organizations (57%).  Watch for an upcoming workshop on building strong programs with non-arts partners.
  • Your audiences cover the spectrum from pre-schoolers (32%) to K-12 (74%) to young adults/adults (45%).  Only 27% have worked with senior adults, a growing demographic.  Watch for an upcoming program on the growing field of creative aging and arts with older adults.
  • The most popular types of services you are providing are multiple-visit programs in schools (65%) and multiple programs with non-arts organizations.  Watch for an upcoming program on lesson planning.
  • A large majority (63%) have secured work on their own in the past year. Watch for our returning series, “Marketing Yourself as a Teaching Artist.”
  • Your favorite social media are Facebook and YouTube.  Make sure to like our Facebook page to get the most current information on workshops and news.  And stay tuned for a new video series of “One-Minute How-To Tips for Teaching Artists.”

Based on the responses from the teaching artists who were kind enough to list everywhere they have worked, we determined that this small sample went far: it reached 95 different community organizations and 69 different schools. Multiply this by the hundreds of teaching artists who are doing this work and your impact is enormous!  Thank you for all you do.

Next on the blog:  More on our fall programs!

8 Tips to a Strong (Bartol) Proposal – Deadline May 2, 2016!

At the Bartol Foundation, we want to consider your strongest proposal.  After many years and reading many, many proposals, we encourage organizations to use these tips when creating your request.  Note:  You need to have already had a site visit with us in order to apply.

No Need to Preach to the Choir:  At the Bartol Foundation, we understand the importance of arts education, the creative process and community-based programs.  Focus your proposal on your specific needs and goals rather than extensively quoting research on the importance of the arts.

Be Concrete and Specific:  We want to invest in programs that are clear in their goals and their implementation.  Provide us with concrete details that show you have the components of your proposal well planned out.  For example, give us a timeline of activities, the date and the venue of a community performance, and/or include a support letter from your partner school. Make sure to provide a sample curriculum as part of the required attachments for an arts education request.

Define your Terms:  What is a “ten-week residency”?  Once a week for ten weeks?  All-day, every day for ten weeks?  Forty-five minute sessions or three-hour sessions?  The same students every time or different?  Twelve students in a class or 200?  Again, be specific.

But what if I don’t know the details?  We understand that sometimes our deadline doesn’t quite mesh with your planning.  In that case, tell us the process that you will use to make important decisions or to identify your prospective partners or artists.  Tell us about your track record with work similar to what you are proposing.  But more details always result in a stronger proposal.  Sometimes the best thing is to wait until next year if your plans are not fully formed yet.

Don’t Cite Partners without Telling Them.  We expect that you have spoken with any person or organization that you are naming as a potential partner.  Make sure that they are not also applying to the Foundation for a similar or conflicting request.  It’s always good to provide a letter of support that demonstrates a potential partner is on board.

Evaluation can be simple.  We want to know that you have a system for assessing how you are doing and adapting as you go.  This can be as simple as, “We had no enrollment on Mondays.  We asked the parents and found out that Monday was karate day.  We switched the class to Thursdays and now it’s full.”    In any case, please do answer the question about evaluation with one concrete example.

Why now?  We tend to fund about one-half of the proposals we receive.  Often those that receive funding make a compelling case as to why this is something that needs to happen now.  Why does this project or this year’s general operating programs represent an important step for your organization artistically or organizationally?  Many of you have long-range plans.  Tell us (briefly and concretely) how your request will move your plans forward.

You can’t be new and vague.  For organizations that are new to us, or just plain new, convince us that you have the capacity to pull off what you are proposing.  Again, do this by being concrete and specific when describing your program.

A reminder that you cannot apply to the Foundation without a site visit prior to the deadline.  The 2016 deadline for scheduling a site visit has passed  If you missed it,make sure to get on our calendar early next year.

Any questions?  Call or email us.  The lines are open.

 

 

 

 

 

Eric Booth: What is your TA purpose thread?

Eric Booth PhotoWhen asked to describe the field of teaching artistry, those of us in or connected to it usually pause—it’s an unfamiliar question, and an uncertain feeling about how to define this amorphous workforce. As we answer (IF we answer), we usually default to describing where TAs work, or who hires TAs. It doesn’t make much of an impression—I can tell you from having talked about this field a lot over the decades.

In the last five years, I have changed the way I conceive of the field of teaching artistry; and this fresh perspective has had an impact when I share it. It’s more inclusive—now, practitioners with different titles like “teaching artist” and “community artist” and “artist in healthcare” can see their natural connections; new partnerships become evident; and we focus on the value that teaching artists create (which is what everyone cares about) more than the locations that employ them (really, who outside the field cares about that?). I call this view the Six Purpose Threads, and the attached article lays out this landscape. It identifies the six main goals teaching artists (and others with different titles but similar skills and approaches) are hired to achieve. These are the main purposes TAs strive to accomplish in their work.  In brief:

  • Work of art: To enhance the encounter with art works.
  • Art skills development: To deepen the development of art-making skills,
  • Arts integration: To catalyze the learning of non-arts content.
  • Community quality of life: To increase the livability of communities.
  • Social/personal development: To develop personal or social capacities.
  • Other instrumental goals: To achieve non-arts goals important to institutions
  • + Digital: To activate personal artistry in digital media.

It has been adopted by Lincoln Center Education for their Teaching Artist Development Lab as a founding for their intensive, multi-level training. It is prompting teaching artists to rethink their contributions and expertise in the context of a wide and expanding field. As you will read, the six threads are pretty inclusive, and you may find your work has fallen into several, and that you have an interest in learning more about another. As TAs grapple with this vision of the field in workshops or in the luxury of two weeks at Lincoln Center, we recognize a core set of skills that applies in all those threads, as well as the distinct skills, practices, and habits of mind that lead to excellence in the different threads. It is illuminating, often exhilarating to clarify what you know and don’t know, what you want to learn more about, and what areas of special expertise you want to share with colleagues. That is a healthy set of discrimination to bring to a growing field.

At a recent day-long forum hosted by Grantmakers for the Arts, I was convinced it is time to add a seventh thread that is not adequately housed in the original six—arts activism: to foster political change. So, you will read a living inquiry not a set theory.

What do you think?

Read about the Six (Plus) Purpose Threads:.EricBooth.Teaching Artist Purpose Threads-essay

Learn more about Eric Booth’s work here.

News from the (TA) Field: Pay Rates For Teaching Artists

Josh RobinsonMeet Josh Robinson, another Bartol Teaching Artist Ambassador, writing on the conversation around pay rates for teaching artists:

I grew up around the music business, playing pots, pans, and eventually drums in the basement in my hometown of Woodstock, NY. Early musical influences include hanging around the Woodstock Recording Studio for sessions, sitting in on “Blues Break”, my father’s weekly radio show, and getting to sound check Levon Helm’s drum set while my father worked as a sound engineer for “The Band” with whom he toured the U.S and Japan.  My music is filled with the instruments and rhythms of Latin, Brazilian, and Afro-Caribbean music.

I am currently a member of “Alo Brasil”, a 14 piece Philadelphia based Samba group, and “ The Spoken Hand Percussion Orchestra” a group that blends drumming traditions from Cuba, Brazil, Africa, and India. I have worked with a variety of populations of children and adults as a teaching artist using percussion as a tool for teaching aspects of communication,self-expression, teamwork, creativity, leadership, discipline, and cultural awareness through music and instrument making. I am devoted to my work with grieving children through organizations like T.A.P.S. Tragedy Assistance Program for Survivors), The Moyer Foundation, and NAGC (National Alliance For Grieving Children).

At the National Conference for Community Art Education, I attended the working group exploring teaching artist pay which addressed the realities of teaching artist pay rates from both the organization and teaching artist perspective. We had a candid and transparent discussion about pay rates, amount of hours, cost of living, sustainability, expectations, and possibilities for regulating or generating a model or guide that could be a universal reference for all working in the field. We talked about the amount of hours/programs required to make a decent living as a teaching artist. We discussed the trends around the country based on data and research provided form several sources and did comparisons. I was impressed by both “sides” arriving at an agreement for the need/value of consistency and setting up a guide or guidelines for organizations and teaching artists around the country to utilize.

Note: This working group has been hard at work developing a prototype for the TA Payrate Calculator. Stay tuned for updates.

You can learn more about teaching artist pay rates in Philadelphia here.

News from the (TA) Field: Funding the Teaching Artist Field

AlvarezMy name is Belle Alvarez and I am a Philly-based dance artist. I love changing lives through dance and facilitating meaningful experiences with movement that instill confidence, foster artistry, and build community. I am an Education Outreach Program Coordinator and Teaching Artist at BalletX and I am also a Teaching Artist for Dancing Classrooms Philly. I have performed for independent choreographers and companies such as Sean Thomas Boyt, JDY | dance, and Jessica Warchal-King/The Embodiment Project. I do what I love and I love what I do.

I was thrilled this past November when the Bartol Foundation awarded me a scholarship to attend the National Guild Teaching Artist Pre-Conference. I was proud to represent Teaching Artists from Philadelphia!I was especially energized by meeting people who were like me yet diverse in their cultural and artistic backgrounds from around the country who share similar convictions about the mission of artist citizens. We align with Eric Booth’s definition: “A teaching artist is a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills, curiosities and habits of mind of an educator, who can effectively engage a wide range of people in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.”  We bonded over humor, passion for what the arts can do in society, and an eagerness for our work to make a greater impact. I got to connect with peers that I want to collaborate with.

At the conference, I chose to convene with the working group: Funding the Teaching Artist Field. After starting an initial conversation at the conference, we  continue meet through a monthly conference call. In our meetings, we are discussing the role of the entities which fund our programs. So far we have raised questions such as:

  • What is the role of the artist who teaches in the program that gets funded?
  • Do funders look at student impact versus impact on the artist who teaches?

In advocating for the livelihood of artist citizens in the field of Teaching Artistry, we want to explore how funders consider the role of a teaching artist vs. the impact of a program. When the livelihood of a Teaching Artist is ensured, their work has a greater impact. I hope our research contributes to a teaching artist field that thrives. We’re excited for this process to unfold.

When I’m not working with youth, rehearsing, or performing, I lead recreational modern dance classes for adults at the Performance Garage. I am choreographing a new work that will be presented by Birds on a Wire Dance Theatre this June and I am in the process of developing other projects that will be revealed soon. Want to learn more about my work? Visit www.bellealvarez.com

Notes from the Field: Bartol TA Ambassadors

TA AmbassadorsHow do you build a field?  At the Bartol Foundation, we are part of a national conversation on the best ways to build the field of teaching artistry.  Last November, we brought 8 teaching artists with us to attend the National Conference on Community Arts Education.  Here are Bartol TA Ambassadors with TA guru Eric Booth: Jacob Winterstein (poet); Josh Robinson (musician); Monay Washington (visual artist); Beth Feldman Brandt (Bartol/poet); Dana Velazquez (visual artist), Jan Michener (theatre artist): Greg Corbin (poet); Eric Booth;  Belle Alvarez (dancer); and Gabrielle Sanchez (theatre artist).  A fine looking group! Each of them participated in planning session to generate a national movement to build and support teaching artists.  They will be writing in this space from time to time with their updates.  Stay tuned!

 

Five Tips for a Successful Site Visit

Drumming at Taller

A friendly reminder – The Bartol Foundation requires that all applicants schedule a site visit with us before they can be considered for funding. Site visits for our May 2, 2106 deadline must be scheduled no later than April 6, 2016. So, what’s in a site visit? Here are five tips to follow

  1. The right activity:  We value process over product so have us out to see the actual teaching and learning or community activities.  It should be as close to what you will be applying for as you can.  So if you are a dance company doing education programs, we should come see the education programs, not a performance.
  2. The right day:  Pick a point where your program is in full swing – usually midway or towards the end of a process.   Steer clear of days that might have low enrollment like a half-day at school or the day after an extended break.
  3. The right time:  We will usually spend about an hour at a site visit so make that hour count.    You might want us to see one program from beginning to end, or parts of a few programs.  We don’t need to see snack time or homework tutoring before the actual program starts.
  4. The right people:  We do our best not to disturb the program by pulling the teaching artist or program leader away from their work.  We can just observe or if you have someone (e.g. Executive or Education Director, principal, program partner) to meet us and give us background that is helpful.
  5. We understand:  As artists and educators ourselves, we understand that things don’t always go absolutely according to plan.  We know this is just one snapshot of your program and are coming to become more familiar with your work and community.

 To check your eligibility and schedule a site visit, click here.  And watch this quick snapchat video of a recent site visit to Taller Puertorriqueño a Bartol grantee.

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