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.

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.

Looking Back, Moving Forward Annual Report 2015

In its fiscal year 2015 (October 1, 2014-September 03, 2015), the Stockton Rush Bartol Foundation supported arts and culture in Philadelphia through grants, programs and advocacy. The Foundation maintained its focus on in-depth arts education and community-based arts programs, while investigating new ways to engage with cultural organizations, artists and the broader community. To learn more, click Annual Report 2015.

Are you a mandated reporter?

If you are a teaching artist or program administrator who interacts with young people, you are likely a mandated reporter of suspected child abuse. Access this online training (it takes 1-2 hours to complete) that provides an overview of mandated reporting obligations and when you have completed the entire training, you will receive a certification of completion. You can use this in your organization to show your staff and artists have received their required training. The training is free but you need to register when you log on.

Mandated Reporter Training: http://www.reportabusepa.pitt.edu

Fair pay for teaching artists

In 2014, almost 400 teaching artists responded to a survey to share information about pay rates in order to benchmark themselves against others to determine fair pay. These reports show the raw data for all the teaching artists who replied, as well as reports compiled by artistic discipline. This is only a small portion of the full teaching artist community so use this only as a guideline. It should not be taken as a definitive, scientific sample. Stay tuned for new resources percolating in the TA community to determine fair pay based on your location.

Pay Rate Survey 2014 All Responses

Pay Rate Survey2014 Dance

Pay Rate survey 2014 Literary Arts

Pay Rate Survey 2014 Media Arts

Pay Rate Survey 2014 Music

Pay Rate Survey 2014 Theatre

Pay Rate Survey 2014 Visual Arts

Pay Rate Survey 2014 Other

What is a teaching artist?

Are you someone who practices their art and chooses to share this art with the community? While the work of a teaching artist can take many forms and we all may have different definitions, Eric Booth does a masterful job of describing what are the essential elements of a teaching artist.

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