Become a Teaching Artist

Thank you for your interest in the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning. Our roster of artists is carefully selected, with artists/ensembles chosen on the basis of artistic excellence, their ability to effectively communicate with students, teachers and other artists, and the overall needs of our roster.

The relationship between CAL and each artist/ensemble is that of an independent contractor. Artists are responsible for providing their own instruments, costumes, props and set pieces as required for each program. Artists provide their own means of transportation to each scheduled program.

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis, and are reviewed quarterly.

In order to become a CAL roster artist/ensemble, please:

  • Familiarize yourself with CAL and its programs by viewing our programs online and other information on this website. Read the Prospective Artist Guide (Download PDF). If, at this point, you have questions, or would value observing Center for Arts-Inspired Learning artists at work, please contact Director of Programs Mike Obertacz at 216.561.5005 x 11 or
  • Complete the Prospective Artist Application (Download PDF Application) and mail it to CAL’s office. No handwritten materials will be accepted.
    The Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
    Director of Programs
    13110 Shaker Square, Suite C203
    Cleveland, OH 44120-2313

Applications may also be emailed to Mike Obertacz at Support materials may be mailed separately, but please include your name with any materials sent separate from the application.

  • You are required to submit a resume and names of 3 references.
  • Include any additional information with the application (i.e. reviews, photos, etc.) that will provide us with a fuller picture of your work. Performing artists are asked to submit a video or audio CD/DVD of a recent performance. Keep in mind that support materials will enhance your application; however the materials submitted will not be returned to you.
  • After you’ve completed steps 1 through 3, Center for Arts-Inspired Learning staff will review your materials. Following this review, you may be contacted by Center for Arts-Inspired Learning for an interview. After completion of the interview, you may be asked for a formal audition, presenting an educational program. If you are asked to audition, a date and venue will be mutually agreed upon and your program will be scheduled at a school. Artists/ensembles are not compensated for an audition. The audience during an audition will consist of students, teachers, and CAL Education Committee members and staff.
  • The Education Committee and CAL staff that attend your audition will evaluate it based on performance (i.e. ability to effectively communicate with students, ability to engage students in subject matter), artistic and educational content. If upon evaluation the Education Committee and the Center for Arts-Inspired Learning staff recommend modifications, we will work with you to accomplish those prior to your program being included in our program guide.
  • The observers during your audition will meet after your audition to decide upon a recommendation. You will receive notification of the results of your audition as soon as possible. If your program is approved, your artist/ensemble will receive accreditation for one year from CAL and will be invited to join the roster. We regret that a far greater number of artists/ensembles are auditioned than we can place on the roster. CAL chooses the programming that is best suited to its needs, and many excellent programs are not admitted to the roster each year.
  • When designing a program for submission, please remember that CAL offers three main program formats:
    a.  Performance programs are 45 minutes in length (pre-school programs are 25 minutes in length) and are a blend of performance and discussion with opportunities for student participation interspersed throughout. Performance programs may have an audience of 300 (50 for preschool programs). Participation may consist of discussion with audience members or direct involvement with performance activities. Use your imagination about ways of involving members of the audience
    b. Workshops involve smaller groups (usually 30 or fewer students) and are generally 45 minutes to an hour in length. Workshops provide opportunities for artists to have frequent, one-on-one interaction with students. Materials/content of program must be organized to fit into the class period, with flexibility to handle questions, etc. Please note that workshops are not lectures, but hands-on, active learning opportunities to experience your art form by doing.
    c. Residencies are defined as 3 or more contacts (usually 45 minutes each time, but up to 75 minutes for visual artists) with the same group of students.
    CAL schedules programs on request from schools, libraries, and other community organizations. CAL cannot guarantee that you and/or your ensemble will receive a specific number of scheduled programs or a minimum level of income in any given time period. Every effort will be made to see that you and/or your ensemble are kept as busy as you would like to be.

We look forward to receiving your application.