Teaching Artist

Youth Arts Alliance 

All application materials must be sent in PDF format to lucy@youthartsalliance.com and heather@youthartsalliance.com.

Application Deadline: January 13, 2020

Applicants will submit the following in one single document, titled as “Your Name_YAA Teaching Artist Application” :

• Resume/C.V. and Contact information for two professional references

• Examples of past work – hyperlinks to websites/music/videos welcomed.

• A detailed workshop description (paragraph) with a proposed 12 week curriculum of artistic process

• A proposed budget for supplies

• A description of the ideal outcome of the workshop, and a plan for publicly presenting/exhibiting/disseminating the work created in the workshop.

• Indicate availability for workshops on weekdays (afternoon or evening), and during which cycle(s): February-May; June-August; September-November.

• Indicate what city you live in, and what counties you are able to drive to for a workshop, including Washtenaw, Jackson, Wayne, and Monroe counties.

Job Description:

Achieving the mission of Youth Arts Alliance (YAA) requires collaborative effort and strong partnerships with many community artists, associations, organizations and educational institutions dedicated to the success of youth in the community through creative arts experiences. We celebrate partnerships with the missions and well-established, vetted creative methodologies of the PONGO Teen Writing Project based in Seattle, The Beat Within based in San Francisco, the Prison Creative Arts Project at University of Michigan, Storycatchers Theatre based in Chicago, Radiant City Arts based in Toledo, Ohio and Performing Statistics in Richmond, Virginia.

Since YAA’s founding in 2013, thousands of young people from across Michigan have engaged in healing-centered, high quality arts programming. These opportunities are made possible by master-level, experienced teaching artists. YAA intensively trains and supports teaching artists to build curriculums in their areas of artistic focus based on a programming model that centers strengths-based, trauma-informed practices, research in the landscape of mental health and developmental needs of adolescents. YAA prioritizes youth impacted by the justice system who currently reside in carceral detention and treatment settings and community settings where youth have less access to high quality arts experiences and resources. The complexities of programming within carceral settings requires training for teaching artists in the conditions of confinement and the logistical challenges of art making when the best materials for a practice are considered contraband by the system we program within.

The YAA creative arts framework expands upon J. David Hawkins and Richard F. Catalano’s Social Development Strategy: youth need opportunities to make meaningful contributions; youth need the skills to contribute effectively; youth need recognition for their contributions to each workshop. YAA workshops offer new opportunities for self-reflection, collaboration, skill development, expressive release and confidence-building through artistic practice. Youth artists who participate in YAA workshops recognize the power these experiences have to offer healing.

In nearly a decade of programming, youth have armed what we organizationally know: when offered supportive and skilled instruction, compassionate guidance and the right tools for creative practices, youth express significant impact and enthusiasm for new and expansive artistic experiences.

YAA workshop curriculums hold dual priorities of expressed youth interest and exposure to new genres and mediums. Historically, YAA has offered workshops in creative writing, movement, theatre, fiber art, music, mosaic, photography, illustration, comix, zines, print-making, horticulture, mural-making, expressive arts and more!

Preferred Skills:

Teaching Artist Expectations

As a teaching artist, the YAA fellow will plan a 6-12 week curriculum based in artistic mediums in which they hold expertise. The fellow will consult with YAA Director and YAA Chief Operating Officer to determine the best approach for workshop structure, depending on if they will be teaching in a detention unit, a treatment unit, or a community space. Prior to starting their first workshop cycle, the fellow must attend a YAA teaching artist training. The fellow will follow the YAA model of healing-centered, best practices in their workshops. YAA will support the teaching artist through phone meetings, occasional in person support at the site, and if resources allow, providing a trained volunteer to assist them. YAA will also support during the last workshop of a cycle, traditionally treated as a celebration, with a culminating reading, performance, or “gallery walk”.