For Teaching Artists

One of the greatest strengths of our Arts Education programs is our Teaching Artists. Each one is an accomplished artist, performer or musician with strong classroom teaching experience, amazing skills of patience and humor and love of teaching youth. Because of the intimate class size and yearlong involvement, students easily develop meaningful mentor relationships with our Teaching Artists.

Sign up here for the Teaching Artist mailing list.

Already one of our Teaching Artists? We provide resources to deepen your knowledge in arts education.

Interested in becoming one of these exceptional instructors? You’ll find information below to help you get started.

Teaching Artist Gatherings

Teaching Artist Gatherings this year are led by some of our MASTER teaching Artists, and focus on different themes or topics for discussion each evening. The format is a casual potluck and emphasizes a democratic learning environment, with some planned activities and impromptu dialogue.
Teaching Artist Gatherings are aimed at creating connections between artists, teaching artists, educators, and those who are interested in the roles artists play in educating youth. Each evening will have a different theme or topic for discussion.
Our goals include:
  • Sharing a common language and definitions around best practice for arts education.
  • Building personal and professional communities for teaching artists.
  • Deep experiential learning in various topics of need and interest.
Please join fellow Teaching Artists for connection, fun, and frivolity. Bring a yummy dish or beverage to share, and your sparkling personality!

For Established Teaching Artists

Do you need a Teaching Artist Directory Renewal Form?
Click to download either a Word or PDF version. We prefer the PDF format, but Word is included for your convenience. Instructions are included. Remember to save the document using “Save As” to your computer and include your name in the title.

For Aspiring Teaching Artists

Get started by submitting a Teaching Artist Application. It’s easy.
Click to download either a Word or PDF version of the application. We prefer the PDF format, but Word is included for your convenience. The instructions are included. Be sure to save the document using “Save As” to your computer and include your name in the title.


Santa Cruz County Schools
Download the PDF of Santa Cruz County schools and appropriate contacts for Teaching Artists.

Visual and Performing Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools (CA VAPA)
Download the PDF for PK – Grade Twelve

California State Board of Education Visual and Performing Arts Framework
Download the PDF for K – Grade Twelve

Teaching Arts Organizations

Teaching Artists Support Collaborative of California (TASC)
TASC is comprised of organizations and individuals who believe that Teaching Artists can and should play a front-line role in engaging Californians in lifelong learning. The network includes teaching artists and arts administrators with varying years of experience and expertise representing regional arts organizations, educational settings, and community social service organizations from across the state. TASC of California is a collaborative of Teaching Artists and the organizations that hire, train, and support them.
Visit their website

Visual Thinking Strategies
VTS teaching method and school curriculum centers on open-ended yet highly-structured discussions of visual art, significantly increasing students’ critical thinking, language and literacy skills along the way.
Through VTS training programs for schools and museums, educators learn to facilitate student-centered discussions, engage learners in a rigorous process of examination and meaning-making through visual art that has been carefully selected for age and developmental appropriateness.

Visit their website

Americans for the Arts Youth Arts Toolkit
The Americans for the Arts YouthARTS website site is designed to give arts agencies, juvenile justice agencies, social service organizations, and other community-based organizations detailed information about how to plan, run, provide training, and evaluate arts programs for at-risk youth.

Their contains many lessons learned by the consortium of arts agencies that make up YouthARTS in Portland, San Antonio, and Atlanta about establishing, maintaining, and evaluating arts programs for youth at risk.
Visit their website
Download a PDF of the Toolkit

Recent Research in Arts Education