Earlier this summer, CalArts' Community Arts Partnership launched its first residency program for teaching artists. CAP's new initiative provides a more formalized training to artists interested in a teaching career through seminars/classes in learning theory, creative curriculum development and design, as well as professional practices for the artist as educator.
A dozen CalArts students and alumni were selected for the residency, which included five weeks of class work that began in May, followed by a three-week practicum in CAP's Summer Arts Program in downtown Los Angeles.
On Monday, 89.3 KPCC's Pass/Fail education blog posted a story about the CalArts' CAP residency. In the piece, "New CalArts residency transforms artists into teachers," writer Mary Plummer shows how the program can not only benefit an artist learning to be an educator, but can also be a boon to underfunded and under-resourced school systems.
Teaching artists are frequently used in public schools as a way to infuse students' arts education with instruction from actual artists — the model is sometimes seen as a cost-saving tool for districts as well. Typically, a teaching artist is paired with a traditional classroom teacher who may not have a background in the arts, which in some cases cuts out the need for credentialed arts teachers.
For the aspiring teaching artists at CalArts, the new program offers a chance at a career in teaching without sacrificing their commitment to their art forms.