Friday, May 28, 2010

Baseball Hero

Beyond Baseball: The Life of Roberto Clemente is a website maintained by the Smithsonian. The classroom portion of the site introduces students and teachers to the famous baseball player and humanitarian through visual arts, drama, and language arts exercises. Of course, it's free, and we like that.
Download the curriculum guide
Adobe Acrobat Required
Grades 6-8.

Also: It's Friday and ATA is on Facebook with all the other teaching artists. Are you still there?

Thursday, May 27, 2010


Teaching Artists who are looking to develop themselves professionally might want to check out Moore College of Art & Design's Teachers Summer Institute, which starts on June 27th, in Philadelphia.

It's an annual residential program and the theme this year is Recharge, Refocus, Reconnect.

Registration information is available online. Details below:

Under the guidance of exceptional teaching artists in painting, printmaking, ceramics, and photography, art educators are given the support and facilities to revitalize and advance their individual studio skills while collaborating with colleagues in designing inventive classroom applications. Curators from the Barnes Foundation will lead daily seminars dealing with issues in modern art and how to relate them to the issues of young people. Add to this Moore’s highly respected gallery program and access to the city’s vital contemporary arts venues, and you’ve got a dynamic framework for introducing new opportunities for teachers to connect with youth in the classroom.

The Teachers Summer Institute 2010 runs June 27– July 3 at Moore College of Art & Design, 20th Street and The Parkway, Philadelphia, PA 19103. The annual program draws art educators from as far away as Florida and Massachusetts. Participants earn graduate–level credit. For more information, visit, e-mail or call 215-965-4030.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010


 NYC Cycling Map Teaching Artists who ride their bikes to work may already have noticed that it is now possible to ride the length of Manhattan along the Hudson River Greenway, from downtown all the way to the GW Bridge.

New York City's Bicycle Network Development program works to reduce congestion by promoting cycling in New York City

Get your copy of the NYC Cycling Map. It's FREE!

2010 Citywide Cycling Map:

The PDF 2010 NYC Cycling Map is available in PDF format as one complete map (4.1 MB).

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


MOMA's spectacular special exhibition of work by William Kentridge ended on May 17th, but the family study guide is still available online. The document suggests fun ways that adults and children can engage with, and respond to, Kentridge's art work.

Kentridge's reading of Nikolai Gogol's "the Nose", a story about a man who finds his nose has jumped off of his face to live a life of its own, inspired the artist to create the multimedia piece "Performance 8: William Kentridge: I am not me, the horse is not mine." In MOMA's guide, children and adults are instructed to "draw your own picture of a nose character in action. explain to your friend or family member what the nose is doing in your drawing." 

Download the guide, with a click, here (pdf).

View the multimedia site here.

I'm off to find a pencil.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Shape Up

Teaching artists have to keep in shape, because we are always on the go. Those who live in New York City can now take advantage of a new fitness initiative sponsored by the Parks Department. Free fitness classes are offered at public recreation centers in all five boroughs. The best things in life are free things, it is true.

Details and links are below:

Shaping Up has never been this easy! Starting May 17, Shape Up NYC will be offering FREE fitness classes every week at dozens of NEW locations across the five boroughs. Shape Up NYC classes are taught by expert fitness instructors who know how to make fitness fun. Class offerings are varied and include aerobics, yoga, pilates and zumba. No pre-registration is required, so just find the location in your neighborhood and start to Shape Up today!

Happy Monday!

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Real Deal

Over at Crain's New York Business, ace arts reporter Miriam Kreinin Souccar points out that City-funded cultural institutions should expect cuts of up to 40%. If cultural institutions are forced to scale down,  teaching artist jobs will be collateral damage.

Crain's New York Business, 5/16/10 
"The Queens Botanical Garden could be forced to cut its hours during the summer and to close down for part of the winter, and it just started charging admission fees for the first time. The New York Hall of Science may have to cancel its spring and summer exhibits next season. And the Public Theater is considering shortening its free Shakespeare in the Park season to six weeks from eight..."

Plus: Find information for your whole job search including free resume templates and tips at CV Tips. 

Plus: Join ATA on Facebook, that's where we hang out.

Also:  The Fab Four - Get Back (rooftop version)

Thursday, May 20, 2010


The scary headline in the New York Times reads "Teachers Facing Weakest Market in Years." After saying such an awful thing, they then go on to prove it with terrifying anecdotes and numbers. Have you heard  the one about the school district in Long Island that got 3620 applicants for 8 available teaching jobs?

With hiring freezes and layoffs, recent graduates who can't find work as classroom teachers may find themselves asking the age-old question: "How To Become a Teaching Artist?"

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Two For One

As summertime approaches, teaching artists who know how to play a musical instrument are in high demand.  This is a tight job market, and, for the job-hunting TA, being able to make music might make all the difference in getting a position at an arts camp, or summer-school program. Luckily, it's never too late to learn a new skill, and maybe you should? The good people at Lifehacker have  posted an intriguing article that promises to explain how it is possible to "Learn to Play an Instrument Online."

Also: G. Gould - Goldberg Variations 26-30 & Aria Da Capo

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The Care

Teaching Artists who find themselves working without adequate health insurance coverage  might be excited to learn that the Al Hirschfeld Free Health Clinic provides free health care to eligible artists who work in the entertainment industry. 

Summertime, and the living is easy.

Details and links below:

Located in New York City at The Dorothy Ross Friedman Residences (formerly The Aurora) (map), the Hirschfeld Clinic offers urgent care, primary and specialty care with low cost referrals to a wide range of specialty clinics and practitioners.
Visit the Actor's Fund website here.


Sonnet 18 - William Shakespeare

Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?
Thou art more lovely and more temperate:
Rough winds do shake the darling buds of May,
And summer's lease hath all too short a date:
Sometime too hot the eye of heaven shines,
And often is his gold complexion dimm'd;
And every fair from fair sometime declines,
By chance or nature's changing course untrimm'd;
But thy eternal summer shall not fade
Nor lose possession of that fair thou owest;
Nor shall Death brag thou wander'st in his shade,
When in eternal lines to time thou growest:
So long as men can breathe or eyes can see,
So long lives this and this gives life to thee.

Monday, May 17, 2010

La BĂȘte

Before heading out to teach on Monday, it's always wise to start with a little Frank O'Hara poem

I dig this one:

Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it's no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn't need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn't want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days

Frank O'Hara)

From The Collected Poems of Frank O'Hara. Copyright © 1971 by
Maureen Granville-Smith. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc.
Also:  ArtsEdge offers teaching artists so much, including this free lesson plan that asks students to examine the connections between the New York School of poets, and the abstract visual art movement that was happening around the same time.


Friday, May 14, 2010

All at Once

PEN is a global literary community dedicated to human rights, and freedom of speech. The PEN Prison Writing Project provides inmates with teaching artists to conduct writing workshops.  PEN's Handbook for Writers in Prison is "an invaluable resource to any incarcerated writer."  

Learn more about PEN at their website.

Also: Hello, World: Diaries by Men and Women in American Prisons at the Anne Frank Center  38 Crosby Street, 5th floor. Click here for directions and gallery hours.

Finally: It is Friday, and ATA is on Facebook, along with everyone else. Tell your friends!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In the Cut

On a budget page that proposes massive cuts to education and the arts, the state of New York also expresses its "strong commitment to quality public education". Irony is lost in the confusion--poor thing.

Governor David Paterson's Executive Budget was proposed in January, and has not yet been adopted. In fact, New York State is still operating without a budget, well after the budget deadline has passed. Governor David Paterson has ordered a set of 1-day cost-saving furloughs--but those have been blocked after legal appeals by state worker's unions.

Theoretically, there is still time for your voice to be heard on these cuts.

Find your local representative's contact information at Americans for the Arts' Arts Action Center.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Going Your Way

Teaching artists who work all over town  may not appreciate the high cost of riding the subway, but the Metropolitan Transit Authority's list of Cultural Centers and Galleries is due some small praise. I must admit that a searchable online database that lists all of the nearby bus and subway spots for each cultural venue is a useful idea, and the MTA's version exists. It is  convenient, and alphabetized, but not exactly comprehensive. It is usable. Thank you MTA. 

Search the MTA's list of Galleries and Cultural Centers here.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Flight Plans

This has been a windy springtime in New York City, and we may as well take advantage of it. Here is a handy instructional guide from the American Kitefliers Association, which shows how easy it is to build a basic kite. The guide is posted on the website of Gomberg Kites, which sells things, and also has many free online resources for teaching artists, including this one on "How to Run a Kite Workshop". 

Monday, May 10, 2010

The Difference

At Edutopia there is  posted a classic interview with Howard Gardner in which he explains the theory of multiple intelligences, and argues for new forms of assessment. The interview, which is from 1997,  is still timely, because the educational dilemmas discussed have still not been solved, and probably never will be. There's also this nifty quiz to help you answer the big question:  

Friday, May 7, 2010

What Can I Do?

Teaching artists can look forward to attending The School of the Future (SOTF). 

SOTF, not be confused with the School of the Future, is a month-long art project in Bushwick, that invites teaching artists, and everyone else, to answer the question of a lifetime: 

"What do you want to learn?"

The question links to information about upcoming classes, and forums on their website, along with an invitation to "share your idea here."

Also: The weekend is now, and teaching artists are invited to join ATA on Facebook to talk about jobs and things like the terrifying budget proposal just put forth by mayor Michael Bloomberg. The New York Times says the mayor's plan, which even he admits is a nightmare, will "reduce the city’s teaching force by 6,700, and close 50 senior centers, 16 day care centers and perhaps 10 libraries."

Finally: Xanadu - ONJ

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Baby Talk

Teaching artists with an interest in early childhood education, might find this article in the New York Times Sunday Magazine to be of interest.  Ongoing observational studies at Yale, seem to confirm that babies are critical thinkers--they may even be able to tell right from wrong.

I think one of the implications of this research for  teaching artists is the idea that even very young children can create and experience artwork with challenging and complex themes, because they are capable of reflection.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

To Be Good

Volunteerism is terrific, but it doesn't pay the rent, unless you're the volunteer coordinator. Early-career teaching artists who are spending their free time with a worthy organization this summer, might want to politely ask for something in return, besides the "valuable experience."  Historically,  early-career members of other organized professions have  been provided access to  training, and a chance to earn a full-time job, with benefits, as the compensation for a period of  under-paid service as  an apprentice. Sure it's the Great Depression, but it can't hurt to ask.

Idealist has the job listings.

Bronx Council on the Arts has the information.

ATA is on Facebook. I am there now, attempting to crowd-source, or something.

by William Shakespeare

Before PROSPERO'S Cell.

Enter FERDINAND, bearing a log

There be some sports are painful, and their labour
Delight in them sets off: some kinds of baseness
Are nobly undergone and most poor matters
Point to rich ends. This my mean task
Would be as heavy to me as odious, but
The mistress which I serve quickens what's dead
And makes my labours pleasures: O, she is
Ten times more gentle than her father's crabbed,
And he's composed of harshness. I must remove
Some thousands of these logs and pile them up,
Upon a sore injunction: my sweet mistress
Weeps when she sees me work, and says, such baseness
Had never like executor. I forget:
But these sweet thoughts do even refresh my labours,
Most busy lest, when I do it.

Enter MIRANDA; and PROSPERO at a distance, unseen

Alas, now, pray you,
Work not so hard: I would the lightning had
Burnt up those logs that you are enjoin'd to pile!
Pray, set it down and rest you: when this burns,
'Twill weep for having wearied you. My father
Is hard at study; pray now, rest yourself;
He's safe for these three hours.

O most dear mistress,
The sun will set before I shall discharge
What I must strive to do.

If you'll sit down,
I'll bear your logs the while: pray, give me that;
I'll carry it to the pile.

No, precious creature;
I had rather crack my sinews, break my back,
Than you should such dishonour undergo,
While I sit lazy by.

It would become me
As well as it does you: and I should do it
With much more ease; for my good will is to it,
And yours it is against.

Poor worm, thou art infected!
This visitation shows it.

You look wearily.

No, noble mistress;'tis fresh morning with me
When you are by at night. I do beseech you--
Chiefly that I might set it in my prayers--
What is your name?

Miranda.--O my father,
I have broke your hest to say so!

Admired Miranda!
Indeed the top of admiration! worth
What's dearest to the world! Full many a lady
I have eyed with best regard and many a time
The harmony of their tongues hath into bondage
Brought my too diligent ear: for several virtues
Have I liked several women; never any
With so fun soul, but some defect in her
Did quarrel with the noblest grace she owed
And put it to the foil: but you, O you,
So perfect and so peerless, are created
Of every creature's best!

I do not know
One of my sex; no woman's face remember,
Save, from my glass, mine own; nor have I seen
More that I may call men than you, good friend,
And my dear father: how features are abroad,
I am skilless of; but, by my modesty,
The jewel in my dower, I would not wish
Any companion in the world but you,
Nor can imagination form a shape,
Besides yourself, to like of. But I prattle
Something too wildly and my father's precepts
I therein do forget.

I am in my condition
A prince, Miranda; I do think, a king;
I would, not so!--and would no more endure
This wooden slavery than to suffer
The flesh-fly blow my mouth. Hear my soul speak:
The very instant that I saw you, did
My heart fly to your service; there resides,
To make me slave to it; and for your sake
Am I this patient log--man.

Do you love me?

O heaven, O earth, bear witness to this sound
And crown what I profess with kind event
If I speak true! if hollowly, invert
What best is boded me to mischief! I
Beyond all limit of what else i' the world
Do love, prize, honour you.

I am a fool
To weep at what I am glad of.

Fair encounter
Of two most rare affections! Heavens rain grace
On that which breeds between 'em!

Wherefore weep you?

At mine unworthiness that dare not offer
What I desire to give, and much less take
What I shall die to want. But this is trifling;
And all the more it seeks to hide itself,
The bigger bulk it shows. Hence, bashful cunning!
And prompt me, plain and holy innocence!
I am your wife, it you will marry me;
If not, I'll die your maid: to be your fellow
You may deny me; but I'll be your servant,
Whether you will or no.

My mistress, dearest;
And I thus humble ever.

My husband, then?

Ay, with a heart as willing
As bondage e'er of freedom: here's my hand.

And mine, with my heart in't; and now farewell
Till half an hour hence.

A thousand thousand!

Exeunt FERDINAND and MIRANDA severally

So glad of this as they I cannot be,
Who are surprised withal; but my rejoicing
At nothing can be more. I'll to my book,
For yet ere supper-time must I perform
Much business appertaining.


Tuesday, May 4, 2010


Young Educators in the Arts (YEA) had their first big public event last Thursday, and in keeping with their mission to support individuals in the early stages of a career in arts education, the fledgling collective hosted Edward Clapp,  editor of the new anthology 20Under40. David Shookoff, of the NYC AIE Roundtable introduced the event, and live updates were posted on YEA'S Twitter feed by TA Dennis Baker.

FYI: Teaching artists can follow the subject line #artsed on Twitter to get tweets from arts educators all over the country.

Also: The Fab Four - Sgt. Pepper

Monday, May 3, 2010

Speak Now

Teaching artists who work for non-profits that receive funding from New York State might want to pay attention to the budget crisis in Albany. The fiscal year has ended and begun, still, there is no budget agreement in the state capital.  As has happened in the past, the arts are on the cutting block. Governor David Paterson's proposed cuts to the New York State Council on the Arts are looking to be somewhat severe, as in apocalyptic.

Now, would be time to voice your opinion about the Governor's proposed 40% cut to NYSCA local assistance funding.