Become a Teaching Artist

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The Pennsylvania Council on the Arts (PCA) has an Arts in Education (AIE) division that provides funding support for arts based educational programs throughout the Commonwealth. The purpose of the AIE division is to champion the arts as a tool for both personal and community development for all Pennsylvanians by supporting quality programs in schools and community settings. Erie Arts & Culture has a formal agreement with the PCA and we serve as the regional AIE partner for the counties of Erie, Crawford, Mercer, Venango, Warren, and Lawrence.

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As a regional partner, Erie Arts & Culture is expected to manage and grow a diverse roster of qualified teaching artists; representing a variety of arts disciplines. The artists that comprise our roster are eligible to participate in PCA funded AIE residencies. Artists become rostered through a five-step process.

  • Step One: Interested artists must complete and return a teaching artist application.
  • Step Two: Erie Arts & Culture reviews the application material
  • Step Three: Applicants who meet the qualification criteria are then interviewed by an independent panel, during which applicants present a plan for a 10-day residency.
  • Step Four: Applicants who demonstrate strong artistic skills and an ability to teach are selected to demonstrate to peer observers their skills and abilities in a residency setting by leading participants with a hands-on arts activity.
  • Step Five: Those who are successful in their demonstrations are recommended to the PCA for final review and approval.

Once rostered, Erie Arts & Culture provides teaching artists with access to professional development designed to equip teaching artists with the skills and knowledge necessary to implement successful residencies.

The annual deadline to apply to be a teaching artist is March 31. Annually, panel interviews occur in the 3rd and 4th week of April. New teaching artist training and orientation is held annually in July and August.

  • Individual artists, artists’ ensembles, or companies may apply.
  • Artists, artists’ ensembles, or companies that intend to work in multiple disciplines must demonstrate their qualifications and be approved to work in each discipline.
  • Preference is given to Pennsylvania residents, although outstanding artists from other states may apply.
  • Not a full-time student
  • 18 years of age or older

Applicants are selected for the program based on:

  • Artistic excellence as demonstrated by samples of the artist’s work, training and experience, resume, and letters of recommendation.
  • Good communication skills as evidenced by the application, work samples, recommendations and subsequent interview, and teaching observation.
  • Ability to develop and implement a sequential residency plan with education or community partners as evidenced by the application, interviews, and a classroom observation of an experiential arts activity.
  • Ability, if applicable, to present culturally specific arts authentically as evidenced by work samples and subsequent observations.
  • Experience, interest, and the ability to work with students, including special needs populations, as evidenced by credentials in education, application, letters of recommendation, and observations.
  • Artists are paid a minimum of $200 per day for two or more classes with a maximum of 3. Artists working with only one class or group of participants, receive $150 per day. Artists may set a higher fee. Ensemble fees are set accordingly. As a policy, Erie Arts & Culture limits its matches to no more than $150 per individual artist and $250 per ensemble. Erie Arts & Culture does not guarantee a fifty-fifty match. This is dependent upon the quality of the residency, the length of it, and the availability of funds.
  • Mileage will be reimbursed only for residency distances farther than 50 miles one way. The host site pays mileage reimbursement.
  • The host site is responsible for the cost of all materials used in the residencies.

Teaching Artist Application 

Teaching Artist Application Instructions