Trauma-Informed Practice for Teaching Artists

Application Deadline: Wednesday, March 24, 2021 at 5pm

An in-depth training to incorporate trauma informed practice into your teaching with young people

Why should teaching artists be trauma-informed?

Philadelphia is working toward becoming a trauma-informed city in which public policy recognizes and supports those in our city whose lives are impacted by trauma.  Trauma can be living in a community with persistent violence, deep poverty, or in any environment that is chronically unstable.  It is crucial that the work of teaching artists is seen as a strategy to help people deal with trauma and that teaching artists are equipped to effectively and responsibly work with participants who have been impacted by trauma.

Any artist working in community settings will encounter young people who have been impacted by trauma.  While teaching artists rarely have details access to a participant’s personal history, there are tools they can use to identify a young person who is potentially trauma-impacted and strategies that they can employ to accommodate and engage that young person.

Structure of the Training

Over the course of five, half-day sessions, a cohort of up to 12 teaching artists will deeply engage in rigorous presentations by leaders in trauma-informed practice and its application in a range of artistic disciplines.  Participants will be asked to complete outside reading and reflection questions and, when possible, test the strategies they are learning in real time in their classrooms.

Teaching Artists must commit to attend all five, 4-hour training sessions which will take place via Zoom from 9:00am-1:00pn on:

  • Saturday April 24, 2021
  • Saturday, May 1, 2021
  • Saturday, May 8, 2021
  • Saturday, May 15, 2021
  • Saturday May 22, 2021

What you will learn

Upon completion of the training, teaching artists recognize:

  • The neurological and psychological nature of trauma.
  • How trauma affects the brain, behavior, ability to trust, and ability to forge healthy relationships.
  • How trauma can affect self-image, and lead to shame and fear.
  • Behavior in students that indicates potential trauma, fear, shame or stress.
  • What a trauma-impacted student does (and doesn’t) need to successfully participate and learn in a workshop setting.
  • How arts can be healing, and what particular skills can help to heal trauma and build resiliency.
  • The signs of secondary or vicarious trauma in themselves or in teaching partners.

Upon completion of the training, teaching artists can:

  • Provide moments of consistency, ritual, and choice-making in their workshop culture.
  • When a moment of trauma arises, provide students with a series of options that can help them release and regulate themselves through that moment.
  • Adapt their lesson plans into a trauma-informed model.
  • Adapt their facilitation practice into a trauma-informed model.
  • Responsibly address trauma by creating moments of positivity and healing in their workshops.
  • Find moments to guide students through personal reflection about themselves, to help them recognize and acknowledge positive traits.
  • Follow a safety plan for themselves and regularly incorporate self-care into their lives.

Who is Eligible?

  • Teaching artists in all disciplines
  • Committed to teaching artist work with young people (K-12) as a significant part of your creative practice
  • Track record of at least three years of working with communities affected by trauma in- or out-of-school settings
  • Desire to be part of an ongoing learning community of teaching artists

Your Commitment to the Training

  • Attend all five, 4-hour training sessions ion Saturdays from 9:00am-1:00pm via Zoom.
  • Prepare pre-work and be ready to contribute to each session to make workshop time efficient
  • Engage in each session with focus, curiosity and an open mind

 Bartol Foundation Commitment to You

  • Convene practitioners in the field as presenters and participants who will bring knowledge and commitment to the training
  • Create an organized, supportive environment for learning including space,study materials, screen breaks and follow-up as needed.
  • Listen fully to suggestions to improve the training both in real time and for future cohorts.
  • Support the ongoing continuation of a learning community at the conclusion of the training, if desired by the participants.


Upon successful completion by teaching artists of all five sessions, the Bartol Foundation will provide a stipend of $200 to each teaching artist in recognition of their participation.

Lead FacilitatorMindy A. Early is a writer, theatre artist, and educator who has facilitated arts education workshops for learners of all ages at schools, community centers, corporations, and non-profits. Formerly the Resident Teaching Artist and Education Associate at Philadelphia Theatre Company, she is currently the Director of Education at Philadelphia Young Playwrights.  Mindy completed the 3-course Series for becoming Trauma-Aware, Trauma-Sensitive, Trauma-Informed, and Trauma-Competent at the Institute of Family Professionals and has incorporated trauma-informed practices into professional development opportunities for teaching artists.