Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly Issue 14

Page 1

Quarterly Magazine

Issue 14 - WINTER 2019

Teaching Artists Guild

The Creative Youth Development Issue

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Quarterly Magazine Staff:

TAG Executive Director: Jean Johnstone

TAG Quarterly Magazine Editor Kai Fierle-Hedrick

TAG Membership Director: Kenny Allen

TAG Quarterly Magazine Design Associate: Wendy Shiraki

National Advisory Committee:

Glenna Avila (Los Angeles, CA) Eric Booth (Hudson River Valley, NY) Lindsey Buller Maliekel (New York, NY) Lara Davis (Seattle, WA) Kai Fierle-Hedrick (Denver, CO) Jon Hinojosa (San Antonio, TX) Lynn Johnson (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) Nas Khan (Toronto, Canada) Tina LaPadula (Seattle, WA) Miko Lee (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) Ami Molinelli (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) Louise Music (San Francisco Bay Area, CA) Maura O’Malley (New Rochelle, NY) Nick Rabkin (Santa Cruz, CA) Amy Rasmussen (Chicago, IL) Nicole Ripley (Chicago, IL) Sandy Seufert (Los Angeles, CA) Yael Silk, Ed.M. (Pittsburgh, PA) Jean E. Taylor (New York, NY)

Teaching Artists Guild is a fiscally sponsored project of Community Initiatives.

Page 2

Teaching Artists Guild is also made possible through the generous support of our members.

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Creative Youth Development - MARCH 2019 Dear Reader, Welcome to another issue of Teaching Artists Guild’s Quarterly digital magazine for the field. I hope everyone got a chance to put up their feet with some hot cocoa and celebrate the successes of 2018 (we launched a national map of the field!), but spring is just around the corner and our contributors this issue have a plethora of stories, lessons, and research from across the country related to teaching artists and arts education. This month we are able to bring you a collection of articles about Creative Youth Development. Creative Youth Development (or CYD) very often relies heavily on teaching artists, and if you’re wondering anything about it, from an entry-level understanding of what this means and entails, to a nuanced discussion of this area of practice, this is your issue! We’ve pulled together leaders and practitioners to give you a sense of the work and where it’s headed. We are also thrilled to showcase the Teaching Artist Asset Map! If you’re not already on the map, take 4 minutes to get your bio up there. It’s a real treat to be able to offer this free resource to flesh out our network and connect with colleagues across the country. Here in Oakland, CA, teachers are striking for better pay across this city as they already have in Denver and Los Angeles this year, and the purpose and value of public education are once again forefront in the minds of the public and elected officials. It’s an exciting time to be working at the crossroads of arts and education. See our statement here in support of teachers on the picket line, and connect with us in the comments section. We’d love to hear what you think. We at TAG look forward to sharing many more resources for you in your work and artistry in 2019. With thanks,

Jean Johnstone Executive Director Teaching Artists Guild

Page 3

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14


Page 4

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

A CALL TO ACTION Heather Ikemire shares new recommendations from the Creative Youth Development National Partnership. p. 6

One very strange day James Miles shares the story of the morning he spent with 15 white Seattle-area police officers. p. 14


Stronger together An interview with the Alliance for Creative Youth, a Colorado-based group of eleven nonprofits cooperating to maximize impact on the youth they work with.. p. 20

An interview with Rogelio, a 2018 Graduate of PlatteForum’s ArtLab Internship Program. p. 25

YOUTH POWER Amalia Ortiz writes about the best practices that Say Si has discovered for successful creative youth development programs. p. 29

Creative youth development At the heart of social & Emotional Learning Four key strategies to promote social and emotional learning outcomes in CYD programs, by Kim Sabo Flores. p. 36

14 Regional updates Updates from across the country: what’s going on in the field of Teaching Artistry? p.42



A walkthrough of TAG’s newest digital tool for teaching artists. p. 46 Page 5

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

A CALL TO ACTION National Coalition Releases Recommendations to Advance the Role of Creativity in Youth Development

By Heather Ikemire AND Denise Montgomery

Young artist leads discussion at CYD National Stakeholder Meeting (2017)

“EVERYONE HAS SOMETHING THAT CAN CONTRIBUTE TO SOCIETY; WE JUST DON’T ALWAYS HARNESS IT.” -- Christien Wills, Student and Activist, Baltimore, MD (“Youth Leading Movements for Change,” GuildNotes, Issue 3, 2018)


oung people thrive when they have opportunities to maximize their creative potential. Research shows that creative youth development (CYD) supports young people in developing the skills, attitudes, and behaviors that are critical to success in life, school and work. Yet there are sizable disparities in who has access to these programs across the country. Some communities have little to no access, while others have exemplary programs that struggle to meet a growing demand with limited resources. Creative youth development is a recent term that unifies a longstanding practice that intentionally integrates arts learning with youth development principles, fueling young people’s creativity and building critical learning and life skills. CYD practitioners work primarily out of school and across the arts, humanities, and sciences. In these programs, young people create original work—including animated films, dance and theater productions, musical compositions, poetry, and more—and apply their creative skills to solve problems, shape their lives, and imagine and build the world in which they want to live. CYD invests in young people’s leadership and provides real opportunities for them to inform and develop the programs and organizations of which they are a part. For many youth, CYD programs also can be a pathway to other services such as college and career readiness, mental health services, academic support, and more. A national, collective impact strategy is underway to deepen and expand CYD practice, raise visibility of CYD’s positive outcomes, and increase revenue sources and investment. The leadership of young people and teaching artists is central to this movement’s success. Page 6

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

CYD National Blueprint Outlines Strategies for Positive Change “I THINK IT’S IMPORTANT TO REMIND YOUNG PEOPLE WHO LOOK LIKE ME AND COME FROM COMMUNITIES LIKE MINE TO STEP OUT AND LET THE WORLD KNOW THAT THEY DESERVE MORE.” -- Imani Harris, Student, Activist, and Mosaic Youth Theater Alumnus, Detroit, MI (“Youth Leading Movements for Change,” GuildNotes, Issue 3, 2018) The Creative Youth Development National Action Blueprint, released in 2018, identifies three strategic priorities for advancing CYD:

1 VISIBILITY & IMPACT Documenting and Communicating Outcomes and Impact



FUNDING Building Pathways to Equitable Funding

FIELD BUILDING Professional Development, Networking, and Technical Assistance

Woven throughout the Blueprint are core values of the CYD movement: racial equity and social justice, youth voice, and collective action. With support from the National Endowment for the Arts, the Blueprint was released by the Creative Youth Development National Partnership---which includes the National Guild for Community Arts Education, Americans for the Arts, and Mass Cultural Council---in concert with more than 650 cross-sector stakeholders. Youth, practitioners, researchers, funders, policy makers and other leaders in CYD and allied sectors provided leadership and input on how to expand the reach and impact of CYD through numerous community conversations across the country over an 18-month period. The Partnership also commissioned research by the Forum for Youth Investment that mapped opportunities for alignment among CYD and allied youth sectors, including afterschool, juvenile justice, mental health, education, and workforce development. Three cross-sector Action Teams were then formed to analyze and distill the research and stakeholder inputs, make final recommendations for the Blueprint, and start moving these key recommendations into action. Page 7

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

The Blueprint is a vehicle for collective action that has roots in initial research conducted with young artists and adult practitioners in 2014. The Partnership commissioned the report, “Setting the Agenda” (Lauren Stevenson, 2014), to gather, synthesize, and prioritize imperatives that would inform the 2014 CYD Summit and the creation of an initial policy agenda. The report draws on interviews and surveys with youth and practitioners from more than 150 CYD programs across the country. Their vision for advancing CYD serves as a backbone for the Blueprint, which builds on the initial policy agenda to recommend specific, prioritized actions that the arts education sector can take to advance key imperatives in concert with a larger ecosystem of stakeholders. The result is a shared vision for amplifying promising strategies in recent research and practice that brings together multiple groups of stakeholders into a sustained conversation about how to realize the role of creativity as a powerful vehicle for achieving positive outcomes for youth.


The challenges young people face are not ones that any one artist, nonprofit, school, government agency, or family can face alone. Ensuring young people’s academic, professional, and personal success demands that we serve them holistically and in a coordinated way.

Artists from Destiny Arts Center, Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit, and Raw Art Works participate in Emerging Young Artists Residency at 2017 Conference for Community Arts Education Page 8

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Artists have been doing powerful CYD work in communities for decades but often as a disparate field with limited resources and visibility. Most CYD organizations are led by artists (many of them founders), who developed their programs largely independent from one another, refining their practice in iterative ways in response to community interests and needs. Erik Holmgren, Creative Youth Development Manager at Mass Cultural Council, explains that the work of artist-led CYD programs “produced impact data and stories that go back several decades, yet because of the decentralized nature of out-of-school time youth arts programs, the field remained without a collective voice in an academic or policy discourse in its earliest years,” primarily in the 1990s and early 2000s. In more recent years, the field has begun to organize to amplify the stories of youth and practitioners, identify key characteristics of practice, and share knowledge around approaches and outcomes in powerful ways that are catalyzing the field. By working together within multiple stakeholders, artists and arts organizations can make CYD practice more visible, increase understanding of its impact on youth, and foster knowledge sharing. Working together also can open opportunities for increased access to CYD in multiple settings and promote greater sustainability. A large reason for identifying CYD is to better understand the outcomes that unify this practice across sectors and realize the most promising areas for our collective work. The Blueprint builds on and illuminates numerous independent research studies— many led by and centered on the work of artists and artist-led organizations, e.g., Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project and Mosaic Youth Theatre of Detroit---that document consistent positive outcomes of CYD participation, namely in three areas: Skills (artistic/expressive, problem-solving skills), Self (identity development), and Society (connection with peers, adult mentors, and community). Many priorities in allied sectors-- e.g. developing social emotional competence; promoting healthy decision making/behaviors; and reengaging young people in positive learning and work environments---align with the goals and outcomes of CYD. Young people don’t see their lives according to sectors, so neither should we. Their development and long-term success require both the development of internal strengths and external supports (family, positive adult relationships, safe and healthy environments)¹. To holistically serve them, we need to foster sustained collaborations with people working with youth in various spaces—in and out of school, the arts sector and allied youth sectors—to share stories, expand networks, and share research tools. The Search Institute’s 40 Developmental Assets (Benson, 1997)


Youth and adult leaders collaborate to create CYD policy agenda at first-ever CYD National Summit (2014) Page 9

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Stories of CYD


The Blueprint provides a common vision and roadmap to advance the role of creativity in positive youth development. This is not a Blueprint for the Partnership, but for the field. Teaching artists have a powerful role to play as leaders in this movement. Here are just a few examples of how the creative youth development framework and the Blueprint are being used by and for teaching artists in communities across the country. TRAINING AND PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT The Blueprint begs the question: How are we training teaching artists and for what purpose? What are some different ways we can approach professional development knowing what our communities and young people identify as their priorities? MASSACHUSETTS: The Music Educator and Teaching Artist (META) Fellowship Program Recognizing that practices that foster positive youth development outcomes are not always embedded in teacher preparation and artist training programs in colleges and conservatories, the Mass Cultural Council (a state arts agency) and a local family foundation piloted the META program from 2016-2018 to bridge the gap. 53 individuals from more than 30 public schools, charter schools, parochial schools and out-of-school time community based nonprofit organizations participated. This two-year professional development program was designed to address the self-identified needs of the cohort, who named youth worker training and cultural competency as top priorities. While many of the teaching artists were nominated for the program by their employing organizations, the artists voices were prioritized throughout the program. Employing organizations were invited to join at certain points along the way to listen, reflect, and take back what they heard to improve learning across their institutions and agencies. “One of the key findings in the evaluation at the end of the second year,” notes Erik Holmgren, “was a shift in practice amongst participants to engage more authentically with young people and to involve them more in decision making, indicating this framework was new to their practice.”

Page 10

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

“WHEN THERE IS A MINDSET AMONGST ADULT ORGANIZERS THAT THEY NEED TO CUT-IN, OR INTERVENE, OR POINT OUT WHEN SOMETHING WON’T WORK, THEY ARE REALLY INHIBITING A HUNDRED OTHER INCREDIBLE IDEAS THAT MAY HAVE COME UP IF WE [YOUNG PEOPLE] WERE JUST ABLE TO CONTINUE TALKING, BRAINSTORMING, AND BUILDING TOGETHER.” -- Christien Wills, Student and Activist, Baltimore, MD (“Youth Leading Movements for Change,” GuildNotes, Issue 3, 2018) UNIVERSITY OF TEXASAUSTIN: Teaching Artists in Schools and Community Settings Katie Dawson, a teaching artist and assistant professor and director of UT-Austin’s Drama for Schools program, is using the CYD National Action Blueprint as an organizing framework for her graduate level course, Teaching Artists in Schools and Community Settings. “My graduate students, most of them practicing teaching artists, are excited to frame their

field work in alignment with the Blueprint and what the broader field is saying they need,” says Dawson. Dawson explains that teaching artists in her course want to be leading the field, training other teaching artists, participating in larger field building efforts, and working as organizational leaders to promote positive arts outcomes. Towards that end, “I want my students’ work to be in dialogue with what is happening in the field nationally and to be engaging with larger issues around the intersections between arts and society,” explains Dawson, “I ask them: ‘How are you, as a teaching artist, interacting with this larger, youth-serving ecosystem? How are you elevating young people’s voices to accelerate school learning and improvement?” The Blueprint is providing a clear framework for Dawson’s students to examine their role within a larger ecology of community stakeholders, deepen their practice, and better align their practice within a larger CYD framework through their teaching artist statements, websites, and the language they’re using to describe their pedagogy and approach.

Local Peer Learning Networks (Formal and Informal) Achieving a common vision requires that we create new spaces and strengthen existing networks for multiple stakeholders to learn about each other and realize opportunities for collective work. Teaching artists and artist-led organizations in many different cities and regions across the country are beginning to use the Blueprint as a tool to increase community dialogue around the critical role of creativity in youth development. For some existing networks, the Blueprint is a tool for aligning their work at the local level to the Blueprint’s key imperatives and recommendations for action, and to connect with other local and regional networks across the country doing similar work. PHOENIX: Artist-led CYD Forum with Local and State Funders After the Blueprint was released this spring, artist/organizers in Phoenix, AZ, worked with the Arizona State Arts Commission and the local Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust to host a meeting that brought together 40 practitioners working in youth arts Page 11

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

organizations from across the Phoenix Valley to discuss the CYD framework and core values of youth voice, racial equity and social justice, and collective action. This emerging network hopes to use the Blueprint to continue to create collaborative spaces for CYD artists dedicated to centering youth voice at all levels within a program, organization and community and shifting organizational leadership to better represent and reflect the identities of the students served. Many artists in attendance lead predominately small-budget organizations who have been practicing CYD for decades and are just now coalescing under this new term. Most of these programs have historically lacked (and continue to lack) the resources and funding pathways available to larger budget organizations. With the Blueprint, they are hoping to come together as a community of practice to deepen the conversation among themselves and with funders about how to shift that reality. SAN DIEGO Creative Youth Development Network In San Diego, CA twelve CYD organizations focused on CYD practice also are coalescing around the three key imperatives articulated in the Blueprint and implementing its recommended strategies locally. While the artist-led network first developed organically, Clare Rose Foundation, a family foundation with a dedicated CYD director (and former founder of the CYD organization, A Reason to Survive), now serves as an organizing partner providing infrastructure support and resources to help move local strategies into action. The Network holds monthly network meetings to share effective practices, discuss common challenges facing artists and organizations, explore opportunities for collaboration, and strategize around advocacy. They also use the time during these monthly meetings to plan more targeted quarterly meetings with the broader arts education sector focused on best practices in professional development (e.g., restorative practices for staff, trauma informed training for teaching artists) and often convene boards, funders and local cross-sector partners to educate and inform them about the CYD field. They recently collaborated programmatically to support a youth-designed, youth-led Summit for 150 youth across the city and are currently working to develop a shared evaluation tool to document and communicate their collective impact. A CALL TO ACTION: Be Intentional and Receptive to Change Building opportunities and support for creative youth development will take time but more importantly, intentionally. The Blueprint provides a shared vision and specific, prioritized strategies to advance the key imperatives of field building, funding, and visibility/impact to advance CYD practice nationally, regionally, and locally. Just as the field is dynamic, so too is the Blueprint. It will continue to be revised as implementation unfolds and as we continue to learn from each other and build this movement with youth.

Page 12

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14


s r o h t u A e h t About Heather Ikemire, Ph.D., is chief program officer at the National Guild for Community Arts Education. She led the development of the CYD National Action Blueprint in concert with the CYD National Partnership and helped guide the development of the Guild’s highly-regarded resource “Engaging Adolescents: Building Youth Participation in the Arts.” Learn more about the CYD National Partnership and Blueprint at www.creativeyouthdevelopment.org Denise Montgomery is founder and principal of CultureThrive. She is author of the CYD National Action Blueprint and of Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts. Denise works nationally, regionally, and locally to increase youth participation in high-quality out-of-school time programs. Her research has been covered by National Public Radio, The Washington Post, and Youth Today, among other media outlets. Page 13

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

By James Miles


I just spent the morning with the police. There were 15 law enforcement officers, all white, and they were staring at me. I am rarely out of sorts, but I admit I was very nervous. I knew they were waiting for me to say something, anything. So... I said, “When I say mic check, you say 1-2, 1-2. Mic Check!” “1-2,1-2” That’s when things got interesting... But first let me explain how I got to be in a room with 15 white law enforcement officers. My friend and colleague, whom I shall call The Doctor, asked me to support a new class he was teaching at a cadet training academy, just outside of Seattle, WA. He would be working with chiefs of police, sheriffs, and corrections officers, all of whom were responsible for training police cadets. This course was to provide strategies of ways to engage with the black and brown communities in Washington State, while providing some context to the local history of race and policing. He invited other educators, principals, professors, and community organizers to be part of the first day. This was a group of people that historically didn’t, pardon the language, but “fuck with each other.” This was destined to be an enormous breakthrough in police instruction, or a detrimental failure.

He and I were giddy with the potential. When I arrived at the training academy, I parked next to a couple police cruisers and pick up trucks. I heard the cadets-in-training yelling, “Open up the door,” while knocking ferociously on the training facility’s large doors. Several officers pulled up, got out of their cars, guns in their holster, and walked towards the facility.

Page 14

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Above: Black children are disproportionately punished in schools, by police. Crosscut, 2017. I sat in my car, reading my notes, listening to Q-Tip rapping about going on an Award Tour with his man, Muhammad. My heart was beating rapidly, and I was starting to sweat. With some forced courage, l got out of the car and walked towards the main entrance. I was greeted by a young woman of color, behind a desk whom looked at me questioningly. “Can I help you?” “Uh, yes, I’m here for The Doctor’s class.” “Oh!” She smiled. “Yes, that’s great. Why don’t you sign in and wait for everyone else to show up?” As I signed in, I was still reeling in the shock that this administrator was so happy to see me. We were both people of color, but she worked for the cops. I was flummoxed. I looked up to see her still smiling. As I went to take my seat, I passed two huge officers, one white, and another Latinx. They both smiled and said, “Hello, how are you?” I mumbled a response somewhere between ‘mmk’ and ‘yar.’ I sat down and stared at the facility. It reminded of the headquarters of Highline Public Schools. That is not where the similarities ended. Both entities had a woman of color at the front desk. Most of the people in leadership Page 15

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

positions were white. The offices were welcoming, while also having an air that emanates that no-one should overstay their welcome. There a lot of doors that in my mind, hid many mysteries. Most importantly, they were both educational facilities. One for law enforcement, and the other for public education.

Things that make you go hmmmm… The doors to room 134 opened, and I was invited in, along with four other people of color, and two white people that were the community leaders, educators, and principals I mentioned earlier. All of us entered and were greeted with smiles and handshakes. We were invited to sit by The Doctor, and then he looked at me. “James, you ready to lead your icebreaker?” I started with the same agreements that I ask of everyone I teach; Participate, Respect, and Mic Check. When the group agreed, I led three icebreakers to get the police officers and the educators talking about art and social media, which is an excellent way to get people from disparate backgrounds to speak to each other and become more vulnerable. After the icebreakers, we sat back down and my friend, The Doctor, began discussing the history of race and disciplines in Seattle. He mentioned the similarities between the police department and teaching department. Both careers are often the most relied upon, and often the most criticized. Both careers are underpaid and work directly with the communities. He then went on to discuss how black people, particularly black boys are treated by the education system and the criminal justice system. He then opened it up for discussion. That’s when I expected resistance and tension. However, just the opposite happened. We all began speaking about our personal histories and reactions to what we heard and read. I spoke about the importance of building relationships, officers spoke about their need to better understand their communities. We spoke of successes and failures. What seemed like 15 minutes, was actually 2 hours of dialogue. I looked at The Doctor and gave him a thumbs up. Magic was happening. The woman that organized the event, whom happened to be the first woman to lead this position, within the academy, ever, stated how thankful she was that this was happening and everyone’s willingness to participate. A principal admitted how he didn’t expect this to go well, but was completely surprised by how much he enjoyed the experience. It was one of the most intersectional discussions I’ve had, with people that may have very different views than I. During lunch, one of the cadet trainers told me how he uses role play with his cadets, and asked for some

A principal admitted how he didn’t expect this to go well, but was completely surprised Page 16

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

more tips. It was one of the most unique, and wondrous educational experiences I’ve had in years. It was 1pm when we ended the session. I quickly realized that my day was only just beginning. I drove to my office to get ready for an event we were having that evening. One of our supporters was hosting a house party to help raise money for one of Arts Corps’ Programs called, The Residency. The Residency is a hip hop music and vocal production program we run, in collaboration with The Museum of Pop Culture and Macklemore. This program prepares fortyfive 16-19 year olds for careers in the music industry, and other creative fields, through hands on learning, and professional experiences. It is one of our most well known and successful programs. Started as a two week summer intensive, it has grown to year round interactions with students, which means we needed to raise more money to keep this program alive and strong. Arts Corps’ motto is Make Art Anyway, so we are devoted to not letting anything hold us back. After some administrative work was completed, and having my weekly check ins with some of my team, I headed over to help set up the house party with my development team and the hosts. We were having a fully catered event, that even had valet parking. We cut some flowers, moved Below: The Residency Alum and 2018 intern, Brandon Barnes

Page 17

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

some furniture, and set up a sound system. Soon, guests started arriving and I pumped up the background music that was a good mix of Michael Jackson, Tania Marie, Chaka Khan, and Big Pun. About thirty minutes later, the host gets everyone’s attention to talk about why they are here tonight and to prepare everyone for a wonderful evening, featuring youth voice. Four young people get to the stage, one new participant, one returning participant, and two alums of the program. One of those alums is also on the Arts Corps Board. They are joined by one the teaching artists, that work in the program. They will be part of the panel presentation about The Residency. The moderator of the panel is...Macklemore himself. Macklemore was a great moderator, as he centered the questions on the youth present, and was genuinely intrigued by the youth responses. The youth talked about how being in the program boosted their self confidence, and gave them the skills they needed to write and perform their own music. One student said that she was able to direct her creative energies into also producing music because of her experience. She didn’t feel relegated to only being a singer. She was excited about the possibilities to explore what it means to be an artist, in every facet of her life. The students we work with, in The Residency come from varied backgrounds and experiences, and it was wonderful to hear how music helps them cope with issues, and gives them a platform to express themselves, in a safe environment.

"I was looking at modern day USA, as it should be, with people coming together around positivity." The crowd was awed by the wisdom of the young people and the urgency in their voice for us all to work together to create a more inclusive society. When I looked around the room, I saw people that were also from different races and backgrounds, from different countries, and whom were both much older, and much younger than I. I was looking at modern day USA, as it should be, with people coming together around positivity. We were all part of a discussion in how we can make a just society, together. As collaborators. That is the power of the arts, to break down barriers, and find a way for everyone to engage with, and understand multiple contexts. I thought about my morning with the police, compared to my evening with artists and educators, and was overwhelmed with joy. After the panel, Macklemore led the Ask, for the audience to raise their hands to financially support the power of youth voice and youth expression. Macklemore is a dynamic performer and storyteller, and he told a moving speech about the power of arts to unite and change lives. Page 18

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Coupled with the words from the youth, there was an energy in the audience that inspired many gifts. When everyone was leaving the event, smiles on their faces, tears in their eyes, I was stopped by a man that asked about Arts Corps’ other programs. I told him about our in school programs, integrating art into academic content, and our after school programs that take place in schools, community centers, shelters, and low income residential facilities. He couldn’t believe one tiny organization could have that much impact. For once, I was speechless, so I said something like “thanks” or “yep.” That’s when it hit me: whether we are working with youth, adults, teachers, or police, art is the tool to foment hope. Nothing will stop us from shaping the world into a better place. Nothing will stop us from supporting youth voice and expression. Nothing will stop us from revolutionizing education.

Nothing will stop us from Making Art Anyway. About the Author James Miles is originally from Chicago and moved to Seattle from Brooklyn, NY where he worked as an artist and educator for the past 20 years. Before joining Arts Corps as Executive Director, he was the Director of Education at Urban Arts Partnership, in New York City. James also facilitated workshops and designed curriculum for the New Victory Theater, Roundabout Theatre, Disney Theatrical Group, and others. Previously a professor at NYU, James taught a myriad of classes, ranging from Acting and Directing to EdTech and Special Education. A graduate of Morehouse College and Brandeis University, James has presented at SXSW EDU, NYU’s IMPACT Festival, New York Creative Tech Week, EdTechXEurope, Google Educator Bootcamp, and provided Professional Development to teachers across the world. His work has been featured by Pie News, New Profit, Complex Magazine, National Guild, Seattle Times, KOMO, NPR, CBS, NBC, US Department of Education, and ASCD. James is a former accountant, model, and actor. He can be frequently found on social media, as @fresh_professor, writing about arts education, educational policy, and academic inequity. Follow James on Instagram and Twitter at @fresh_professor

Page 19


Job Training in the Arts and Technology

Stronger Together

An Interview with the Alliance for Creative Youth Development by Mara Higgins

Formed in 2011, and based in Denver, with representation throughout Colorado, the Alliance for Creative Youth Development now includes eleven nonprofits who collaborate and partner with one another in an effort to maximize their impact and better serve the young people who are their reason for being. They are organizations whose primary objective is not merely to provide arts education. Rather, they seek to partner with teens and youth by using the arts as a form of empowerment and leadership development.

Art from Ashes

Youth poet, Nikayla, performing her work at The Spot. Summer of Safety with Art from Ashes and Mayor Hancock.

On October 30th, 2018, I had the privilege of sitting down with two founders of the Alliance — Susan Jenson, Executive Director at DAVA (Downtown Aurora Visual Arts) and Krista Robinson, Deputy Director at DAVA — to learn more about the collective’s work:

What would you say was the initial vison of the Alliance and how has it evolved?

89% of youth Susan: The Alliance evolved out of state funding for a grant called Youthreach, which placed emphasis on excellence in the arts alongside positive youth feel that the development. Nine of us had been part of Youthreach, which connected “staff give us to other national organizations doing similar work. As grantees, we me a lot of were also required to develop logic models and survey youth using an support.” instrument developed by the National Research Center in Boulder. During the time we received state funding, the cohort met several times annually—so * we got to know each other. Seeing the aggregate results of evaluation fueled our decision to stay connected to each other and to other youth arts centers nationally. In the aftermath of Youthreach, we decided to seek local funding for evaluation and use those results to leverage further funding.

Does the survey still exist? Susan: Yes. Our current survey is an evolution of the original toolkit. Krista: Our funders understand our impact when they can see the results for themselves, which sometimes pulls from the data. It’s also significant that the National Research Center developed it and Colorado Creative Industries, and the Denver Foundation, support it.

What’s an important piece of information the latest survey revealed? Krista: That 89% of youth today are learning in new and creative ways. What this means is that we open up options for them to inform programming reflective of what they want to learn, not what they are told to learn. Can you tell us how Alliance member organizations are doing this? Krista: Yes. We are all unified in our commitment toward a philosophy of programming that is socially relevant, inclusive and equitable for all. We create and implement safe and brave spaces. At DAVA, we represent over 135 different languages. All Alliance members are dynamic, diverse and inclusive, creating places where youth discover who they are. At DAVA, 90% of our youth report having more respect for young people of other cultures, races or ethnic groups after participating in our programs. Susan: We actively break down barriers to the arts. We work with big ideas and concepts that don’t fit neatly into traditional education. And we provide a place where youth can “dance outside the lines” and learn ways of learning and skill development that they otherwise would not have been exposed to. These spaces are transformational. We tell youth, “You belong here. Where you take it is your own choice. But what you learn through the arts, you have forever, and no one can take it away from you.” We have gallery exhibits, spaces to preform, spaces that operates as a connectors to the community. Our boundaries are permeable. We are always looking for ways to advance our youth programming—across all the arts and in all sectors. We acknowledge that we are all a part of a connected web.

Youth create “Spread-the-Word” of positivity in the Sun Valley Neighborhood.

ArtS Street

Interns record a poem for their Journey2Unity podcast.

Folklorico students performing at Carbondale’s Dia de los Muertos celebrations. Photo credit: Jordan Curet

Aspen Santa Fe Ballet

Folklorico students performing in the Aspen Fourth of July Parade. Photo credit: Anna Stonehouse

And, most importantly, we seek to empower and develop leadership with our youth. We are youth-led and youth informed. We believe their ideas are not just worthy, but exceptional. We are concerned with the issues that are important to youth, what’s going on in their communities and lives. And we are interested in helping them realize their impact on these issues, that they can affect their future, that they can drive the conversation. Art equips youth for revolutionary thinking. Learning how to solve problems is part of planning for a future of change, and youth see it sometimes more clearly than us. Krista: All of this is challenging work, and it is changing rapidly too. It is always evolving. What is the impact of this kind of approach on young people? Krista: We provide constructive problem solving that stays with youth all their lives. And, these skills transfer into all areas of their lives and are applicable in the real world. But our outcome isn’t predictive. Because we aren’t attached to a particular outcome, we can appreciate all the great material that is simply part of the process. Susan: For many of our teens, I think they might say that the impact is the friendships and relationships they develop. It is their sense of belonging. They are experiencing multidimensional learning and through this, they form unique and healthy bonds to one another. They become a support to one another (as an entire group); and this includes the aratist teachers who often become mentors. Krista: Our grads also go on to many careers, not just arts-based careers. These include engineering, public policy, international studies… the list goes on. It could be anything. The point is, before they joined these programs, they didn’t see these careers as

an option. When in fact, they tend to be exceptionally good at pursuing a multitude of career choices. Susan: I cannot tell you how many kids come into our program who do not want to speak, they are shy, perhaps self-conscious. Yet, after a short period of time, their confidence and communication skills blossom. I have seen these same kids engage in important conversations with the same leaders and adults who used to intimidate them. What are the greatest challenges faced by Alliance organizations?

92% of youth state “I more easily see myself graduating from High School.” *

Krista: Time and money. None of us have a surplus of funds or people to do all our programming and apply for grants, go to every meeting, meet our survey deadlines, look for other funding opportunities, etc. And any community-based program is not easily funded. Especially because it is hard to quantify how what you are doing is of benefit to the community. This work is over the long-term, and its effects are not always immediately understood or appreciated. What does the future hold? Krista: As the Alliance has evolved, we have remained committed — above and beyond — to our shared, changing leadership. People have moved, shifted, changed; but we have sustained. We remain because we have an unerring belief that youth are our future. And we know that we can do something marvelous with them.

* Results of the 2017 Youth Outcomes Toolkit, evaluated by the National Research Center.

Statistics shown are “As a result of being enrolled in Alliance programs:” For more information on the Alliance, please visit: cocreativeyouthalliance.org


The summer film program for Job Training in the Arts and Technology students (left); STEAM classes (right).


48 Hours 2018: PlatteForum workshop - Coffee with Generation Z ArtLab interns created a human-centered conversation space for teens and adults during RedLine’s 48 Hours of Socially Engaged Art Conversation. The teens engaged with community leaders and explored social issues as they related to the mid-term elections.

“I was finally able to speak my truth.” An interview with Rogelio

2018 Graduate of PlatteForum’s ArtLab Internship Program

How long were you involved with ArtLab and what was your internship like? I was an ArtLab intern from early fall of 2016 to late summer of 2018. There were approximately 15 interns in my cohort. We were paid a stipend, which was useful. For me, it was not at all a driving factor. I would have gone even without the money.

90% of youth “have more respect for young people of other cultures, races or ethnic groups.” *

How did you initially find out about ArtLab? Amanda and Rebecca, from PlatteForum, came to my school during a STEM event. They were the only art-based program there, and I liked what they had to say. I appreciated their emphasis on the value of youth voice and collaboration. Also, there were no art classes at my school. I was curious.

Museo Summer Camp 2018 kids enjoying and participating in a song and dance during Michael Heralda’s presentation.

Museo de las Americas

Museo Summer Camp 2018 kids after a presentation with Michael Heralda from Aztec Stories

What was your cohort like? There were two other interns from my school, but I made great friends with many others. I don’t see them often, some have moved away, but we remain in touch. It was great to get to know students from all around Denver whom I would otherwise have never met. Do you feel like you were able to make changes or improvements to the ArtLab program? Yes. Because I was one of two youth representatives on the Board of Directors. I was able to engage in decisions and planning that affected the organization. For example, we were able to improve how current and future artists are chosen for the artist-in-residency program. The other Board Members were supportive and loved to hear about the projects we were doing with Platte Forum’s resident artists.

Drawing 101: PlatteForum ArtLab interns learning drawing composition skills with lead artist, Hannah Leathers.


ArtLab interns constructing art objects for a performance project with Resident Artist, Kyle Peets.

ArtCorps Mentoring: provides a comprehensive environment for students to explore the arts through the guidance of a professional artist.


EPIC Arts: Students explore social issues through art. Artists are matched with educators & students, resulting in an exhibition.

What I learned — and believe now — is that it is important to keep making sure that youth voice is heard. I knew my voice was representative of youth interns and that our perspective was valued. It is one of the best things about PlatteForum— they are open to what interns have to say. They are constantly taking advice from us. How did you grow through your involvement with ArtLab? I definitely wouldn’t be as vocal about social justice issues as I am today. The environment ArtLab provided was comfortable and supportive. I was finally able to speak my truth. I learned more about leadership, community organizing, and art direction. I have skills I will use for the rest of my life in a wide variety of settings and environments. The staff kept reinforcing, “you can be what you want.” We could shape our space. Also, I was able to grow and expand my voice because I observed the senior interns’ confidence while I was still a rookie. What are you doing now? I am a full-time student at CU Denver in the International Studies program. I am also taking my first official art class: Introduction to Art. I am excited about it. If it weren’t for ArtLab, art probably would never have piqued by interest. Now, forever, I will always want to learn more about art. What are your next steps? Initially, I didn’t want to get involved in anything when I started college, but now I am starting to think more about grassroots activism and community organizing. Beyond school, I want to

78% get involved with non-profits that are focused on social justice issues. While here, I report hope to get engaged in student government on campus. that they learn “I can do What would you like teachers, artists, or community members to know things I didn’t about the importance of programs like ArtLab? think I could do before.” First, for a lot of youth, the ways they try to teach us don’t always work. We are * different. Though I know that sometimes lecturing is useful and necessary, interaction is much more beneficial. I think teaching should be more hands-on. As students, we really want to experience what it is a teacher is talking about. I wish there were more programs like ArtLab. So many public high schools do not have art classes or programs. Youth need to creatively express themselves! If they can’t do it in school, and they don’t have access to any other program, where do they go? They need a way to express themselves. And, adults should listen to youth more often! Just because we’re younger doesn’t mean that our thoughts and views shouldn’t be equally valued. We are living and experiencing the world just as much as you are.

Student learning drums in the studio

Youth on Record

Fellowship Graduate working in the iMac Lab donated by Big Gigantic

About the author and designer: Mara Higgins is a graduate student in the Social Justice and Ethics program at Iliff School of Theology (Denver, Colorado). Co-currently, she is honored to have been chosen to work at PlatteForum with a nine-month long professional internship. Mara lives in Denver with her five-year-old daughter and 9-month-old puppy. In her spare time, you can find her painting in her studio, singing karaoke with her daughter, or teaching her new puppy relevant tricks (like how to not chew on electrical cords). She can be reached at m@mararosehiggins.com

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14


Lessons learned from empowering creativity in youth by Amalia Ortiz - Theatre Arts Director at SAY SÄş

I have been a teaching artist for the past 15 years. In most of my teaching artist positions, I worked in after-school programs led on public school campuses. The limitations I encountered were similar to issues I heard from public school teachers. My number one issue was being urged to teach toward standardized testing which is a huge pressure in Texas where I live. Even in an arts program, I had to justify how what I was teaching would improve test scores. I had limited control over curriculum even though I am a professional artist and know better than administrators how to perform the art. Page 29

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

But all of this is me as an artist railing against institutions controlling art practices and how it affected me. The larger issue is how those limitations impact students, which was far worse. Students were still within the confinements of their school and all its rules and practices. So, whatever kind of safe space I would try to establish, those same school energies were always still looming; fear of school “punishment,” random assignment to my class when a student didn’t want to be there, lesson planning that didn’t include students’ wants, needs, or even input. Students lack any kind of ownership of this kind of program. I tried. I listened and asked what they wanted to learn. But the administration I encountered never involved the students in planning. This was unusual for me as a theatre practitioner who has studied Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed. What immediately appealed to me about Boal’s theories and practices is I immediately identified as “the oppressed.” I grew up poor, Mexican American, and bilingual on the south Texas border. Growing up, I never saw myself reflected in mainstream media, let alone mainstream U.S. art. All of my theatre training was intensely American and European with few exceptions straight through college. At my first job as assistant theatre manager and later theatre manager at the Guadalupe Theatre in San Antonio, Texas, I had a crash course in Chicano Theatre. There, I finally

PHOTO: A scene from “La Carpa Garcia,” a play which explores the history of a vaudeville family troupe performing in San Antonio.

Page 30

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

PHOTO: A student of the future “human sculpture” in Stories Seldom Told- Less Than Equal exhibition exploring educational inequities.

saw my self reflected in art and began to want to be more than simply an actor - an empty vessel for other writers and directors to mould into characters. No, I began to see power in my own stories. One solo touring artist told me as much. “Tell your own stories.” I was in my mid-twenties. I often imagine what life would be like if I had had that revelation in middle or high school- my student’s age. Flash forward to my work now as director of theatre at SAY Sí. SAY Sí is a year-round tuition free after school arts program housed in its own facility in San Antonio, Texas. High school students choose one of four disciplines as a focus; visual arts, media arts, new media, or theatre. Here, I work with a majority Latino population and majority student population at or below the poverty level. I want these students to graduate from SAY Sí completely confident in their ability to write, direct, and produce their own plays so they secure that their voices are heard. What is different at SAY Sí is our CYD approach to arts education. FIRST OF ALL, PROGRAMS ARE YOUTH CENTERED. As I sit here writing at my desk, some of our alumni are touring students from a local high school through our facility. I hear one of my former students, Fernanda Covarrubias (now a sophomore at the University of Texas San Antonio) leading a tour. “This is the black box thePage 31

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

atre. Where ALAS has class. ALAS stands for Activating Leadership, Art and Service. We write our own plays and perform our own plays!” The excitement in her last statement is contagious. It is that simple. Students have ownership of their art. SAY Sí houses four disciplines, and the practices I mention are accepted center wide. But my focus is on my theatre studio, the ALAS (Activating Leadership, Art & Service) theatre program. All of our plays at the high school level and most of the middle school plays are student-written and usually created through devised theatre. Our past seasons have featured culturally and regionally specific themes and characters. For example in our last production, “Napako: Our Journey,” students studied the White Shaman Panel and created a movement-based performance of native creation mythology. This four-year project began with students’ desire to create a water conservation themed show. An expert on the panel, and Native American cultural specialist, Gary Perez became a key visiting artist, inspiring not only a play, but an interactive augmented reality mural created in collaboration by visual arts and new media students. PROJECTS ARE COLLABORATIVE. As in the mural project, students have opportunities to work outside of their disciplines with students from other studios. Every year, students are challenged to combine their disciplines to create interactive installation art in SAY Sí’s annual Stories Seldom Told exhibit. Students choose the theme each year after extensive discussion of which topics they show the most interest. These are narrowed down and eventually put to a vote. THERE IS A COMMITMENT TO LONG TERM, PROJECT-BASED LEARNING. After the topic of Stories Seldom Told is chosen, teaching artists and students begin weeks of research before students pitch their ideas in collaborative artist proposals. Such a huge amount of thought, discussion, and time is put into each project before a single physical piece of art is created. I think back on my previous after school program experiences when daily projects were favored due to the instability in attendance which made long-term projects difficult if not impossible. To me this felt kin to babysitting. Real craft requires commitment. SAY Sí students learn they have to research and edit. They see the payoff when their shows are finally staged. They challenge me as their producer, and if they can artistically defend their choices, they win. All of those lesson take time. Our year-long program allows me get to know them all pretty well. I can tell when they are

Page 32

PHOTO: “La Carpa Garcia” was created from interviews with the actual Garcia family. Students reenact those interviews.

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

truly engaged and when they are phoning it in. When there are issues, it is time to ask them to be truthful about what is and is not working for them to remain engaged. In addition to projects, students connect with instructors long-term as students (potentially up to 7 years) as well as beyond through our alumni opportunities. This kind of relationship building is key to lifelong impact. SOCIAL JUSTICE IS AT THE CENTER OF STUDENT WORK. Facing me on the wall above my desk is the description from the SAY Sí website of the ALAS theatre company. The first paragraph describes the discipline of theatre and centers youth voice as creators of original work. The second paragraph emphasizes collaboration as well as youth ownership of the art. The last paragraph describes the need for students to create art exploring social justice. When ever I have questions about a project, I return to those goals stated in ALAS’ mission. While I do assign readings on social justice thought, I do not lecture on my definition of social justice. But rather, I try to open discussion on injustices which affect the students directly.

Page 33

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Our classes begin with the daily ritual of creating a circle and checking in with one another. Everyone has a moment to reflect and speak on how they are feeling that day. As a facilitator, I begin to see patterns. I can tell when a student is not their usual self. I advise them to really reflect and share when they are experiencing the highs and lows of life and try to communicate those feelings. Those emotions and moments can power later performances, I tell them. Out of these daily check-ins, discussion often drifts to the student’s struggles. More than one performance has been inspired by themes shared in our circle. STUDENTS MUST DEVELOP CRITICAL SKILLS. Although each voice is valued, students are taught to be critical in refining their art. One of our strongest tools for critical review and reflection is Liz Lerman’s Critical Response Process, a four-step method for facilitated group feedback. For every theatre production, we schedule two Critical Response Performances (CRP) for SAY Sí students and staff only. One CRP is usually scheduled early in the rehearsal process, aimed at critiquing the writing of the play. The second CRP is usually the last dress rehearsal. After the presentation of the workin-progress, performers, directors and SAY Sí staff and students participate in the facilitated critical discussion. Meaningful production changes often come from those discussions. Students learn to give and take criticism with respect and grace. Peer to peer feedback often impacts students deeper than feedback from their instructors. YOUTH ARE EMPLOYED ALONGSIDE ADULTS. Peer learning makes all the difference in our middle school program, Working Artists and Mentors (WAM). WAM hires mentors from our high school program to assist in middle school classes. Most recently, high school ALAS students wrote Día de los Muertos plays for the WAM classes. Mentors took feedback directly from the middle school students to edit the plays and then mentors directed the middle school plays. This is just one example of youth being employed to lead other youth here at SAY Sí. The tour has left the black box, and I become aware I need pictures for this article. I jump up to follow Fernanda who has lead the visiting high school students through the visual arts studio. She herds them through our student “bistro” towards the woodshop. One student asks about the snacks sold in the bistro. “You just ate a sandwich! You’re not hungry!” Fernanda kids more like a big sister than a teacher. The group laughs. Fernanda is another example of SAY Sí’s lifelong commitment to alumni. Fernanda is an instructor for the Artist Building Communities (ABC) program which hires alumni to lead elementary students in off-site workshops combining cultural history with art.

Page 34

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

The community built here fosters young people to continue the practices they learn here to create new communities wherever they go like a web that continues to spread. I see Fernanda starting out as a teaching artist and come full circle back to the teaching artist I was when I first taught an after school program. I know she will encounter some of the same limitations I did, but I also know, thanks to her experiences at SAY Sí, she is better prepared to deal with them.

Amalia Ortiz is a performance-poet, actor and playwright with a BA in Theatre from UIW and an MFA in Creative Writing from UTRGV. She appeared on three seasons of Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry on HBO. Amalia’s book of poetry, Rant. Chant. Chisme. was selected by NBC Latino as one of “10 Great Latino Books of 2015” and it won the Writers’ League of the Texas 2015 Poetry Discovery Prize. She founded the poetry performance troupe Women of Ill Repute: Refute! which raises money and awareness for the Rape Crisis Center. She was chosen to speak at TEDx McAllen in 2015, and has been awarded the Alfredo Cisneros Del Moral Foundation Grant created by Sandra Cisneros and a writing residency at the National Hispanic Cultural Center. She is a CantoMundo Fellow and a Hedgebrook writer-in-residence alumna. Amalia has appeared on the NAACP Image Awards on FOX and starred in the indie film, Speeder Kills.

SAY Sí ignites the creative power of young people as forces of positive change. They value artists, empower marginalized communities* and advance culture. Their vision is that all young people have equitable access to opportunities to develop their worldview and creative potential, empowering them to live rich, full lives and develop the critical learning and life skills they need to become active contributors to their communities. *SAY Sí defines marginalized communities as people of color, women, LGBT+, and the economically disadvantaged. Page 35

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

CREATIVE YOUTH DEVELOPMENT AT THE HEART OF SOCIAL & EMOTIONAL LEARNING by Kim Sabo Flores Thirty years ago I began my career as an evaluator. As I reflect on my journey, this seems like a shocking turn of events, given that my original career path and passion was the theater. I won’t bother with a long history of how I got from there to here, but I will say that everything I learned through the arts is at the very core of my character and values. And what I learned in theater ultimately framed my understanding of both youth and human development. From the start, most of my evaluation clients were youth arts and media programs. In the beginning my job was challenging because we had few ways of measuring, or even thinking about the multi-layered outcomes occurring for youth in these types of programs. And in the early 90s many funders and donors became very interested in the impact of the arts on school grades, attendance, positive behavior, etc. Yet none of those outcomes spoke to the hearts, minds, and passions of youth workers and teaching artists, and few wanted to be held accountable for outcomes that were beyond their control. Academic success was one of the few concrete metrics that funders and donors could wrap their arms around. And there were simply no other research-based outcomes that spoke to the development of the whole child: their confidence, emotions, creativity and innovation, critical thinking and problem solving, communication skills, and collaboration. The outcomes that mattered most to those running arts-based programs. Thankfully, we are now in a new and exciting era for arts-based program evaluation, with mounting research in the areas of social and emotional learning, whole child development, and noncognitive and 21st century learning. I have been a passionate champion of these outcomes and their use within arts and youth development programs because I know they are a game changer. They offer a “north star” that speaks to the heart of what most arts-based organizations are trying to achieve and truly represents the types of growth we hope youth experience in programs. MorePage 36

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

over, we are now finding that these capacities are in fact more predictive of academic success, college and career readiness and life-long thriving than school grades!

There are a number of wonderful research-based validated measurement tools available today, all making the case that if we move the needle on social and emotional learning then we are contributing to a young person’s lifelong thriving. This is a thrilling turn of events and a critical step forward for arts-focused evaluation and research. However, while there are many tools on the market, few small nonprofits have the time and resources to deploy such tools and/or they have very limited capacity to process and analyze this type of data quickly enough to identify and implement critical improvements in “real-time” and tailor their programs to the specific youth they are working with. That’s why I co-founded Algorhythm, an “impact science” company that combines rigorous research and evaluation methods, next generation analytics, and real-time technologies to ensure nonprofits have the knowledge, tools, and learning processes that will help them meet their mission.

Over the past five years Algorhythm has worked in collaboration with our more than 500 nonprofit members to create an evaluation and learning platform called Hello Insight that helps all types of programs, and especially those that have limited evaluation budgets, to measure social and emotional learning outcomes. Hello Insight’s robust online platform automates pre/post data collection, entry, and analysis. At the start of a program staff learn about young people’s unique strengths and areas of challenge and receive targeted recommendations for how to best support their SEL development. And at the end of a program, beautifully-designed, accessible reports highlight young people’s growth patterns and include critical reflections from youth themselves about the quality of their program experiences. Currently over 40,000 youth are using our tools and resources and we continue to learn more about what works. We believe that, when we work together as a collective, evaluation becomes more accessible, powerful, and empowering. Hello Insight includes a number of SEL-based evaluation tools tailored to different types of programs including college and career readiness, writing and self reflection, sports-based youth development, and youth leadership and action. This year, in partnership with LeAP, Build, Dream Yard, and Youth INC, we created a new tool specifically tailored to arts-based programs that can be used to measure The Partnership For 21st Century Learning 4 Cs (Creativity, Collaboration, Communication, Critical Thinking and Love of Learning). While this tool is our newest, we have already begun to learn about the power of arts-based youth programs.

Page 37

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

In particular, we have seen that many of our members engage four key strategies that are particularly strong in promoting key SEL outcomes:

1. Prioritizing Youth. It is important for staff to build positive relationships with youth: set high expectations for them, ask them about their passions and life experiences and invite them to bring these into the program, and engage in meaningful decision-making. These types of relationships have been shown to increase positive outcomes for youth1. And, in fact, in a recent blog about Hello Insight findings we showed that building strong youth/ adult relationships was the greatest predictor of growth in SEL skills. In many arts-based programs youth create art, music, videos, sculptures, and more about their experiences, lives, and emotions. In this way, the arts provide a unique opportunity for youth to bring their “whole selves” to a program. Arts programs also provide a unique opportunity for youth Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books. Larson, R.W., & Dawes, N.P. (In press). How to cultivate adolescents’ motivation: Effective strategies employed by the professional staff of American youth programs. In S. Joseph (Ed.), Positive psychology in practice. New York: Wiley. Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (2011). Adolescent thriving: The role of sparks, relationships, and empowerment. Journal of youth and adolescence, 40(3), 263-277


Page 38

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

to stretch and grow beyond their typically prescribed roles. Youth are often related to as professionals, from the moment they walk in the door. One staff member from Educational Video Center explains: “They aren’t students anymore; they are producers. It doesn’t look like a school. This is a place of work, creativity, and unity. I want them to feel like they are not amateur students making a product.” This allows youth to stretch beyond their current skills, to step outside their usual roles and learn that there are other ways of being. As we grow older, there are fewer and fewer opportunities to creatively imitate and be related to in advance of your skill level or development. As Shirley Brice Heath points out in her research on arts programs2, “young people live their lives in institutions that insist they ‘behave’ and perform the roles allotted them. There are few environments in which youth can “act outside the constraints of the expected role of student or the structure of curricular and extra-curricular requirements” (p. 39). The arts are one outstanding exception to this rule.

2. Interest Exploration. Arts programs also provide safe opportunities for interest exploration, allowing youth to take risks, explore new possibilities, and persist through challenges. Youth explore a wide range of topics from the artform itself to careers (in front of and behind the scenes) or they merely begin to love the creative process and the collaboration that is inherent in this work. A key skill for career readiness in today’s world. Learning to explore and follow your passions is a key element of their development3.

3. Peer to Peer Learning. Arts programs are extremely collaborative and require diverse youth to work together on various projects. One of our members intentionally brings youth together from different communities to work on projects. Staff engage youth in an inquiry process that sheds light on their various backgrounds and life experiences. Together, they discuss the issues that youth struggle with and incorporate their personal stories into the Page 39

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

project. When youth engage with diverse peers, we see their SEL scores skyrocket4.

4. Goal Management. Every art project requires goals and goal management. Supporting youth to set their own path forward is key to creating a successful life. Youth learn that their plans often need multiple strategies and that, when something unexpected occurs, they need to shift gears. One of our members uses the mantra “there are no mistakes in art”, a rallying call that truly promotes what Carol Dweck would call a growth mindset: the ability to take on tough tasks, persist through challenges and relate to mistakes as learning5. As more creative youth development programs join our community, we are excited to learn more together. Young people are dynamic and full of promise, with many different pathways to success. Our goal is to learn more about each of their journeys and share those findings to do our part to help strengthen the youth development field. Kim Sabo Flores has dedicated her career to developing innovative strategies to make evaluation processes and products both useful and accessible for all. Drawing upon her training in developmental and environmental psychology, she has introduced hundreds of adults and young people, their programs and communities to the empowering impact of sustained participation, reflection and evaluation. Her unique approach highlights the developmental nature of evaluation for youth, staff, organizations, donors/foundations and communities. 1999. ArtShow. Director. Documentary video produced for Partners for Livable Communities and for distribution to PBS. 56min. 40 sec. [Winner of Gold Award, Worldfest Video and Film Festival, Houston, 2000; Winner of Chris Award, 2000].


CASEL and Committee for Children Host Congressional Briefing on SEL and Employability Skills. http://www.casel.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/09/ Sept.-14-2016-Congressional-Briefing-on-SEL-and-Employability-Skills.pdf


Anderson, L.M., Laguarda, K.G., & Fabiano, L. (2007). The City Year alumni studies: Summary of findings. Retrieved from http://www.policystudies. com/ _policystudies.com/files/City_Year_Alumni_Studies_Summary.pdf.


Dweck, C. (2006). Mindset: The new psychology of success. New York: Ballantine Books. Larson, R.W., & Dawes, N.P. (In press). How to cultivate adolescents’ motivation: Effective strategies employed by the professional staff of American youth programs. In S. Joseph (Ed.), Positive psychology in practice. New York: Wiley. Scales, P. C., Benson, P. L., & Roehlkepartain, E. C. (2011). Adolescent thriving: The role of sparks, relationships, and empowerment. Journal of youth and adolescence, 40(3), 263-277


Page 40

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

RESOURCE LIST TO EXPLORE Creative Youth Development Partnership Alliance for Creative Youth Development TO READ Blogs Brainpickings - Hannah Arendt on Love and How to Live with the Fundamental Fear of Loss Arts Education Policy Review - The Rise of Creative Youth Development by Denise Montgomery Education Commission of the States & Arts Education Partnership - EDUCATION TRENDS: Creative Youth Development: Transforming the Learning Environment Guild Notes - Achieving Positive Outcomes for Youth: CYD and Cross-Sector Collaboration National Summit on Creative Youth Development - Setting the Agenda Books bell hooks - Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom Lavinia Roberts - A Little Drama: Playful Activities for Young Children Shawn Ginwright - Hope and Healing in Urban Education: How Urban Activists and Teachers are Reclaiming Matters of the Heart Zaretta Hammond - Culturally Responsive Teaching & The Brain TO PUT INTO PRACTICE Arts Corps - Social Justice Framework, Tools & Resources Boston Youth Arts Evaluation Project - Handbook & Workbook Creative Youth Development Partnership - CYD National Action Blueprint Creative Youth Development Partnership - How CYD Aligns with Allied Youth Sectors Mosaic Youth Theater of Detroit - The Mosaic Model for Youth Development through the Arts Urban Arts Partnership - FRESH ED Field Guide to Culturally Responsive Pedagogy Wallace Foundation - Something to Say: Success Principles for Afterschool Arts Programs from Urban Youth and Other Experts TO WATCH Designing for Engagement: The Benefits of High Quality Arts Programming for Tweens

Page 41

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Regional updates LOS ANGELES CREATIVITY IN THE CLASSROOM – Transforming Practice is a series of five engaging, experiential workshops for classroom teachers, teaching artists, and community members at all levels of practice. Teachers will gain skills and immediately-applicable classroom strategies needed to seamlessly integrate the visual and performing arts disciplines into core academic content areas including ELA, ELD, Math, Science, and Social Studies. Participants will increase their knowledge of arts media, drawing, painting, ceramics, dance, music, poetry, storytelling, and play-making. Explicit connections are made to standards frameworks including Common Core, VAPA, and National Core Arts. Current research into the brain is examined as it applies to academic and arts learning, socially-emotionally responsive teaching practices, and classroom management. Emphasis is placed on creating a supportive learning environment, as well as personal growth through the arts. WHEN and WHERE: Five Saturdays: March 9, 16 & 23, April 6, and May 4, 2019 Time: 8:30am – 5:30pm Place: All workshops are held at Inner-City Arts’ beautiful and secure campus, 720 Kohler St. LA, CA 90021

TO REGISTER: Go to http://www.inner-cityarts.org/citc

Page 42

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

UNITED STATES Dale Davis steps down from Association of Teaching Artists After twenty years developing and serving the Association of Teaching Artists (ATA) as one of the founders in 1998, as the first Executive Director from 2006 to 2018, as administrator and editor of this listserv since it began in 2002, and as the administrator and editor of ATA’S Facebook page since it began, Dale Davis is moving on to new challenges. Dale is launching THE ARTIST AS EDUCATOR https://www.theartistaseducator.com/ as a place to explore artists as educators through their contributions to education, to communities, and to culture. You can learn more about THE ARTIST AS EDUCATOR through the following links: “Like” the Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/The-Artist-as-Educator-1737755239673018/ Subscribe to the bi-monthly email digest: https://www.theartistaseducator.com/the-artist-as-educator-a-bimonthly-digest-of-readings/

NEBRASKA (NEBRASKA) State Arts Advocacy - SUCCESS! Advocates from across the state were able to share their love for the arts with state senators on February 7th. This year’s event had training, issue briefs, and attendees were able to cross the Rotunda to meet their senators. Thank you to everyone who participated in this year’s event and informing policymakers about the impact the arts have on our communities. The Nebraska Arts Council’s online grant application portal is open to apply for: Mini Grants,Artists in Schools and Communities Grants,Nebraska Touring Program Grants, School Bus for the Arts, andArts Accessibility Grants. You can find information about each grant category at theNebraska Arts Council’s website. If you’re unsure of where your project or organization best fits, please contact the NAC office (402-595-2122) and they will help guide you.

Page 43

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

MID ATLANTIC TAMA is a united voice for Teaching Artists of the Mid-Atlantic. We represent different art forms, and each artist brings a unique set of gifts to the TAMA community. We continue to build meaningful relationships with Teaching Artists across the region. TAMA began in Maryland and now stretches into Pennsylvania and New Jersey, and we have begun to make connections in West Virginia, Virginia, the District of Columbia, Delaware and New York, weaving through small, local communities, Iike LeHigh Valley in Pennsylvania, and extending deep into bustling metropolitan areas. Our aim is to show up for the professional Teaching Artist - connecting, celebrating, servicing, collaborating, and advancing our field in the local community, as a region, and, by partnering with organizations like the Teaching Artist Guild and the Association of Teaching Artists, on the national front line. We have demonstrated agency, most notably in our origin state of Maryland; and as TAMA grows it’s footprint, we gain influence. The field of Teaching Artistry is stronger locally, regionally and nationally through this collective sphere of influence!

Join us at our next Quarterly Member Meeting and Professional Development Workshops on Monday, April 8 from 10AM-2PM at the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. A big thank you to Wincey Terry-Bryant, TAMA’s New Jersey State Director, for organizing the event, and to NJPAC, our venue host! Our space can only hold 25 participants, so RSVP Today! If you are unable to meet in person, we encourage you to join us online via Zoom for the Member Meeting (11:30AM-12:30). Register if you plan to participate online so that we can get zoom login link to you before the meeting! As TAMA defines our organization, we invite our members to share their needs, interests and expectations. Take a moment to complete this survey today! Email us if you are interested in joining our growing TAMA board as a State Director or Local Coordinator. We seek applicants who want to raise the influence of the Teaching Artist localPage 44 ly, regionally and nationally.

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

NEW YORK 2019 Arts in Education Job Fair Date: Thursday, May 9, 2019 Time: 4pm - 7pm Location: Borough of Manhattan Community College - Richard Harris Terrace, 199 Chambers Street, New York, NY 10007 Community-Word Project, New York City Arts in Education Roundtable, and the Borough of Manhattan Community College present the 2019 Arts in Education Job Fair. This May, numerous arts education and cultural organizations from across NYC will come together to engage arts administrators, teaching artists, interns, and students looking to break into the arts in education field. Interested individuals will have the opportunity to learn about organizations and speak with their representatives at fair tables. Attire: Business casual. REGISTER HERE.

PHOTO: Teaching Artists of the Mid Atlantic at a recent meetup.

Page 45

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14




What is the Asset Map and Why? The vital work of Teaching Artists has historically been undertaken in a wide range of settings, with diverse types of participants, and often by those working in isolation or with limited resources in far-flung communities throughout the country. TAG is dedicated to making visible the underrepresented work of Teaching Artists and to capturing the breadth and depth of the Teaching Artist field on a national scale. The Asset Map serves the field by mapping: Where are Teaching Artists and organizations working? Who is being served, and how equitably? How do we find each other? It articulates and deepens understanding of the field at large, maps and promotes the work of teaching artists, enables partnerships to grow, and build connections regionally and inter-regionally in a field that has been traditionally disconnected and siloed in regional pockets. Page 46

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

How? The Mapping tool does this by connecting individual Teaching Artists and organizations to the resources and networks they need, and helps determine which populations are being served – or not being served – enabling a more comprehensive study of equity and access to arts education. The map reveals the depth of Teaching Artists’ work in regional hubs but also the scope of work across the country. It has the potential to link individuals and communities across geographic lines, provide bridges for those relocating to new areas, and to strengthen the national community by facilitating linkages between work happening in different locations. At the beginning of the project Eric Booth, ‘godfather of the field of teaching artistry’ and TAG National Advisory Committee, articulated: “The Asset Mapping project… would be a field-changing contribution to teaching artistry. Perennially disconnected, almost invisible, and having far less voice and influence than it should have, given its size and skill, the field of teaching artistry has languished as a national player. The Asset Mapping project would provide a structure, focus, toolkit, clarification of identity, and sheer surge of collaborative energy, that would catalyze long-stalled advances for the field.” After three years of development, we are delighted to finally launch this essential resource.

HOW DOES IT WORK? The interactive, multi-layered map is available to anyone online at: teachingartistsguild.org/ asset-map. The map houses account profiles to showcase: 1) Individual Teaching Artists, 2) Organizations, and 3) Programs, in addition to “field assets” – the institutions or people that support the work of teaching arts as funders, field leadership, or through professional development. Users can search or filter the map by area, asset type, art form, experience level, populations served and more. Any individual, organization, or program can be registered on the map in as little as three minutes.

Page 47

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

WHO CAN USE THIS MAP? The map is designed to serve the entire field of teaching artistry and was designed with key constituents in mind: Teaching Artists Teaching Artists that add themselves to the map are able to highlight their professional experience, showcase a compelling visual history of their work, and link their profile to their professional website. The map makes it possible to see how the Teaching Artist is networked to other TAs, hiring organizations, partners, and projects. Teaching Artists with profiles make it easier for nearby employers to find them based on their specific skills and experience level. Teaching Artists can search hiring organizations or other TAs by discipline, program type, and locations served. Organizations The organizations that hire and work with Teaching Artists are able to display information about their programs and the Teaching Artists they work with. By submitting “Programs” as unique assets on the map - organizations are able to illustrate where the work is being done and by whom. They are able to highlight their teaching artist faculty, partnerships, active work, showcase a compelling visual history of their program activities and reach in the community, and link their profile to a website. Organizations can search for Teaching Artists by program experience (for example after-school, in-school, or populations served). They can identify potential partners and program recipients. Advocates, researchers, policymaker, field assets, and allies Partnering organizations – such as schools or community centers – that host or directly benefit from a teaching artist program can use the map to make strategic choices about partnerships. Advocates, researchers, and policy makers will use the map in order to determine which populations are being served, how they are served, and to what extent in order to gain a picture of equity and access in the field. Field assets – such as institutions or people that support the work of teaching arts as funders, field leadership, or through professional development – are able to add themselves to the map and gain a full picture of impact, resources, and networks.

Take a look Users can find the map at teachingartistsguild. org/asset-map or in the drop-down menu on TAG’s website. Here, it will prompt users to create a profile or simply to go directly to the map. Page 48

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Creating a profile is fast and easy with the guidelines provided:

On the map page users can see the breadth of work happening across the country! Small dots represent Teaching Artists, circles represent organizations, and large dots represent the programs implemented by organizations. Each is color-coded according to discipline and asset type.

Users can use the search fields at the left of the map to implement a number of search filters, or can click to zoom in on a particular region of the map for more detail:

Whether at a wide angle or zoomed into a regional hub, the user can use search filters or simply click on an asset for a quick view of a particular profile:

Page 49

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Official launch and regions participating thus far The map was beta-tested in the San Francisco Bay Area, Chicago, and New York and is quickly gaining momentum across the country. The official launch of the map was November 14 and we are excited to announce that early adopters include communities in Portland, Oregon, Seattle, Washington, in California (Santa Cruz, Sacramento, San Diego), and the state of Vermont. If you would like to build participation in your state or region with existing data or by sharing the project in your network, please reach out to us at membership@teachingartistsguild.org This project is based on gathering existing datasets that are shared with us by partners and other networks, and by individuals adding themselves and their organizations. Let’s build a network of us!

History The idea of some kind of directory, and better yet, and interactive map of the field, has been incubating for some time, and thanks goes out to many early and important thought partners, including, our first work group team: Adam Johnston, Eric Booth, Kai Fierle-Hedrick, Lynn Johnson, Tina LaPadula, Jessica Mele, Lindsey Buller-Maliekel, and Nicole Ripley. After working together on the Teaching Artists Manifesto out of a National Guild for Community Arts Education conference, we came together to figure out a next best step for our community, and the idea was born. Initial research for the project began in 2014 in partnership with athis group of advisors from across the United States. Funding from Aroha Philanthropies in 2015 paved the way for the initial research report and data flow and allowed us to seek further funding for the project. We received generous support from the Stuart Foundation, the Walter and Elise Haas Fund, the Clarence E. Heller Charitable Foundation, and the California Arts Council in the initial build out and data collection, resulting in the Map you can visit and add yourself to now. Page 50

Teaching Artists Guild Quarterly: Issue 14

Put your asset on the map! Please join us on the TAG Asset Map and help bring our field together by showing what you do in the arts education ecosystem. It’s easy to get started. All you need to begin is: Your name, email address, art form, a brief bio/description, and a photo to upload. We invite every individual and organization in the TA ecosystem to join us today! Find the map at: teachingartistsguild.org/asset-map


Page 51