Become a Teaching Artist

Join the CAL Teaching Artist Roster

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, the ability to integrate academic content, effective classroom management and student engagement, strong communication with partners, and the overall needs of our roster.

Please familiarize yourself with the three main program formats offered by CAL:

  • Performance programs are 45 minutes in length (pre-school programs are 30 minutes in length) and are a blend of performance and discussion with opportunities for student participation throughout. Performance programs may have an audience of up to 300. Participation may consist of discussion with audience members, direct involvement with performance activities, and opportunities for reflection and informal assessments.
  • 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 an art form and reinforce academic goals by creating.
  • Residencies are defined as 3 or more contacts (usually 45 - 60 minutes in length) with the same group of students. Residencies make up a majority of the programming through CAL and most often can last 10 or more sessions. Residencies work toward a final performance or visual/digital arts product and include opportunities for school and parent engagement. The success of residencies is measured through formal student and teacher assessments against anticipated outcomes, artistic and academic.

The relationship between CAL and each artist/ensemble is that of an independent contractor. Artists provide their own means of transportation to each scheduled program and all supplies and materials fees must be negotiated and approved when scheduling program dates. 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.

Teaching Artist Professional Development

Teaching Artists (TA’s) play a critical role in supporting short and long-term arts education experiences in classrooms and after-school programs. These two-career professionals are invited into schools, partner with educators, guide students through creative learning experiences, and include the community.

In 2016, CAL launched the Teaching Artist Professionalization Initiative, designed to create and implement a complete system to effectively prepare, professionalize, and recognize teaching artists’ unique skill sets. This program consists of a modular curriculum, a corresponding credentialing system that employs competency-based digital badging, and a framework for teaching artist’s development for arts-integration and classroom preparedness. Each module of the curriculum builds best practices and develops measurable outcomes for the preparation of teaching artists.

Module One

Teaching Artist Preparation is intended for working professional artists in all disciplines who are new to working as a teaching artist and current teaching artists who would like to enhance or improve their knowledge and skills. This unique opportunity is recommended for artists with interest in working with the presenting partners as a roster teaching artist.

Module Two

Program Implementation allows teaching artists the opportunity to apply their program created in Module One to students with one of CAL’s partner schools. This gives both the teaching artist and CAL the opportunity to explore this program on its feet for students. Module Two takes the skills learned in Module One and sets them in a typical classroom the teaching artists would face in an arts integrated classroom setting.

Module Three

Behavior Management: A Guide to Creative Chaos utilizes detailed exploration that provides attendees an understanding of the ages and stages of all learners. Recognition in physical, cognitive, social, and literacy development benchmarks specific to the different ages of students will give teaching artists an understanding of the students they will likely encounter to help determine some ways to help manage their behaviors through the arts. Participants will have the opportunity to explore a variety of student behaviors as well as strategies and techniques used for negotiating these behaviors.

Attendees will study adaptation skills for arts activities using the Universal Design for Learning, ensuring their capabilities in engaging all levels of students for equal opportunities of engagement. Through this professional development session, teaching artists will be prepared and educated to meet students at varying level to promote healthy artistic environments.

Next Steps

All participants who successfully complete each module and the corresponding assessment piece will be awarded a digital badge representing their knowledge and competency. A digital badge provides evidence of achievement as a result of participation and specific accomplishments completed during and after each module. Digital badges may be included in an online portfolio and/or other micro-credentialing sites, such as Mozilla Backpack.

Register for a Professional Development session

May 17 from 12-5pm
Center for Arts-Inspired Learning
10917 Magnolia Drive
Cleveland, OH 44106

Learn more

If at any point you have questions or would value observing Center for Arts-Inspired Learning artists at work, please contact Artistic Manager Emma Parker at 216.561.5005 x 23 or