Teaching Artists


Grant Name:  Teaching Artists
Funded by:  Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation
Awarded:  December, 2012
Amount:  $250,000.00

A teaching artist (artist ­educator) is a practicing professional artist with the complementary skills and sensibilities of an educator, who engages people in learning experiences in, through, and about the arts.“  Eric Booth

This grant will support expansion of the framework being built by the Center for Arts and Education to provide innovative programming and professional development to educators, students, administrators, University personnel, and teaching artists.  Specifically, this grant will address the need for strong professional development for teaching artists related to pedagogical and instructional skill; these skill sets include classroom/behavior management, material and procedural organization, diverse student populations and needs, and an understanding of universal design principles, lesson effectiveness, and standards-based education.  Further, this grant will provide support for the PK-12 Education Environment to best utilize and support teaching artists.  Additionally, the teaching-artist will provide the expertise on the needed curriculum components in teacher education programs; working along-side pre-service teachers, units of instruction for how general education teachers can work with, and capitalize on, the inclusion of teaching-artists in the classroom.

Key to the success of the Center and this proposed project is the extensive network of collaborations and partnerships both internally on the West Liberty University campus and externally at the local, state and national levels. As indicated below, the list of partners well-establishes the work of the Center to work directly with teaching artists and the schools.  This grant project will draw upon the artists within these organizations to capitalize on the opportunities for professional development, the creation of a network of support, and, the development of school-based personnel to best utilize and partner with teaching artists.

  • Andy Warhol Museum
  • Arts Education Collaborative
  • Center for Excellence in Disabilities
  • Children’s Discover Center
  • Children’s Museum of the Ohio Valley
  • Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh
  • Create Lab at the CMU Robotics Institute
  • IU1 Center for Creativity, Arts & Technology
  • John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts
  • LeMoyne Center, Washington, PA
  • Saturday Light Brigade, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Shady Lane School, Pittsburgh, PA
  • Weir High School, Hancock County Schools
  • Wheeling Middle School, Ohio County Schools
  • West Virginia Department of Education
  • Wheeling Youth Symphony Orchestra
  • Carnegie Hall
  • Gateway to the Arts
  • Tucker Valley Elementary/Middle School
  • St Michael’s School

“The practice of teachers in classrooms is what matters most when it comes to students learning in school. The principle strategies of school reform — ‘higher’ standards, school and teacher ‘accountability’, intensified testing, and ‘choice’ — may affect teacher practice indirectly, but the relatively poor record of school reform over the last three decades, especially in schools serving low-income students, suggests that those strategies are of no great consequence to the quality of teaching. They may even be counterproductive. Could arts education and teaching artists — artist/educators who have entered schools in significant numbers in the last three decades, after more than a century of educational work in other kinds of community venues — be a strategy for improving the quality of teaching in American schools? My three-year study of teaching artists suggests that the answer to that question is likely to be yes.”